Bumper year for local beaches as new Beach NI website is launched
TIDY Northern Ireland, in association with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, has announced a bumper year for our local beaches in the 2012 NI Beach Awards. 11 beaches and 2 marinas will fly the prestigious international Blue Flag, and 11 beaches will fly the Seaside Award in our most successful year to date.
So, with the weather hotting up for summer, TIDY Northern Ireland is urging people to take a trip to an award-winning beach and dip a toe in the sea or have a picnic.
The awards comprise of the highly prized international Blue Flag award, now in its 25th year, for beaches and marinas, as well as the rural and resort Seaside Awards. Blue Flag beaches must meet 32 criteria, including guideline bathing water quality as set by the EU Bathing Water Directive. The Seaside Award operates in a similar manner including meeting the mandatory EU standards for bathing water.
Launch of New Beach NI Website
Minister for the Environment, Alex Attwood also took the opportunity at the awards to launch a new beach website for Northern Ireland: www.beachni.com. The new site, developed by Outdoor Recreation NI, will provide a 'one stop shop' for information on 23 beaches by giving detailed and relevant information on each beach, its facilities and what activities can be undertaken there. In addition, the website will also act as a main information point for beach related news, events and blogs.
It comes with perfect timing as more and more of us are staying at home and heading down to our own coast for more affordable holidays, with an array of top notch beaches to choose from.
2012 NI Blue Flag Beaches
Co. Londonderry: Magilligan, Benone | Downhill | Castlerock | Portstewart Strand |
Co. Antrim: Portrush West | Portrush East | Whiterocks
Co. Down: Crawfordsburn | Tyrella | Murlough | Cranfield West
2012 NI Blue Flag Marinas
Co. Londonderry: Ballyronan Marina
Co. Antrim: Ballycastle Marina
2012 NI Seaside Award Beaches
Co. Londonderry: Portstewart Strand (R)
Co. Antrim: Ballycastle (R) | Waterfoot (r) | Carnlough (r) | Ballygally (r) | Brown's Bay (r)
Co. Down: Millisle Beach Park (r) | Ballywalter South Beach (r) | Murlough (r) | Tyrella (R) | Cranfield West (R)