Flags will be flying high at Pembrey Country Park as it plays host to the prestigious All Wales Blue Flag Awards.
The park has been chosen to showcase the annual awards as it celebrates the 30th anniversary of Cefn Sidan beach becoming the first beach in Wales to gain the international Blue Flag accreditation.
Cefn Sidan has been awarded the most Blue Flags in Wales since 1988, having achieved the status 25 out of the 30 years – winning on consecutive years since 2009.
The coveted Blue Flag is only awarded to beaches, marinas and boats that have the highest quality of water, environmental education and management, safety and services. It acts as a guarantee to the public that a beach is among the finest not only in the country, but around the world.
Council representatives and organisations from across Wales, including Carmarthenshire, will attend the celebration on Thursday, May 17, in the hope of gaining the well-respected accolade.
The council’s executive board member for leisure, Cllr Peter Hughes-Griffiths said: “We are thrilled to be hosting these awards especially as it coincides with the 30th anniversary of Cefn Sidan being the first beach in Wales to scoop the prestigious Blue Flag which is nationally, and internationally, recognised as a symbol of excellence. We are keeping our fingers crossed that our wonderful beach will once again be flying the Blue Flag.”
Lesley Jones, Keep Wales Tidy chief executive, said: “Since 1988, Blue Flag has become a world-renowned eco-label trusted by millions around the globe. We’re delighted to be marking this special anniversary in Pembrey Country Park, celebrating the important role of the awards in attracting tourism to support the local economy, giving our communities a rightful sense of pride, and promoting environmental awareness and protection.”
Last year saw a record-breaking 50 Blue Flags flying in Wales – more per mile than anywhere else in the UK – with 45 beaches, three marinas and two boat tour operators celebrating international success. The Blue Flag Award is owned by the independent organisation Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) operated in Wales by the environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy. The awards run in 48 countries across the world.