As more UK holidaymakers choose to ‘staycation’ rather than fly overseas for their summer holidays this year, the stunning beaches along the Mid Wales coastline are perfectly placed to welcome thousands of visitors.
To highlight what a fantastic holiday option Mid Wales offers, Keep Wales Tidy has just announced that 17 beaches along the coastal regions of Ceredigion and the Meirionnydd district of Gwynedd have won awards for 2019.
The beaches have met the high standards needed to receive the prestigious Blue Flag, Green Coast and Seaside Awards.
Blue flags are generally considered the ‘gold standard’ for beaches across the world. Beaches must meet a list of 33 minimum criteria, including water quality, environmental management, safety and services.
Across Wales as a whole, 44 Blue Flags are flying at 40 beaches, including five in Ceredigion and three in Meirionnydd. This means that Wales has more Blue Flags per mile than anywhere else in the UK.
The great news for this year’s tourism prospects in Mid Wales comes as holiday giant Thomas Cook has reported a £1.5 billion half-year loss, citing ‘staycationing’ by UK holidaymakers as one of the prime causes.
Three of the 18 beaches across Wales that have gained the Green Coast Award, recognising ‘hidden gems’ along the coastline, are in Ceredigion.
The award recognises the excellent water quality and unspoiled environment, but unlike a Blue Flag Award beach, these sites won’t have the infrastructure and intensive management generally associated with more traditional seaside resorts.
This award encourages people to ‘adopt’ areas of the coast, helping contribute towards the sustainability of the area while promoting volunteering.
A further 40 beaches – including 11 in Ceredigion and one in Meirionnydd – have achieved the Seaside Award for their standard of water quality and facilities.
Rowland Rees-Evans, chairman of MWT Cymru, the independent organisation that represents 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Mid Wales, said:
“We are really proud that 17 of our fantastic beaches in Ceredigion and South Gwynedd have won these awards from Keep Wales Tidy.
“It’s very important for the tourism industry, at a time when staycationing is becoming increasingly popular, that we promote these awards to show off the excellent water quality and unspoiled environment that we have here in Mid Wales.
“Following the work of David Attenborough, both local residents and visitors are taking a lot more interest in removing discarded plastic from our beaches and seas, which has got to be good for the environment.”
Lesley Griffiths, Wales’ Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said:
“We’re lucky in Wales to have some of the world’s finest beaches right here on our doorstep.
“It’s pleasing to see so many of our beaches receiving these awards as recognition of the hard work being done across Wales to keep our beaches and waters clean.
We hope people across Wales are proud of the beaches which have received coastal awards this year and, along with visitors to Wales, take the opportunity to enjoy our stunning coastline.”
The Blue Flag beaches in Mid Wales:
Ceredigion: Aberystwyth North, Borth, Llangrannog, New Quay Harbour and Tresaith.
Meirionnydd district of Gwynedd: Barmouth, Criccieth Traethy Promenade,
Morfa Bychan (Black Rock Sands).
Green Coast Award winners:
Ceredigion: Cilborth, Llanrhystud and Mwnt.
Seaside Award winners:
Ceredigion: Aberporth, Aberystwyth North and Aberystwyth South, Borth, Llangrannog, New Quay Harbour, Tresaith, Cilborth, Clarach, Llanrhystud, Mwnt, Penbryn and Traeth y Dolau. Meirionnydd district of Gwynedd: Tywyn.