Four Blue Flags for Wicklow beaches but Arklow loses pennant
There was mixed news for county Wicklow’s beaches this morning at the announcement of the internationally recognised Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards as four beaches maintained their high standards, but one county Wicklow spot lost out.
An Taisce, the body overseeing the awards in Ireland found Arklow’s South Beach did not meet the required water quality to retain its Green Coast Award status this year, after being recognised for this award for the first time last year.
Four county Wicklow beaches maintained their exceptionally high standards and were once again awarded Blue Flag designation, these are Bray South Promenade, Greystones, Brittas Bay North and Brittas Bay South Beach.
The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels. It originated in France in 1985 when French coastal local authorities were awarded the flag for compliance with sewage treatment and bathing water quality criteria and was launched as an International programme as part of the “European Year of the Environment in 1987.
This year has been a record setting year in regards Irish beaches. In 1988, the first year sites were awarded outside of France, 19 beaches and two marinas received the Blue Flag in Ireland. This year, An Taisce awarded 90 Blue Flags awards, up two on last year’s total.
They also handed out 60 Green Coast awards, This number fell by two this year due to a number of factors that included not being unable to provide fulltime lifeguards due to the Covid-19 outbreak.