Forty two Welsh beaches and five marinas have been included in the list of locations in 36 countries across the world that are to be recognised on Thursday for having met the strict bathing water and land based criteria required to achieve the much sought after Blue Flag status.
Three beaches are making
their first appearance in the list and amongst them is the three mile
long Aberavon beach best known in the 60s and 70s as the Mecca for beach
loving South Wales miners and their families. But to mark the new millennium
Neath Port Talbot Council undertook a massive beach front regeneration
programme and their investment has resulted in it being included in
the roll call of the world’s top leisure destination.
Also making the list
for the first time is Church Bay on Anglesey which can lay claim to
being the location of the last thatched cottage on the island and Newport
beach in Pembrokeshire which is overlooked by the medieval Norman castle.
Beaches are judged against
a total of 29 criteria which include reaching the highest water quality,
good litter management, provision of information, strict dog controls
and sustainable environmental management. Marinas will have met 16 land-based
criteria that include reception facilities for hazardous waste, adequate
lifesaving equipment and a commitment to safeguard their local environment.
The award is managed in Wales, on behalf of the Denmark based Foundation for Environmental Education, by Keep Wales Tidy and their Chief Executive Tegryn Jones commented, “Much has been achieved by Local Authorities and Welsh Water in improving the quality of our bathing water and upgrading land based infrastructure but we have some way to go before every beach and marina in Wales can claim to be clean and safe.
He added “We are very reliant on the tourism industry and if we are to meet the high standards demanded by our beach visitors every person in Wales has a role to play. Councils and utility companies have invested countless millions of pounds in improvements. We now appeal to the public to make their contribution by ensuring that they leave nothing but footprints on our 750 mile coastline”