The Seaside Award is a mark of quality management and clean water for beaches across the UK.
The Seaside Award works towards sustainable development of beaches through strict criteria dealing with Water Quality, Environmental Education and Information, Environmental Management, and Safety and Other Services. In order to ensure the high standards are maintained, Seaside Awards must be renewed annually. The applications are evaluated by a National Jury made up of experts in public health, tourism and other relevant fields.
Because the awards are based in part on water quality data, they are only applicable during the bathing season when bathing water is being tested. The water quality on 'identified bathing waters' (basically popular beaches) in Northern Ireland is measured by the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs between May and September, and you can check the results on the nidirect web site for water quality. Water quality may be assessed independently by a laboratory with an independently accredited quality management system on behalf of a Beach Manager, allowing them to apply for an award on non-designated beaches.
Dogs are allowed on Seaside Award beaches unless local regulations prohibit them, but they must be under proper control and you must clean up after them.
"By achieving the high standards required by the Rural Seaside Award [a previous designation] and by flying the flag, Mid and East Antrim showcases its three most popular beaches of Carnlough, Ballygally and Brown’s Bay and in so doing, draws attention to the pride it takes in them. With such care taken in our environment, we trust that tourists will have an enjoyable and safe time, will have happy memories and be keen to come back again."
Lynda Foy, Countryside Officer, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council
For more detailed information about the criteria, to learn how the Seaside awards protect and promote the natural and built environment, or to raise an issue about a Seaside Award beach please contact us.
To find up-to-date information about the access, facilities, activities and events and dog requirements on offer at these and other beaches, check the Operator's website.