Leven beach has struck gold standard in the newly published edition of the Good Beach Guide.
It was one of only five Fife beaches recommended for excellent water quality by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS)
The other four were Elie Harbour and Earlsferry, Elie’s Ruby Bay, Roome Bay at Crail and Pettycur Bay.
Billowness in Anstruther was given a guideline rating, the MCS standard for higher water quality.
Calum Duncan, MCS Scotland’s programme manager, said he hoped the guide would boost tourism in the area.
“Most people don’t realise what a big impact the weather can have on bathing water quality, but this has really been highlighted in the last few years,” he said.
“According to the Met Office, 2008, 2009 and 2012 were amongst the wettest summers on record since 1910, leading to less Scottish bathing waters meeting minimum and higher water quality standards due to increased pollution running off rural and urban areas and overloaded sewers and into the sea.”
Significantly, no beach had failed mandatory tests last summer, he said, despite more rainfall in Scotland than other parts of the UK.
”The main challenge now is maintaining these standards, whatever the weather.”