Five Shetland beaches have received Rural Seaside Awards from Keep Scotland Beautiful.
Sands of Breckon, St Ninian’s Isle, Tresta, West Sandwick and West Voe beaches will all fly Seaside Award flags this year.
They are among 56 Scottish beaches which have achieved award status from the Seaside Award programme, which has been recognising Scotland’s best beaches for 18 years.
The beaches are categorised as either rural or resort beaches, and to qualify the beach must have well managed bathing water quality, good facilities, excellent litter management procedures, information provision and community involvement, as well as adequate safety measures.
Stephen Cooper, head of environment and building services at the SIC, said: “We are delighted that Shetland has once again increased the number of award winning beaches. Not only does it show the excellent quality of Shetland’s natural environment, but also the commitment of the local communities who play a significant part in the beach management.
“Last year, two of our beaches were in the top three favourites in Scotland. This year we hope to maintain that high standard.”
Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful Derek Robertson welcomed the announcement: “Over the last 11 years the number of Seaside Awards in Scotland has more than quadrupled, there were just 13 in 2000, so I would like to pay tribute to all the hard work that goes in to achieving and keeping these awards by Shetland Islands Council and the local communities.
“I’d also like to encourage people, particularly in this economic climate, to make use of the fantastic beaches we have around the Scottish coast this summer and then let us know what they think of them by using our exciting ‘score the shore’ rating system at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/coastal.”
A map showing all the award winning beaches with descriptions, directions, facilities and pictures can be found at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/coastal along with an option for people to rate their favourite award beaches.