Sun shines on Aberdeen’s beach standards

Environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful has announced that Aberdeen Ballroom Beach has 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 has acted as the national benchmark for local environmental quality around Scotland’s coastline for a quarter of a century.

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett said: “It is fantastic news that Aberdeen’s beach has once again been included in the annual beach awards.

“We are very lucky to have our beautiful beach right in the city, with its long stretch of golden sand and fantastic wildlife such as dolphins

“We look forward to welcoming tourists and residents to look around the city this summer and hope they have a great time visiting our beach alongside our other attractions.”

Flags from the 2017 awards will, from next week, be flying at 60 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 12, Aberdeenshire boasts eight and is closely followed by East Lothian with seven.

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

Amongst the award winners is Scotland’s busiest beach in Ayr and Loch Morlich, the only freshwater, and highest sandy beach with award in Scotland.

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 Aberdeen’s coastlines offer a great day out whilst recognising the wider benefits of a good quality environment 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[1], 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.

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 at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/beach

[1] http://www.moraychamber.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/CoastalTourisminScotlandTopicPaper2016.pdf