Members of the local community gathered at Gullane Bents last week to celebrate three decades of beach management with representatives of environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful.
Gullane Bents has been managed successfully by East Lothian Council for the past 30 years and is one of just two beaches in Scotland to have consistently achieved award status since the scheme began. The second beach is St Andrews West Sands in Fife.
Combatting climate change, tackling litter and managing and enhancing places are key to what Keep Scotland Beautiful does, and Scottish beaches are all impacted by these challenges.
Those who manage them are work hard to make improvements, drive investment, and ensure that our beaches are well managed for nature and people.
This year 53 beaches, from Shetland to the Scottish Borders, were recognised with Scotland’s Beach Award by the charity which supports beach managers and communities striving to manage and improve the beaches they love and care for.
East Lothian now boasts eight award beaches.
Councillor Colin McGinn, Cabinet Spokesperson for Community Wellbeing and Sport, Countryside and Leisure, said:
“We are very proud of the fact that Gullane Bents has maintained its status in the Beach Awards for so many years. Gullane, like many other beaches in East Lothian, is very popular with local residents and visitors alike.
“Recognition by Keep Scotland Beautiful is testament to the very high standard of quality which has been achieved so consistently since the inception of the awards and is something we are very keen to build on.
“There’s lots to see and do in East Lothian this summer – including visiting fantastic events and attractions, excellent food and drink and welcoming local businesses.
“We hope this award will very much keep Gullane Bents, and East Lothian generally, on the map as a top coastal and countryside visitor destination. With recent improvements to facilities including new toilets, the beach is an ideal place to visit this summer and beyond.”
Barry Fisher, Keep Scotland Beautiful CEO, said:
“As the only accreditation for beach management of its kind in Scotland, we have supported beach managers and communities across Scotland to drive up environmental standards at many of our beaches for residents and visitors alike.
“Popular beaches attract a diverse range of visitors, all of whom look for different facilities and have different expectations. Scotland’s Beach Award scheme, and the collective expertise of beach managers across Scotland, drives improvements through a framework which supports the management of our beach environments and the people who visit them.
“Scotland’s coastlines and waters attract thousands of visitors every year and I’d encourage everyone to #RespectProtectEnjoy these beaches this summer.”
To be successful in achieving Scotland’s Beach Award, a beach must be managed in accordance with a number of criteria, including beach safety, access and facilities, and cleanliness. Focusing on local environmental quality, the award is designed to complement the work undertaken by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency on bathing water quality. The full criteria can be accessed here.
A map showing all the award-winning beaches with directions, facilities and images can be found at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/beach