Coastal Awards rank Welsh beaches among the best in the world

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Bell Park Beach and Moonlight Beach are among 27 beaches and nine marinas across Canada to win the prestigious Blue Flag eco-certification.

Joss Bay at Broadstairs, which is popular with surfers, has been stripped of the prestigious rating it enjoyed past year, although it hangs on to its Seaside Award.

"Year of the Sea 2018 is the ideal time to celebrate the success of the past 30 years of the Blue Flag programme - and gives us a fantastic opportunity to make the most the fact that we have more Blue Flag beaches per mile than anywhere else in Britain".

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It comes as Keep Britain Tidy announced 65 beaches across Britain have been granted the global Blue Flag status and a further 125 were given the UK Seaside Award, Keep Britain Tidy's own distinction for beaches meeting the highest standard for cleanliness and facilities.

This year's winners will be presented with their flags at a ceremony today on Cromer pier, hosted by North Norfolk District Council.

The awards also acknowledge that Sandhaven has met the required European Union standards for water quality.

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A further 19 beaches in Wales have gained the Green Coast Award - recognising the "hidden gems" along our coastline - and a total of 83 beaches have achieved the Seaside Award for their good water quality and facilities.

"When you see a Blue Flag raised at a beach or marina, you know that it's clean, sustainably managed, and a safe place to swim", she said in a statement. Unsurprisingly many are put off by our inclement weather, but sadly the cleanliness of the beach is another major cause for concern - with 40% worrying about unclean water, 38% put off by litter and 42% apprehensive about finding dog poo.

"These awards are recognition of their commitment and dedication to keeping our beaches looking their best and making sure they are clean and safe for both residents and visitors alike".

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Keep Britain Tidy's Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: "Blue Flag leads the fight back for the Blue Planet".

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