Three beaches in Mid and East Antrim have lapped up prestigious accolades for cleanliness and safety.
Carnlough, Ballygally and Brown’s Bay made a splash at a special presentation ceremony on Wednesday, organised by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.
Each beach was bestowed the Seaside Award for excellence in facilities, environmental management, education and water quality.
The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Audrey Wales MBE, received the awards on behalf of the borough at Ballyronan Marina.
Cllr Wales said: “Mid and East Antrim claimed three of 12 Seaside Awards distributed across Northern Ireland. This is a brilliant achievement and well-deserved recognition of our beautiful beaches.
“A huge amount of credit must go to residents and Council staff for ensuring our beaches are among the very best in Northern Ireland, and is a mark of their commitment and dedication to keeping them clean and safe for everyone to enjoy.
“With temperatures set to soar over the coming days, I urge all of our residents and visitors from outside the Borough to get out and enjoy our gorgeous, award-winning beaches – and continue to take any unwanted items home with them.”
The Seaside Award is the national standard for beaches across the UK. The standards required by this programme ensure visitors are guaranteed to find a clean, safe, attractive and well-managed coastal environment with varied levels of facilities provided depending on the location of the beach.
The aim of the award programmes is to improve the connection between people and their surroundings by encouraging them to learn more about, and spend time in, their outdoor environment.
Most award-winning beaches and marinas provide information points to showcase the best of our wildlife and how visitors can enjoy these natural wonders without disturbing or damaging them.
Tony Wilcox, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, said: “Having Northern Ireland’s world-class beaches managed to such high standards is helping improve the quality of our lives as well as attracting visitors.
“Beach operators are inspirational people showing that all of us can play our part in loving where we live. And, in most council areas, the Live Here Love Here campaign is building on this to inspire everyone to get involved in creating cleaner, greener and healthier places to live, learn and work.”