Blue flag: 65 beaches in Wales win blue flags and green coast awards

Rhossili beach Image copyright National Trust
Image caption Rhossili beach in Gower was named one of the top 10 beaches in the world last month by travel website TripAdvisor

Sixty-five Welsh beaches have been rewarded in the blue flag and green coast awards for water cleanliness and environmental standards.

Thirty-four received a blue flag, which recognises water quality, and 31 landed green coast awards for the promotion and protection of quiet rural beaches.

Pembrokeshire topped the list, winning 10 flags and 12 coast awards.

Nearly a quarter of Welsh beaches lost their blue flag last year after a wet 2012 affected water quality.

Thirty-three won the international award in 2013, compared to 43 in 2012.

The blue flag award is issued by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), which rates beaches on categories including safety, facilities, and environmental management, as well as water quality and runs in 48 countries around the world.

Natural Resources Minister Alun Davies said: "I am delighted that Wales has scooped 65 awards, ranking Welsh beaches among the best in the world.

"The awards demonstrate the high standard of Welsh bathing water quality and reflect the diversity of our beautiful coastline, which is enjoyed by our communities and the millions of visitors to Welsh beaches each year.

"These awards also recognise the hard work of everyone involved in achieving and maintaining these high standards. We will continue to work with our partners, including Keep Wales Tidy, to ensure we achieve the highest bathing water quality standards possible year-on-year."

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