Bid to get bathing status for Largo beach

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A community council is bidding to have a section of Levenmouth coastline designated as a bathing beach.

Largo Community Council will be conducting a head count on the beach over the next couple of months, as part of an application to get the beach at Lower Largo designated as a bathing beach.

If the beach achieves this special status, it means the water quality will be monitored by SEPA, there will be improved toilet facilities, better access for disabled people, and improved signage, among other advantages.

The area covered by the status would reach from the turning circle at The Temple to the totem pole.

The bid is being led by community council member and local B&B owner Matthew Allan.

Explaining his reasoning for seeking bathing beach status, he said: “One of my hobbies is open water swimming.

“I go out to the buoy and then back to the pier.

“I swam over what I first thought was a burst pipe. I contacted SEPA and they emailed me a map which showed that it was a sewage outlet.

“It put me off swimming.”

He added: “Largo is a recreational beach and used by hundreds of people.

“It’s a popular beach. And this will bring the whole standard of the beach up.”

As part of the application, SEPA has been sampling the water.

The community council has also been tasked with doing head counts on three days over the next three months.

More than 300 people were counted using the beach on the first day – double the amount needed.

Robbie Blyth, operations manager at Fife Coast & Countryside Trust, expressed great delight with the community’s aspirations to get the beach recognised for designated bathing status.

He told the Mail: “Improving Fife water environment remains a priority for us all and we continue to work with all our partners to raise water quality standards in Fife.”

Scotland currently has 86 designated bathing beaches – 14 in Fife – which the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency monitor for water quality.