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BBC Wales's Claire Summers
"The improvements mean that the number of beaches failing have also been halved from 1999 levels."
 real 28k

Friday, 28 April, 2000, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
Record number make beach guide
Welsh beach
More entries than ever in the Good Beach Guide
Welsh beaches have been officially declared as some of the best in Britain.

The Marine Conservation Society has recommended more sites in Wales than ever before in its latest edition of the Good Beach Guide.

And it means good news for Wales's tourism industry as holiday makers have more top sand to choose from this year than ever before.


Llantwit Major beach
Llantwit Major: an addition to the list

In total the Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide 2000 has recommended a record number of beaches across the UK - 215 in total and 35 more than last year.

And nearly a third of Welsh beaches now meet their strict water quality standards.

The MCS will only recommend beaches in the Guide if they meet stringent European water quality standards and are not affected by inadequately treated sewage.

The latest results show that extensive clean- up operations are paying off with fewer beaches failing the minimum water quality standard.


Sewage pollution
Sewage can pollute a huge area

The improvements mean that the number of beaches failing have also been halved from 1999 levels.

Among newcomers to the award are Dyffryn in Gwynedd, north Wales, and Llantwit Major in the Vale of Glamorgan.

But while the news was encouraging, Kate Hutchinson, coastal pollution officer for the Marine Conservation Society, said the pace of improvement must be kept up.

"Raw and inadequately treated sewage is still being discharged into coastal waters," she said.

"It is unacceptable in the new millennium for the public to be exposed to pathogens from sewage contamination."

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21 Mar 00 | Northern Ireland
'Tide turning on dirty beaches'
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