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Wales officially boasts some of the best bathing waters in Europe with 84 areas rated “excellent”.

First published:
15 November 2016
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

The Bathing Waters in Wales statistics for 2016, released today, reveal an impressive 84 out of a total 103 bathing areas have been classified as “excellent”. These include popular visitor destinations like:

  • Trecco Bay in Porthcawl, 
  • Gower’s Oxwich Bay, 
  • Abersoch in Gwynedd
  • Colwyn Bay, Conwy.

In total, 102 designated bathing waters in Wales achieved the European standard of sufficient or above, placing Wales among the best performing countries in Europe for water cleanliness.

Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths welcomed the figures. She said:

“Wales has some of the most stunning coastline anywhere in the world. Our beaches and other bathing areas are a magnet for visitors from far and wide as well as being hugely popular with local communities.

“It is excellent news that so many of our waters have been recognised as being of such a high standard. These are located all around Wales, from urban areas in the south east to popular seaside tourist destinations in the west and north.

“A healthy environment sustains our economy and improves our quality of life. With clean bathing waters, our coast and natural environment will continue to provide huge benefits to the people of Wales and to our visitors.

“These figures are no accident. They are the direct result of a lot of hard work by local people, local authorities and organisations like Natural Resources Wales and Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, who have invested more than £1 billion in sewage treatment and network improvements, since 2001.

Emyr Roberts, Chief Executive of Natural Resources Wales, said:

“With the second year of the tough new EU standards, it is great news that 102 of the 103 bathing waters in Wales achieved the directive standard of sufficient.  94% of our beaches have achieved good or excellent status, making the quality of the waters at Welsh beaches among some of the best in Europe. 

“We will continue to work with those living and working in the local communities, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water and the local authorities to maintain and improve the results at all our bathing waters in Wales.”