Highland success in Scottish beach awards


Environmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful, has announced that 12 beaches in the Highlands have received Scottish Beach Awards in 2018, recognising the high standards provided to users - from keeping sand litter free to providing excellent information and accessible amenities.

Signalling the start of the traditional Scottish bathing season on 1st June, the annual Scottish Beach Awards celebrate some of the best managed beaches in the country and act as a benchmark for local environmental quality on Scotland’s coastline.

Two new beaches join the award winners in 2018, bringing the impressive total to 61 in Scotland that will be flying the Scottish Beach Awards flag from the start of next month. The new additions are Prestwick in South Ayrshire, and Yellowcraig in East Lothian, which returns after a year of absence.

The Highland winning beaches include:

  • ●Achmelvich Bay
  • ●Brora Beach
  • ●Dornoch Beach
  • ●Loch Morlich
  • ●Portmahomack

 A full regional list and breakdown of award winners can be found here.

Convener of The Highland Council, Cllr Bill Lobban said:

“The natural environment is an important reason why people visit the Highlands and our beaches play a huge part in this, as well as being important assets for local communities and their economies which is why it is vital that our coastlines are maintained to the highest standards to continue to attract visitors from near and far.

“I am absolutely delighted that the successful coast management and excellent quality of these Highland beaches has once again been nationally recognised. It is evidence of the quality and top experience that they offer and to do so well year after year is a great achievement for everyone involved. I would like to pay tribute to our staff and thank them for all that they do to help to keep them clean for visitors and locals to enjoy.”

Many of the award winners are long standing beaches who have managed to maintain consistent quality of facilities over many years. This includes Gullane Bents in East Lothian and St Andrews West Sands in Fife which have both received the accolade for 26 years, and Aberdour Silver Sands also in Fife and Nairn Central in the Highlands that will be flying the flag for 25 consecutive years.

Fife has also retained its title as the region with the most awards, home to 15 award winning beaches. The Highlands is a close second with 12.

Jack Mackay, for the Forest Enterprise Team responsible for Loch Morlich, said:

“As has been seen during the amazingly hot weather at the weekend, Loch Morlich is a hugely popular hidden gem that really comes into its own when the sun comes out.

“Thanks to these awards, Loch Morlich – the beach in the Cairngorms! – is on the must-see list for thousands of visitors every year and that’s great news for us and for the local community.”

For a beach to be successful in achieving a Beach Award, it has to meet a significant, and varied, criteria, including the provision of information on water quality. The full criteria can be accessed here.

Focussing on local environmental quality, the award is designed to complement the work currently undertaken by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency on bathing water quality.

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented:

“Now in their 26th year, the Scottish Beach Awards help to set the standard for our stunning coastlines and inland shores - making sure that they provide visitors with litter free sand, excellent amenities and helpful information about water quality.

“Organisations from all across Scotland have been working hard to ensure that the beach continues to provide a great day out for all the family alongside benefitting people’s health, wellbeing and local economies.”

A map showing all the award-winning beaches with directions, facilities and images can be found at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/beach

31 May 2018