Prestwick beach was returned to it's former glory in 2017
Environmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful, has announced that four beaches in South Ayrshire have received Scottish Beach Awards in 2018, recognising the high standards provided to users - from keeping sand litter free to providing excellent information and accessible amenities.
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 Yellowcraig in East Lothian, which returns after a year of absence.
The South Ayrshire winning beaches include:
- Maidens Beach
A full regional list and breakdown of award winners can be found here.
Councillor Ian Cochrane, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and the Environment said, "With Scotland basking in fantastic weather this week we're proud that four of our beaches have been recognised with these national awards.
"While Ayr, Maidens and Troon regularly feature we're delighted to see that Prestwick has made the grade after a major exercise returned the amenity beach to its former glory, in close partnership with the local community.
"I'd like to thank all those working tirelessly through the summer months and for all those who remove litter to help keep our beaches clean and safe for all."
Many of the award winners are long standing beaches who 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.
Fife has also retained its title as the region with the most awards, home to 15 award winning beaches. The Highlands is a close second with 12.
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 alongside benefitting people's health, wellbeing and local economies."
For a beach to be successful in achieving a Beach Award, it has to meet a significant, and varied, criteria, including the provision of information on water quality. The full criteria can be accessed here.
Focussing on local environmental quality, the award is designed to complement the work currently undertaken by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency on bathing water quality.
A map showing all the award-winning beaches with directions, facilities and images can be found here.