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Last Updated: Friday, 29 April, 2005, 05:48 GMT 06:48 UK
Litter charity picks top beaches
Umbrella on beach
Eleven beaches in Northern Ireland won a Seaside Award
An anti-litter charity has picked its favourite 11 beaches in Northern Ireland for its Seaside Awards.

Tidy NI claimed the awards which celebrate beach cleanliness were "the BAFTAs of the seaside industry".

Beaches were marked on amounts of litter, clean water, disabled access, and toilet and car parking facilities.

Downhill in County Londonderry is a newcomer on the list. Others honoured include Benone, Tyrella, Warrenpoint, Millisle, and three in Portrush.

Ballycastle, Cranfield West and Portstewart also made the grade.

The charity said Downhill beach had finally won the award because, although its waters had met the qualifying criteria in previous years, the extra bins, disability access and quality toilet facilities made the difference this year.

Benone Strand
Cranfield West
Millisle Lagoon
Portstewart Strand
Portrush East Strand
Portrush West Strand
Portrush White Rocks

The UK-wide Seaside Awards are partly organised by Tidy Northern Ireland in conjunction with the environmental campaign group ENCAMS.

Charity spokesman Ian Cole paid tribute to those who had worked to help these beaches win these awards.

"A lot of hard work goes into achieving a Seaside Award: it is no mean task and the benefits definitely pay off in terms of tourism and the amount of visitors to Northern Ireland's winning beaches," he said.

He said it was "vital" that visitors played their part in keeping beaches clean as there was "only so much beach managers can do".

"If those who continually enjoy the sands don't respect the facilities available to them then the coastline may begin to fail, which would be devastating."

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04 Jun 04 |  Northern Ireland
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08 Apr 04 |  Northern Ireland

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