National recognition for Aberdeen beach
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. Aberdeen beach at the Beach Ballroom has been awarded a Resort Seaside Award the eight year in a row it has achieved this accolade.
The award, given annually, recognises good water quality and excellent litter, safety, and environmental management procedures. Aberdeen beach at the Beach Ballroom has been proudly flying the Seaside Award flag consistently since 2007.
Housing and Environment convener Councillor Neil Cooney said: "Aberdeen City Council is delighted to have once again achieved the Seaside Resort Award for the city's beach. This announcement means we have retained this award for eight years in a row and is further recognition for the staff who work hard to keep the beach clean and ensure its facilities and environment retain high standards.
"The beachfront at Aberdeen is a jewel in the city's crown and something we should all be proud of. As we enter the warmer months there will be an increase in the number of visitors to the beach area, with an inevitable increase in litter. We can all do our bit to ensure the beach is maintained to the consistent high standards recognised by Keep Scotland Beautiful."
Environment manager Steven Shaw added: "The beach receives daily attention from the council to ensure it is clean for everyone's continued enjoyment. The council also receives a great deal of extra support from the wider community in the upkeep of this fantastic attraction.
"I would like to thank the many partners, volunteers and community groups who do a fantastic job in helping to keep Aberdeen beach tidy and the special place it is. This award is recognition for the whole city."
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.
Mr Ewing 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 in Aberdeen".
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.