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Local Environmental Quality

Award-winning beaches must display sufficient information to the beach user so that they can make an informed choice about bathing. Our awarded beaches include both designated bathing water sites and beaches which are non-designated. Both types must ensure that information on water quality is provided to the public.

 

To meet the requirements of the Beach Awards, beaches need to meet the following:

Major criteria

  • Information about water quality testing and the classification must be displayed, according to the bathing water designation status of the beach.
    • If a designated bathing water site, the water quality must be 'sufficient' or above, under the revised Bathing Water Directive (2007) classification standards.
    • If a designated bathing water site with poor water quality, SEPA live signage must be in place. If no live signage is present then the beach is not eligible for an award.
    • If not a designated bathing water site, signage must be in place to inform beach users that water quality monitoring is not in place.
  • The Beach Operator must inform the public of pollution or potential dangers by the posting of information at the information board and through the media if appropriate.
  • The Beach, intertidal area, backshore, dunes and any surrounding areas connected to the beach operation (e.g. carparks, playgrounds and amenity areas) must be predominantly free of litter, graffiti, fly tipping and dog fouling in line with Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse (CoPLAR) requirements.

Minor criteria

  • Where dogs are permitted, they must be kept under control within the award area.
  • Where camping is permitted under the Scottish Access Code, the Beach Operator should have adequate measures in place to ensure that camping does not affect award criteria i.e. cleanliness. The Beach Operator should manage unauthorised camping or driving on the beach.
  • The Beach Operator must ensure that any buildings, facilities and equipment present are maintained to a high standard. If buildings are found to be in a state that may pose danger to the public, this will be escalated to a major non-compliance issue.

Best Practice

  • Evidence that the interests of any protected sites (SSSIs) and rare or protected species have been addressed in liaison with the designating authority, Scottish Natural Heritage.
  • The Beach Operator should encourage and promote sustainable transport options such as bicycles (which may include provision for bicycle paths/storage) and bus travel (with appropriate timetable information).
  • The Beach Operator should provide adequate recycling facilities, where appropriate, and encourage beach users to recycle their waste.

To meet the requirements of the Beach Awards, designated bathing waters must meet all of the above as well as the following:

Major criteria

  • The Beach Operator must highlight waste water discharge points and riverine inputs within one mile of the beach/water to the public.
  • The Beach Operator must manage the conflicting needs of different users as well as local ecosystems, in line with health, safety and environmental plans.
  • Toilet facilities must be clean and well maintained, with provisions for washing/drying hands, toilet roll, waste bins and sanitary bins. Opening times should be displayed clearly. Areas where there are no toilet facilities will only be considered in special circumstances. Beach Operators should provide an explanation as to why there are no facilities and any arrangements which are in place for visitors.

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