National recognition for 12 Highland Beaches

Photo of Derek Robertson, Chief Executive, Keep Scotland Beautiful; Provost of Nairn Laurie Fraser; Councillor Graham MacKenzie, Chairman of Community Services; and Fergus Ewing MSP - Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism
Derek Robertson, Chief Executive, Keep Scotland Beautiful; Provost of Nairn Laurie Fraser; Councillor Graham MacKenzie, Chairman of Community Services; and Fergus Ewing MSP - Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism

Issued by Keep Scotland Beautiful 

Keep Scotland Beautiful confirms 2014 winners of Seaside Awards

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The winners of the 2014 Scottish Seaside Awards were announced on 30 May 2014 by the independent environmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful, with more beaches than ever receiving credit for environmental quality and an exceptional seaside experience.

A record-breaking 61 beaches have been recognised this year, including twelve beaches in Highland being awarded Seaside Awards.

The awards, given annually, recognise good water quality and excellent litter, safety, and environmental management procedures – some of Highland’s beaches have been proudly flying the Seaside Award flag consistently since since 1994. Nairn Central has been recognised for 21 consecutive years.

Award winners include:
 Nairn Central, winner since 1994 (Nairn Leisure - High Life Highland managed)
 Achmelvich Bay, winner since 2001 (Highland Council managed)
 Brora Beach, winner since 2002 (Highland Council managed)
 Dornoch Beach, winner since 1995 (Highland Council managed)
 Durness, Sango Bay, winner since 2003 (Highland Council managed)
 Embo Beach, winner since 2002 (Highland Council managed)
 Golspie, winner Since 2001 (Highland Council managed)
 Loch Morlich, winner since 2009 (Forestry Commission Scotland managed)
 Melvich, winner since 2009 (Highland Council managed)
 Portmahomack, winner since 2004 (Highland Council managed)
 Shandwick Bay, winner since 2003 (Highland Council managed)
 Strathy Bay, winner since 2002 (Highland Council managed)

Welcoming the recognition for Highland Council managed beaches, Councillor Graham MacKenzie, Chair of The Highland Council’s Community Services Committee, said: “I am absolutely delighted that our Highland beaches have received these Seaside Awards and I would like to pay tribute to our staff in Community Services that help to keep them clean for visitors and local alike.”

The awards for 2014 have been unveiled by Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Fergus Ewing MSP, during a visit to Nairn Beach.

Celebrating some of the cleanest and best managed beaches in the country, the Seaside Award scheme has been used as a quality benchmark for Scotland's beaches for the past 22 years.

Seaside Awards help signpost visitors to the best managed areas of Scotland’s seaside and coastline. The most recent visitor figures show that in 2013, the Year of Natural Scotland, there was an increase in the share of seaside holidays to 17% (from 14%) of all holiday trips.

Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Fergus Ewing MSP, said: “Scotland has some of the best beaches in the world – from traditional bucket and spade resorts to remote rural locations – and this highest level of Seaside Awards is evidence of the quality and experience that they offer to visitors and locals alike.

“Our natural environment is an important reason as to why people visit Scotland, which we celebrated last year during Year of Natural Scotland. Our beaches play a large part in this, and it is fantastic to see so many gain accolades through the Seaside Awards, and the work that beach managers and Keep Scotland Beautiful do in ensuring this.”
Mark Bevan, Head of Campaigns at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said, “Scotland’s beaches have something for everyone to enjoy – excellent environmental quality, bustling promenades, secluded bays and biodiversity rich shores, therefore, maintaining standards is vitally important.

“Keep Scotland Beautiful is working to improve the quality of our local environment across the country, and we know that beaches are an important asset for local communities and their economies so it is great to announce so many awards in recognition of excellent management this year, including an outstanding achievement for twelve beaches in Highland.”

A map showing all the award-winning beaches with descriptions, directions, facilities and pictures can be found at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/coastal. There is also a new facility to enable people to choose the type of beach they wish to visit and an option for rating their favourite beaches.

ENDS