Keep Wales Tidy is a Welsh national voluntary environmental charity which works towards achieving "a clean, safe and tidy Wales". It works in partnership with Local Authorities, schools and community groups, and organisations such as Waste Awareness Wales and Environment Wales in order to achieve these goals.
In 2000 Keep Wales Tidy established itself as a separate company, beginning the process of separation from the parent group, and this was completed in 2005. Today there are no formal ties between the two groups, although they often collaborate on common issues.
Keep Wales Tidy runs a number of projects, including :
This project works to improve the environment in Wales. The Welsh Assembly Government has given all Welsh local authorities a Tidy Towns grant, and each one now has a Tidy Towns Officer. Much of their work in this area is on general litter issues. Through this initiative, Keep Wales Tidy is also able to offer financial assistance to groups who wish to improve their home areas, with grants awarded to cover the cost of tools, equipment, publicity and training.
This project works with children and young people in the school environment. Sustainability issues are a part of the scheme, and 3 awards can be earned - Bronze, Silver, and Green Flag.
Keep Wales Tidy administers 3 different awards related to beaches, namely the Blue Flag Award, the Green Coast Award and the Seaside Award. All 3 categories have the environmental management of the beach as a central factor, be this by the local authority, or by volunteer organisations. The awards are made annually, but may be withdrawn during the season if the criteria are not fulfilled, or if circumstances change.Welsh Water / D?r Cymru plays an important role in this work, through its Green Sea Partnership.
The Blue Flag Award, introduced in 1999, is given where strict criteria are met, relating to water quality, cleanliness, management and safety. A total of 41 beaches and 5 marinas were awarded Blue Flags in 2011.
The Green Coast Award (originally known as the Green Seas Initiative) has water quality and environmental criteria, and is awarded to more isolated locations where the infrastructure and facilities are insufficient to be able to achieve full Blue Flag or Seaside (Resort) status. The Green Coast Award is unique in that it recognises Guideline water quality (i.e. the EU designation for water quality). 47 beaches were awarded the Green Coast Award in 2011.
The Seaside Award is given annually to beaches which can attain a minimum standard in water quality, cleanliness, safety, and management. Given the variation in types of beaches, two categories of beach are considered - resort and rural. Rural beaches may have little in the way of facilities (an information board must show the nearest facilities), whereas resort beaches will provide such facilities as lifeguards, First Aid points, toilets, car parks, and safe access, and access for dogs will be limited. The number of beaches awarded Seaside Awards in 2011 was 104.