33 Blue Flag beaches in Wales

33 beaches and five marinas have been awarded 'Blue Flag' status for cleanliness and water quality. It follows figures showing an increase in the amount of litter found on Welsh beaches, released by the Marine Conservation Society.

Resources Minister: Blue Flag threshold higher than ever

The number of Welsh beaches awarded the prestigious Blue Flag status has fallen by 10 in the last year. Rest Bay at Porthcawl was one of the 33 to meet the exacting standard.

Keep Wales Tidy says the fall's down to it applying a "stricter" Bathing Water Directive.

The Natural Resources Minister, Alun Davies AM, says the quality threshold to achieve Blue Flag status is higher than ever before.

Blue Flag beach decline 'is due to introduction of higher standards'

Keep Wales Tidy, which runs the Blue Flag Award system in Wales, says the fall in the number of beaches recognised for cleanliness and environmental management is down to it applying "stricter" Bathing Water Directive this year.

This is the first year that we as Natural Resources Wales will have the responsibility of testing the 100 designated Welsh bathing waters. All of the samples collected in Wales will now be analysed in Wales at our laboratories in Llanelli, securing the highly skilled jobs there.

"We all know that the record rainfall had an impact on water quality last year, but what is encouraging is that despite this and the higher standards introduced, 90% of beaches are projected to be classed as Good and 68% as Excellent in 2015.

As a result of the work we are doing to improve water quality and hopefully, with better weather this summer, more people will have an opportunity to enjoy the clean water and fantastic beaches we have in Wales.

– Emyr Roberts, Chief Executive, Natural Resources Wales

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Report: Concern over litter on Welsh beaches

Beaches in Wales had more rubbish found on them than in previous years according to a new survery. The annual Beachwatch Big Weekend report by the Marine Conservation Society found that 112 plastic bottles were found for every kilometre surveyed.

Overall the amount of plastic had increased by 3%. Our Correspondent Joanna Simpson went to Ogmore to find out more.

More plastic found on Welsh beaches

volunteers and rubbish
Volunteers spent the weekend picking up litter on beaches Credit: Marine Conservation Society

There has been an increase in the amount of litter found on Welsh beaches, according to figures released by the Marine Conservation Society. Last September volunteers spent the weekend picking up rubbish at 45 beaches across Wales. The litter picked up in a single weekend filled 223 bags.

Plastic now accounts for 74% of all the litter found washed up on the beach, and in Wales the amount was 10% higher than the UK average. The charity says that the fact that plastic is unlikely to break down is even more concerning.

"We must hammer home the message that litter is completely unacceptable. The number of opportunities provided by local authorities to dispose of litter have never been greater. So it's hard to understand why people think its ok to rubbish the coastline of Wales"

Lynn Eyles, spokesperson for the Marine Conservation Society.