Blunder sees Fife beach stripped of award

Kinghorn beach
Kinghorn beach

It was like something from the Oscars.

Residents in Kinghorn were delighted to be informed by Keep Scotland Beautiful that they had won a coveted Scottish Beach Award for Kinghorn’s Harbour Beach earlier this week.

Then just a day later they were told that there had been an error and, sorry, but they hadn’t!

Yesterday Keep Scotland Beautiful issued an apology to Kinghorn, saying it had been “incorrectly advised” of its status.

But locals say there are no hard feelings and the mistake has made them more determined than ever to win it back next time round.

Fortunately for Keep Scotland Beautiful the number of people who knew about Kinghorn Harbour Beach being wrongly given an award was fairly small – and those who did know were quick to see the funny side.

Alan McIlravie, chairman of the community council, said: “There was no malice intended and it was a simple clerical error.

“We’re working to rectify the problem and this has made us more determined to achieve the status next time round.”

Gordon Langlands, one of the newly elected councillors for the area, added: “Although it was a bit of a boo-boo, the news had only spread to a few people before the error was discovered.”

The Scottish Beach Awards celebrate the best managed beaches in the country and have acted as a benchmark for environmental quality around Scotland’s coastline for 25 years.

The criteria specifies that all beaches which are also designated bathing waters should comply with the EU Bathing Water Directive or failing that, have SEPA signage in place. It was here that the beach is understood to have failed, due to contamination of a small section where it enters a culvert.

A Keep Scotland Beautiful spokesperson said: “It is unfortunate that Kinghorn Harbour did not meet all of the strict criteria for the awards and we regret that it was incorrectly advised of its award status.

“We appreciate that the community will be bitterly disappointed. However, we are working with locals to ensure we can welcome the beach back as an award winner in the future.”