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My Beach, Your Beach

My Beach, Your Beach is our latest campaign aiming to improve beach bathing water quality by tackling gull and dog fouling, and littering.

Over summer 2018, we are running a series of behaviour change interventions at three well known beaches: South Beach in Ayr, Fisherrow Sands in Musselburgh and Portobello Beach in Edinburgh. 

There are 86 designated bathing waters across Scotland which the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) monitor.  By taking regular water samples at these beaches, SEPA can predict the quality of the water.  All of the beaches we are focusing on have had challenges with bathing water quality for a number of years, so the campaign is designed to reverse this trend.

SEPA's research has confirmed the link between our behaviour on the land and the cleanliness of the seawater.  The bacteria in dog and gull fouling has a negative impact on water quality, so the campaign will trial a number of interventions to tackle these.  Through encouraging dog owners to bag and bin dog waste and by removing additional food sources for gulls by promoting responsible disposal of litter, we are aiming to reduce the pollution arising from dog and gull poo at Scottish beaches.

The three beaches will all have bespoke behaviour change interventions installed, including:

  • Colourful bin wraps with key campaign messaging to nudge people to dispose of their litter properly,
  • Signage around the beach raising awareness of the campaign,
  • A series of community engagement events, explaining how gulls, litter and dog fouling can seriously impact on water quality.
  • Business packs for local business, including stickers, posters and information to promote and engage with the campaign,

All of the interventions will be monitored to see which has the biggest impact and will complement the range of work currently undertaken by SEPA and Scottish Water, who are also carrying out a range of improvements to these beaches. 

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