[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 1 June 2006, 05:36 GMT 06:36 UK
Blue Flags for eight NI beaches
Umbrella on beach
All but one of last year's beaches were given the award
Eight of Northern Ireland's beaches have been awarded a Blue Flag for 2006.

The Blue Flag is awarded to beaches which pass a strict EU water quality test. It also rewards safety provisions and easy access to facilities.

All but one of last year's beaches were given the award, with Portrush's East Strand being replaced by Ballycastle.

Blue Flag spokesman Ian Cole said Northern Ireland had "eight stunning stretches of sand" to match those in Europe, South Africa or the Caribbean.

Mr Cole said the Blue Flag awards were internationally recognised.

NI'S BLUE FLAG BEACHES
Ballycastle
Benone Strand
Cranfield West
Portstewart Strand
Portrush, West Strand
Portrush, Whiterocks
Tyrella
Downhill
"The foreign feet visiting our sands know that safety and cleanliness is guaranteed because they have the award in their country," he said.

Last month, the Marine Conservation Society recommended eight Northern Ireland beaches in its Good Beach Guide.

However, it said this figure was low as Northern Ireland's water treatment infrastructure was in dire need of investment, despite reduced beach pollution.


SEE ALSO:
Recommended NI beaches still low
26 May 06 |  Northern Ireland
NI 'worst beach visitor litter'
28 Mar 06 |  Northern Ireland
Flying the blue flag on beaches
03 Jun 05 |  Northern Ireland


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific