Learn more about bathing water quality and your role in making sure that the sand and sea at Portobello is clean for everyone to enjoy.
A haven for shorebirds
Portobello beach is part of the Firth of Forth Special Protection Area, meaning it contains important biodiversity, particularly birds.
The in and out of tides on beaches like Portobello attracts a variety of water birds, who feed on the small creatures left exposed in shallow waters, sand flats and mud flats when the tides go out.
You’ll likely hear them before you see them -hence their Scots name ‘pleep’.
Spot these distinctive black and white shore birds foraging mussels or rooting around for critters in the sand at low tide, using their long red beaks.
Their long blue-black shells, often with a pearly interior, are a common find on Portobello beach. They can be found living on intertidal rocks and piers in the area.
Mussels live their lives attached to hard surfaces where the water line goes up and down with the tide. They tend to live in clusters, which helps them hold on against the waves. They can ‘walk’ to adjust their position and when out of the water, they close up tight to avoid drying up. They range greatly in size and will generally grow bigger in deeper water.
Pottery & The Kilns
The Bottle Kilns are the last remaining buildings of the pottery industry in Scotland. Built at the turn of the century on the site of what used to be the old harbour, they were used to fire pottery skillfully crafted by Buchan Pottery potters until 1972, when the business relocated. They are called 'Bottle Kilns' because of their bottle-like shape.
You can view a catalogue of some of the items created in these Kilns in this gallery.