Scotland’s leading environmental charity has given nine beaches in Aberdeenshire the coveted Seaside Award.
The Keep Scotland Beautiful accolade, awarded annually, recognises high standards of cleanliness, safety, and water quality.
Among the beaches proudly flying the Rural Seaside Award Flag in the region this year will be Balmedie, which has consistently flown the flag since 2006, and Collieston, a flag-bearer since 2004.
Derek Robertson, Keep Scotland Beautiful’s chief executive, said: “With an increasing number of people choosing to take their holidays at home in Scotland, there has never been a better time to enjoy your local Aberdeenshire beaches.
“The Seaside Award highlights that these beaches are an important resource to the local economy and that they are your beaches to enjoy.
“There is something for everyone amongst this year’s Scottish winners - from large beaches with lifeguarded swimming areas and bustling promenades, to secluded bays which are havens for wildlife, and windswept beaches perfect for wind & kite surfing.”
He added: “I am delighted that Aberdeenshire has achieved nine Seaside Award Flags this year – over the last 12 years the number of Seaside Awards in Scotland has more than quadrupled, there were just 13 in 2000.
“I would like to pay tribute to all the hard work that goes in to achieving and keeping these awards by Aberdeenshire Council and the local communities, and I would encourage everyone, particularly in this economic climate, to make use of the fantastic beaches we have around the Scottish coast this summer”.
Richard Thomson, Councillor for Ellon & District which includes Collieston, said: “I’m delighted that so many North East beaches, including Collieston, are continuing to be recognised in this way for their high standards.
“In Aberdeenshire, we’re very fortunate in the quality of our natural environment. I hope that this continued recognition of the high standard of our beaches and coastline will encourage more visitors to the area to sample what we have to offer.”
Earlier this week, Balmedie and Mid Formartine councillor Paul Johnston criticised the state of Balmedie beach after the area was strewn with litter following the recent fine weather.
He met council officers to seek measures to clean up the debris left by large crowds and see what improvements could be made to prevent a repeat.