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Last Updated: Friday, 1 April, 2005, 05:48 GMT 06:48 UK
Welsh beaches dominate guide book
Model Nell McAndrew with Welsh flag on beach, publicising the new guide
Welsh beaches have improved greatly over the last decade
Wales has more listings in a new guide book to the best British beaches than any other part of the UK.

Britain's Blue Flag Beaches, published on Friday, lists 109 Welsh beaches and is the only official guide to the UK's Blue Flag and seaside award beaches.

It has been produced by ENCAMS, which organises the flag awards, and tourism agency Visit Britain.

The Welsh beaches include Aberdaron in Gwynedd, Barafundle Bay in Pembrokeshire and Borth in Ceredigion.

The writers said there had been a vast improvement in the state of the beaches over the past 10 years.

A report also released on Friday by ENCAMS found British beach-goers had become much more discerning and were put off by dirty toilets, traffic jams and poor parking in and around seaside towns.

However, more than 50% of people still enjoyed at least one day a year beside the seaside.


Alan Woods, chief executive of ENCAMS, said: "Had we written this guide a decade ago, we would have really struggled to recommend anywhere, such was the state of our coastline.

Borth beach, Ceredigion
Borth beaches has regained its Blue Flag on the 2004 list

"But the stinging criticism aimed at many beach managers and water companies, has made them sit up and invest heavily in improvements

"Some towns have even tried to re-define their image, moving away from the candyfloss and kiss-me-quick cliches and pitching themselves as places where everyone can enjoy a quality day out."

The guide includes 27 Pembrokeshire beaches and 12 in Ceredigion.

In a survey last year, Aberystwyth North and Saundersfoot beaches got the highest scores in Wales for cleanliness.

In total, 35 Welsh beaches won the top award of the Blue Flag in 2004.

The results contrast with a survey just last week which found Welsh beaches had a higher density of litter than in any other part of the UK.

The Marine Conservation Society's Beachwatch initiative, which looked at 27 Welsh beaches, found there were over 2,600 items per kilometre of coastline surveyed.

As well as litter left behind by tourists, a significant problem for Wales was the amount washed up by the tide.

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