THE new year tide rolled in a sea change for Fife’s award winning beaches - they are now being looked after by Fife Coast and Countryside Trust (FCCT).
Fife Council staff and services officially transferred over to the charity on January 1 with it being put in charge of managing, protecting and improving their condition.
FCCT is regarded as one of the region’s leading environmental charities responsible for managing and conserving Fife’s countryside. It’s work includes managing the popular Fife Coastal Path, along with many other sites throughout the Kingdom.
Simon Phillips, FCCT’s business manager said the move was a “logical step”.
He added: “We are pleased to bring together these two complementary functions and believe that this transfer will be able to ensure that everyone has the best possible experience when they visit the coast.
“This year is the 10th anniversary of the opening of the coastal path from bridge to bridge and since then, the trust has extended the path to Kincardine and Newburgh, installed 40 new information panels along the path and also developed our welcome ports scheme, which now has over 50 businesses providing information and a warm welcome to users of the path.”
Although being an exciting time for FCCT, it has high standards to maintain with the Kingdom being the recipient of four of Scotland’s five blue flag awards and 14 coveted Keep Scotland Beautiful seaside awards last year.
With the transfer of the beaches, FCCT has also welcomed Fife’s beach and coastal officer Robbie Blyth to their team.
“Fife’s beaches are recognised nationally and internationally with accolades such as the blue flag and seaside awards,” said Mr Blyth.
“Work has already started, and we now have a revised beach litter plan in place which will include, for the first time, a dedicated all-year-round litter team for the coastal zone.
“FCCT will also manage lifeguards and other beach patrol staff as well as a number of the toilet facilities along Fife’s award-winning coast as part of its new remit.”