Once again, beaches across Wales have achieved 100% compliance with high bathing water quality standards.
Of the 105 beaches sampled by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), 84 achieved the highest classification of excellent, 14 good and seven sufficient - meaning Wales has continued its trend of delivering high bathing water quality for the third year running.
A classification of excellent water quality is one of the main requirements for applying for a Blue Flag award for 2021.
While the COVID-19 pandemic saw the start of the bathing water season delayed in Wales, NRW worked to ensure sampling took place at all 105 bathing sites from June.
Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said:
“Wales is known internationally for its stunning coastlines and clean bathing waters. I am proud we continue to have some of the best bathing waters in Europe – and those consistent results could not have been achieved without the work of a number of partners, all of whom deserve our thanks.
“I am especially pleased with the work of NRW, who carried out essential work to safeguard public and environmental health, whilst continuing their water quality testing programme against the difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said:
“While we know COVID-19 restrictions have impacted on our tourism and hospitality sector, these results show that Wales is still working hard to ensure the quality of its bathing waters – and we look forward to welcoming visitors to those waters as soon as we can.
“This is an excellent sign of confidence in the state of our coastlines, and in the team effort made by communities, regulators and other partners to safeguard our natural assets.”