Seaside town flies the flag for region's best beaches.
Byline: Huw Silk email@example.com
TWO of Porthcawl's beaches are the only stretches of South East Wales coastline recognised in the 2015 coastal awards today.
Rest Bay - next to the Royal Porthcawl Golf Club - and Trecco Bay were both awarded Blue Flags for the quality of their beaches.
A total of 39 others across Wales have also been given one of the Blue Flags, which recognises beaches for the quality of bathing water, the cleanliness of the beach, controlled access by dogs, an adequate number of lifeguards, the monitoring of marine and freshwater habitats and visitors' services.
Dozens more Welsh beaches won either a Green Coast Award or a Seaside Award.
However, none of the beaches in the Vale of Glamorgan which have previously been given either Blue or Green flags, which include Barry's Whitmore Bay and Penarth Marina, were included.
Lesley Jones, the chief executive of Keep Wales Tidy, which hosts today's Wales Coast Awards ceremony, said: "The coastline is very important for Wales as it can boost local economies and the tourism industry and allows us to showcase our beautiful country.
"The awards are a great way of recognising the excellent practice and work that our beach managers and volunteers carry out each year to help maintain and improve the high standard of our coast.
"The public can rest assured that by visiting an award-winning beach in Wales that they are visiting one of the best beaches in the world."
Carl Sargeant, Minister for Natural Resources in the Welsh Government, added: "The awards demonstrate the high standard of Welsh bathing water quality and reflect the diversity of our beautiful coastline, which is enjoyed by our communities and the millions of visitors each year.
"These awards also recognise the hard work of everyone involved in achieving and maintaining these high standards. "We will continue to work with our partners, including Keep Wales Tidy, to ensure our coastline achieves and maintains the highest possible standards year-onyear."
Beaches in Conwy and Denbighshire, North Wales, have made the biggest strides since last year, gaining an extra four Blue Flags.
Pembrokeshire again leads the way in Wales, with 11 Blue Flags and 12 Green Coast Awards. Gwynedd and Anglesey also scored well.
Meanwhile, Swansea won the only Blue Flag for a marina in Wales.
The Wales Coast Awards ceremony, hosted by Keep Wales Tidy, takes place in Pembrokeshire today.
Rest Bay in Porthcawl, which has been awarded a Blue Flag for the quality of its beach