Environmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful, has announced that Scotland has increased the number of beaches which now boast Scottish Beach Awards status - recognising the high standards provided to locals and visitors across the country.
Signalling the start of the traditional Scottish bathing season on 1st June, the annual Scottish Beach Awards celebrate some of the best managed beaches in the country and act as a benchmark for local environmental quality on Scotland’s coastline.
Two new beaches join the award winners in 2018, bringing the impressive total to 61 in Scotland that will be flying the Scottish Beach Awards flag from the start of next month. The new additions are Prestwick in South Ayrshire, and Yellowcraigs in East Lothian, which returns after a year of absence.
Many of the beaches are long standing award winners that have managed to maintain consistent quality of facilities over many years. This includes Gullane Bents in East Lothian and St Andrews West Sands in Fife which have both received the accolade for 26 years, and Aberdour Silver Sands also in Fife and Nairn Central in the Highlands that will be flying the flag for 25 consecutive years this year.
Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented, “Now in their 26th year, the Scottish Beach Awards help to set the standard for our stunning coastlines and inland shores - making sure that they provide visitors with litter free sand, excellent amenities and helpful information about water quality.
“Organisations from all across Scotland have been working hard to ensure that the beach continues to provide a great day out for all the family while benefitting people’s health, wellbeing and local economies.”
For a beach to be successful in achieving a Beach Award, it has to meet significant, and varied, criteria, including the provision of information on water quality.
Focusing on local environmental quality, the award is designed to complement the work currently undertaken by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency on bathing water quality and the RNLI on beach safety.
Fife has also retained its title as the region with the most awards, home to 14 award winning beaches. The Highlands is a close second with 12 and Aberdeenshire has eight.
Fife’s Provost, Jim Leishman welcomed the awards and said, “This is a terrific achievement and fantastic news that Fife continues to lead the way in winning these awards. To win so many awards year in year out requires a great deal of dedicated hard work by many people. These accolades represent a marvellous achievement by our local communities, partners and council services.”
"This weekend I'll be walking the Fife Coastal Path for the tenth time and am looking forward to walking along, or viewing the majority of these wonderful beaches."
A map showing all the award-winning beaches with directions, facilities and images can be found at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/beach