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Bangor Marina and six borough beaches receive prestigious Seaside Award - Fri 3 July 2020

Bangor Marina on a sunny day showing the boats moored in

Date: Friday 3 July 2020

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful has announced that Bangor Marina and six beaches in Ards and North Down have received awards for excellence in facilities, environmental management, environmental education, accessibility and safety.

Ballywalter, Cloughey, Groomsport and Millisle beaches, managed by Ards and North Down Borough Council, along with Crawfordsburn beach operated by Northern Ireland Environment Agency have received the prestigious Seaside Award in 2020.

The Seaside Award is the national standard for beaches across the UK. This programme ensures visitors of a clean, safe, attractive and well-managed beach with the facilities provided being appropriate for the location of the beach. Helens Bay [operated by Northern Ireland Environment Agency] also received a Green Coast Award, which recognises an agreement between the operator and the local community to protect and promote a natural beach. Green Coast Award beaches can also be found in the Republic of Ireland and in Wales, but due to their more natural state, may not be flying a flag. Bangor Marina has also been awarded the internationally renowned Blue Flag for the 2020 season. The news was featured in key Irish sailing publication Afloat.ie

The Mayor commented, “Our borough encompasses the southern shore of Belfast Lough, the Irish Sea coast and most of the pe-rimeter of Strangford Lough, giving us 115 miles of stunning coastline. It is fantastic that so many of our beautiful seaside locations have been recognised in this year’s Beach and Marina awards. It is a fitting tribute to the work of both the Council employees and the many groups of volunteers who together strive to keep our coastline clean, tidy and welcoming for visitors.

“This summer we hope many people will be able to visit the area and take the opportunity to exploring our beaches and beauty spots. However I would make the plea to everyone to do so responsibly and, critically, in line with PHA guidelines. We want our beaches to be safe and will do all we can as a Council to deliver on this but everyone has to take responsibility for their own actions as we con-tinue through the pandemic. As such I would ask that everyone respects social distancing and takes ALL litter home with them.”