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Wales Coast Awards 2023 recognises Wales’ best beaches and marinas

Keep Wales Tidy has today announced the recipients of the Wales Coast Awards for 2023, unveiling the 51 coastal areas achieving the exceptional standards required to receive the prestigious Blue Flag, Green Coast Award and Seaside Award. This year, Wales has retained not only 25 of its Blue Flag beaches, but also 14 Green Coast awards and 12 Seaside Awards.

Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised awards for beaches, marinas and boats owned by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). The mission of the programme is to promote environmental education, sustainable development of tourism, environmental management systems and ensure safety and access for beach users.

The 25 Welsh beaches achieving this accolade have to adhere to very specific criteria related to water quality, information provision, environmental education, safety, and site management.

In addition to the 25 Blue Flag awards, 14 beaches in Wales were also awarded the Green Coast Award including a new site at New Quay Traeth Gwyn, recognising their clean environment, excellent water quality and natural beauty. Green Coast Awards are ‘hidden gems’ along the Welsh coastline, exceptional places to visit and enjoy diversity and rich coastal heritage.

A total of 12 beaches achieved the Seaside Award for the standard of their facilities and water quality with two new sites at Llantwit Major, Penarth and Southerndown.

These remarkable figures and continued success around our Welsh coastline are due once again to a huge, concerted, and conscientious effort, and the collective willpower to persist in the face of exceptionally challenging circumstances.

Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said, “Wales has some of the best beaches and water quality across the whole of Europe, and it is only fitting that this is recognised with the awarding of Blue Flags.

“We’re known across the world for our beautiful coastlines and if we’re to keep our beaches and coast this way we need to ensure we leave nothing but footprints so blue flags can continue to fly for many generations to come.”

Owen Derbyshire, Keep Wales Tidy Chief Executive said:

“The results of Wales Coast Awards are in, and we’re delighted to have our suspicions confirmed – some of the world’s best beaches are right here on our doorstep.

“These awards are a tribute to the hard work and dedication of those who strive to maintain and enhance the natural splendour of our coastline. However, with the privilege of enjoying these breathtaking landscapes comes the responsibility to protect and preserve them.

“Let us all pledge to do our part by respecting the environment and keeping our beaches clean and litter-free. Together, we can ensure that future generations have the opportunity to experience the wonder of Wales’ coast.”

A full list of awards can be found on the Keep Wales Tidy website: keepwalestidy.cymru/blog/wales-coast-awards-2023