Blue flag beach inspectors, we salute you. It can’t be easy measuring more than 30 separate criteria’s for water quality, litter management, dog control and environmental ethics while the rest of us are just lounging in deckchairs or building sandcastles. Inspecting Anglesey’s beaches must be a particularly tough gig. With 125 miles of coastline, we’ve got rather a lot of them. In all shapes and sizes.
Little bays and rocky coves. Long sandy beaches. Even a beach with a forest attached at Newborough. And in 2011 no fewer than six of them were awarded the ultimate accolade of a Blue Flag.
Step forward Benllech, Church Bay, Llanddona, Llanddwyn, Port Dafarch and Trearddur Bay. Not to mention the seven beaches that won a Seaside Award to prove that they’re clean, safe and well-managed. Or the 16 that scooped the Green Coast Award for unspoiled rural beaches.
Thanks heavens our intrepid inspectors don’t have to measure the quality of the ice cream or the excellence of the rock pools. They’d be so busy they would never get home. And anyway we’ve got the media for that sort of thing.
The Times newspaper, for instance, who voted the sheltered sandy cove of Porth Dafarch one of ‘The 40 Best British Beaches’ or Coast magazine, who placed Lligwy beach in their ‘10 Best Picnic Spots by the Sea’.
They were very taken with the sausage-and-bacon baps from the café on the shallow shelving beach (perfect for paddling). They liked the homemade cakes and the ice cream from Plas Farm. And yes, they loved the rockpools, too.
They didn’t even mention the ancient fish trap, the island where you can spot seals, dolphins and porpoises - or the beach hut selling everything from body boards to wind breaks. Perhaps they nodded off after all that food.