Environmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful, has announced that 15 beaches from across Fife have been recognised for their high standards – from keeping sand litter free to providing excellent information and accessible amenities.
Signalling the start of the traditional Scottish bathing season on June 1, 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.
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 twelve. Aberdeenshire boasts eight and is closely followed by East Lothian with seven.
Fife’s award winning beaches are: Aberdour Black Sands, Aberdour Silversands, Anstruther Billowness, Burntisland, Pettycur Bay, Kinghorn, Kirkcaldy Seafield, Pathhead Sands, Leven East, Elie Harbour, Ruby Bay, Crail Roome Bay, Kingsbarns, St Andrews East Sands, and West Sands.
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 Fife’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.
Ann Camus, tourism partnership manager at Fife Council, said: “I am thrilled that Fife’s coastlines continue to be recognised for their excellent facilities and impeccable standards of cleanliness, which allow visitors to enjoy and experience the beautiful surroundings.
“The coastlines are an important element of Fife’s tourism culture and with a continual increase in visitor numbers, over three million visitors as of 2015, those numbers are expected to increase further over the coming years. To be top of the regional league table, with St Andrew’s West Sands receiving consistent recognition over the last 25 years, is a real achievement.
“The high numbers of visitors who are expected to visit Fife’s coastlines in the next couple of months will significantly contribute to the Kingdom’s economy and tourism, and I am confident of another successful summer period.”
A map showing all the award-winning beaches with directions, facilities and images can be found at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/beach