Seven Blue Flag awards for Scottish beaches

Image caption,
Seven beaches in Scotland can fly the coveted Blue Flag

A beach in the Scottish Borders has been awarded Blue Flag status for the first time.

Coldingham Bay is one of seven beaches in Scotland which have been given the coveted international award in 2010.

But Montrose Seafront in Angus and Elie Harbour Beach in Fife lost their Blue Flag this year after failing to meet the criteria.

Another 56 beaches have been commended for their quality by Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB).

Among those picking up the Seaside Award for the first time in 2010 include Sandend in Aberdeenshire, Abroath and Lunan Bay in Angus and Bruce Embankment in Fife.

Water quality

Special recommendations have also been given to 16 beaches which have achieved the award for more than 10 years in a row.

These include Gullane Bents in East Lothian, which has consistently won the accolade since the scheme began in Scotland in 1993.

The Seaside Award programme assesses beaches on litter management, information provision, risk assessment and water quality.

To achieve Blue Flag status, which is recognised across the world, the site must meet strict criteria including the highest EU standards of bathing water.

John Summers, chief executive of KSB, said: "Over the last 10 years the number of Seaside Awards in Scotland has more than quadrupled, there were just 13 in 2000.

"I am particularly delighted to welcome Coldingham Bay in the Scottish Borders to the Blue Flag list and to see more beaches joining the award scheme in Aberdeenshire and Angus too."

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said Scotland was recognised all over the world for "unspoilt and stunning" surroundings.

"The fact that the number of Seaside Awards has soared in the past decade is a major boost for the tourist industry," he added.

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