The coveted Blue Flag doesn't fly over Penarth's Beach -

The coveted Blue Flag doesn’t fly over Penarth’s Beach –

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has been trumpeting the award this week of a  “prestigious” international Blue Flag for the beach at Whitmore Bay, Barry – one of three  awards made to different Barry beaches 

A Blue Flag Award has also been made to Penarth Marina but the Labour run Vale Council failed to nominate Penarth Beach.

Penarth Marina was awarded a Blue Flag - but not Penarth Beach

Penarth Marina was awarded a Blue Flag – but not Penarth Beach

Other awards went to Southerdown, to pebbly Cold Knap, and to Barry Island’s other beach at Jackson’s Bay .

Fun in the sun on Penarth foreshore

Fun in the sun on Penarth foreshore

The lack of an award for the super-clean sea-shore at Penarth is likely to be a disappointment for the  Volunteer Beach-Wardens who work so hard throughout the year to keep the  Penarth foreshore free of litter.

It turns out that Penarth Beach was never in the running for such an award – not because the beach isn’t clean enough –  but because the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council apparently didn’t submit an application for Penarth’s beach to be considered in the scheme.

High tide at Penarth is ideal for cooling-off.

High tide at Penarth is ideal for cooling-off.

It’s claimed that “The Blue Flag Award is a highly respected international award owned by the Foundation of Environmental Education (FEE) and runs in 49 countries across the world.

However Blue Flags are not like “Which” consumer reports – or “secret shopper” tests –  and no random anonymous inspectors call around to test the sand, analyse the sea water and dispense the seaside equivalent of  Michelin stars.

Penarth Beach does have some firm sandy patches

At low tide Penarth Beach is flat and firm and has plenty of space for a race

The Blue Flag scheme is actually operated in Wales by the  so-called “charity” Keep Wales Tidy –  which leaves it to the  local authorities themselves to select the candidate beaches in their area for which they would like to receive an award.

Councils use a  tick-box checklist of  the basic requirements and then submit an application for their nominated beaches to be awarded a Blue Flag,

Dogs are not allowed on Blue Flag beaches in the summer

Dogs are not allowed on Blue Flag beaches in the summer

The checklist (which appears in full on )  requires – amongst other things – that:-

  • No dogs should be on the beach during the summer
  • The beach should be free of litter and detritus.
  • A part-time lifeguard should be on hand
  • There should be public drinking water available on the beach
  • There should be toilets and parking nearby and easy access
  • The sea-water quality as tested by Natural Resources Wales has to be of “excellent” quality.(In fact it wasn’t until last year that the sea-water quality at Whitmore Bay, Barry was good enough to reach the Natural Resources Wales  “excellent” standard.)
Penarth's sand is firm enough to wheel a push chair over it

Penarth’s sand is firm enough to wheel a push chair over it – but there are no checks on water quality

Penarth, however, is not one of the locations at which Natural Resources Wales even carries out regular monitoring  of sea-water quality and therefore no statistics for the quality of sea-water at Penarth or its bacterial content are available on the organisation’s website.

Natural Resources Wales however does  regularly monitor no less that 3 separate sites in Barry –  (Porthkerry, Whitmore Bay and Jackson’s Bay).

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Penarth Daily News email address . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
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  1. johnm says:

    are there public loos, etc, in the marina then?

    • Boaty McBoatface says:

      Yes -there are public loos but only for berth holders – so anyone needing the loo needs to license a berth first (it costs around £3000 a year). You then use your personal electronic key tag to get through the main gate and then use it again to get into the marina building.
      The nearest public loos for people who don’t have boats are half way along the barrage

  2. Martin gossage says:

    Right that’s it!!! Let’s build a wall around ‘Barry and then they can isolate themselves as much as they want to. Can’t comment on motivation here but this is a grossly neglicant act . We should go for independence !!!! A Free Penarth with its own army and weapons to march on Hilton Rd .Burn down the mission , free the people .

  3. sjleworthy says:

    Parking near by? How near? How many spaces?

  4. AK says:

    Is not the blue flag in the photo a European blue flag, not the Tidy Britain seaside award ? The European award requires lifeguarding, shore facilites, dog free etc. Plus swimming is prohibited in the Marina, so it seems a bit superfluous. The water quality requirement for the Tidy Britain award is much lower thatn the blue flag (bare legal minimum !).

    However, I am old enough to remember when Whitmore Bay was black with coal dust, and you did not actually swim in the sea there, you just went through the motions.

    • snoggerdog says:

      most of my classmates swam in the dock regularly,as long as “lockjaw” wasnt around (docks pc) that would be mid fifties.i was too busy laying eggs!

  5. Martin gossage says:

    I hope my morning motions don’t come out in the sea !!!

  6. Lindsay says:

    Could anybody seriously suggest that Penarth has a Blue Flag beach

  7. Max Wallis says:

    The Council used to test the seawater at Penarth in the ’90s, but discontinued as the sewage bacteria were very high (prior to the East Moors sewage works). The NRW test only the Euro-designated beaches. Though the East Moors sewage treatment would have decreased the bacteria, a lot are still bypassing it in ‘storm’ overflows, including Cardiff Bay waters. No desire to test Penarth seawater now, for it would open a can of worms.

Comments are closed.