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Sun shines on Scotland's beach standards

Press Release   •   May 30, 2017 09:11 BST

Balmedie Beach in Aberdeenshire is among the winners.

Environmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful, has announced that 60 beaches from across Scotland have been recognised for 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 1 June, with families set to flock to Scottish shorelines to make the most of the warm weather, the Scottish Beach Awards celebrate some of the best managed beaches in the country and have acted as the national benchmark for local environmental quality at Scotland’s beaches for quarter of a century.

Nearly half of Scotland’s population lives within 5km of the coast, so the coastal environment plays a fundamental role in all our lives. Beaches are important to everyone who lives, visits and works near them, so it is important that they are managed in an environmentally sensitive way.

Flags from the 2017 awards will, from next week, be flying at beaches the length and breadth of Scotland, including at St Andrews West Sands and Gullane Bents - both of which are celebrating 25 years as award winners.

Fife boasts the most award-winning beaches in 2017 with 15 awarded beaches. The Highlands have an impressive twelve. Aberdeenshire boasts eight and is closely followed by East Lothian with seven.

A full list and breakdown of award winners can be found here.

Among the award winners are Scotland’s busiest beach in Ayr and the only freshwater, and highest, sandy beach Loch Morlich, near Aviemore.

Lunan Bay, in Angus has once again applied and been awarded after an absence of five years. One of the most beautiful beaches in Scotland, Lunan Bay has attracted many visitors throughout the ages, from Viking armies in the 10th century to generations of holidaymakers.

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “The Scottish Beach Awards set the standard for our stunning coastlines and inland shores - making sure that they are litter free, provide excellent facilities for families and encourage more visitors to our beautiful beaches.

“Going to the beach is a tradition that we want to continue, whilst protecting this valuable environment. It is vital that we maintain our support for organisations efforts to ensure that Scotland’s coastlines offer a great day out, whilst recognising the wider benefits of good quality beaches for people’s health and wellbeing and local economies.”

Having started out as the Scottish Seaside Awards in 1993 with only two entrants, the Scottish Beach Awards have gone from strength to strength - increasing 30 fold in the past 25 years.

With domestic visits to seaside locations in Scotland worth over £3m per annum to the Scottish economy , the awards serve as a quality benchmark for the provision of facilities to visitors - from assessing toilet provision to the maintenance of beautiful promenades and the cleanliness of secluded bays.

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.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “The Scottish Beach Awards play an important role in keeping our beautiful shorelines to a high standard. Trips to the seaside are incredibly popular, with our new Scotland Visitor Survey revealing that more than a third of our visitors enjoy going to the beach while on holiday. We would like to congratulate all the winners of this year’s awards and wish everyone a successful summer season.”

A map showing all the award-winning beaches with directions, facilities and images can be found at

Notes to Editors

  1. Keep Scotland Beautiful is the charity that campaigns, acts and educates on a range of local, national and global environmental issues to change behaviour and improve the quality of people’s lives and the places they care for. We are committed to making Scotland clean, green and more sustainable. Further details at
  2. Scotland's Beach Awards are the benchmark for quality beaches which are well managed and enjoyed by people across Scotland. Further details are available at:
  1. Media enquiries to Peter Duncan 07740 469 949 / or Kirsty Leiper 07908 781 331 /

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