Scotland's beach awards announced

Press release   •   May 31, 2016 15:55 BST

Celebrating some of the best managed beaches in the country, Keep Scotland Beautiful has introduced Scotland’s Beach Award as a quality benchmark for the provision of facilities to visitors along Scotland’s coastline.

Sixty beaches have, for the first time ever, received the newly launched accreditation for beach management in Scotland. You can view them on our map, along with directions and details of the facilities available.

From litter free sand, to information provision and toilet provision to maintaining beautiful promenades and secluded bays all the recognised beaches focus on improving and enhancing 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.

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said:

"This brand new award focuses on the local environmental quality of Scotland’s beaches - from litter free sand to the provision of information for visitors.

"Beaches are an important asset to communities and their economies. As a year round facility, it is vital that our coastlines are maintained to the highest standards and continue to attract visitors from near and far.

"It is greatly encouraging that so many beaches have received an award. Environmental quality needs priority attention and we will continue our work to support organisations efforts ensure that Scotland’s coastline offers a great day out."

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:

"We are delighted to see so many beaches recognised by these awards, which reflect the high quality experience visitors can expect when taking a trip to the seaside - whether it be to soak up the summer sun or blow away the winter blues.

"Scotland's landscape and scenery plays an important role in tourism and remains the top attraction for domestic and international visitors alike, which is in no small part due to the thousands of miles of stunning coastline and its incredible array of beautiful beaches."

Calum McPhail, SEPA Environmental Quality manager, said:

"SEPA has responsibility for sampling and testing water at Scotland’s 84 official EU designated bathing waters from 1 June – 15 September. The results from the bathing water season are then reported to the European Commission on an annual basis.

"SEPA welcomes the new focus of Scotland’s Beach Awards – recognising the ongoing commitment of local authorities and communities to meet high quality land based criteria, including beach cleanliness, facilities management and information provision.  This complements our work to drive up standards of bathing water quality at Scotland’s designated bathing waters.  We would encourage those who intend to enter the water to swim to make use of our electronic information signs where these are available. This real-time water quality information is also available via SEPA’s website, smartphone app and Beachline number."

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Notes to Editors

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