My Beach, Your Beach campaign makes a splash

Keep Scotland Beautiful extends initiative to make improvements at three of Scotland’s beaches

We are delighted to announce that our My Beach, Your Beach campaign - which aimed to make improvements in water quality at three of Scotland’s popular beaches in the summer - has been a soaring success.

The campaign, which ran initially throughout the summer of 2018, raises awareness of the polluting impacts from dog fouling, or from gulls which are encouraged by feeding and leaving litter. The three beaches have all faced challenges in improving the quality of their bathing water as measured by SEPA. These were:  

  • South Beach, Ayr
  • Portobello Beach, Edinburgh
  • Fisherrow Sands, Musselburgh

My Beach, Your Beach ran a series of initiatives, from community clean up events to bright signage along the shore front. As a result, the initiative managed to record a reduction in littering of 12-15% across all three beaches, bolster online engagement with the public and increase awareness about the impact of behaviour on water quality.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

“The Scottish Government is pleased to support this campaign. Keeping our beaches and bathing waters clean is a key element of our Programme for Government commitment to protect Scotland’s natural environment and the health of our communities.

“By supporting the My Beach, Your Beach campaign, and working closely with stakeholders, we can help to develop long term solutions to the challenges facing Scotland’s coastlines and keep our beaches clean for everyone to enjoy.”

The campaign will continue to complement the range of work currently undertaken by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency on bathing water quality.

Calum McPhail, Environment Scientist Manager of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), said:

“It’s encouraging to see the impact the campaign has had so far in terms of raising the public’s awareness of the impact of their behaviours at the seaside. When it comes to bathing water quality, we all need to work together to make it better – visitor behaviour is one key aspect of that, along with improvements to sewer infrastructure and reducing agricultural pollutants.”

We will continue the campaign in 2019 - seeking to make even more improvements to the bathing water at each of the beaches. This will focus on three key areas:

  • Reminding dog owners to ‘bag it and bin it’
  • Encouraging people to not feed the gulls
  • Urging visitors to put litter in the bin or take it home


Aoife Hutton, Project Officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented:

“The My Beach Your Beach campaign played a pivotal part in a range of activities being undertaken by SEPA, the Scottish Government and other agencies to tackle known sources of bathing water pollution. We are really pleased with the outcomes of the campaign and look forward to continuing our work with communities at Fisherrow, Portobello and Ayr in the summer of 2019.

“The results from the initial tranche of activity clearly demonstrate that we can all play a part in cleaning up bathing waters - improving the experience at the seaside for locals and visitors alike. We can all be a part of the solution and ensure cleaner water for us all to enjoy.”

Read our summer 2018 report to learn more about our My Beach, Your Beach phase one findings. For more information get in touch with us at cleanup@keepscotlandbeautiful.org

17 December 2018

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