A host of north and north-east beaches have been recognised for their beauty by an environmental group.
The winners of the 2014 Scottish Seaside Awards have been announced today by the independent environmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful.
More beaches than ever have received credit for environmental quality and an exceptional seaside experience.
A record-breaking 61 beaches have been awarded this year including nine rural beaches in Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen Beach, 12 in the Highlands and five in Shetland.
Among the winners were Peterhead’s Lido, Philorth Waters near Fraserburgh, Aberdeen Beach, Brora and Shetland’s West Voe.
The awards for 2014 were unveiled by Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Fergus Ewing MSP, during a visit to Nairn Beach.
He said: “Scotland has some of the best beaches in the world – from traditional bucket and spade resorts to remote rural locations – and this highest level of Seaside Awards is evidence of the quality and experience that they offer to visitors and locals alike.
“Our natural environment is an important reason as to why people visit Scotland, which we celebrated last year during Year of Natural Scotland.
“Our beaches play a large part in this, and it is fantastic to see so many gain accolades through the Seaside Awards, and the work that beach managers and Keep Scotland Beautiful do in ensuring this.”
Celebrating some of the cleanest and best managed beaches in the country, the Seaside Award scheme has been used as a quality benchmark for Scotland’s beaches for the past 22 years.
Derek Robertson, chief executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “Scotland’s beaches have something for everyone to enjoy – excellent environmental quality, bustling promenades, secluded bays and biodiversity rich shores, therefore, maintaining standards is vitally important.
“We are working to improve the quality of our local environment across the country, and we know that beaches are an important asset for local communities and their economies so it is great to announce so many awards in recognition of excellent management this year.”
Councillor Neil Cooney, housing and environment convener at Aberdeen City Council, said: “We are delighted to have once again achieved the Seaside Resort Award for the city’s beach.
“This announcement means we have retained this award for eight years in a row and is further recognition for the staff who work hard to keep the beach clean and ensure its facilities and environment retain high standards.”
The winners of the Seaside Awards 2014 for the north and north-east are:
Aberdeen Beach and Balmedie, Collieston, Cruden Bay, Fraserburgh, Philorth Waters, Inverboyndie, Peterhead Lido, Sandend and Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire.
Achmelvich Bay, Brora Beach, Dornoch Beach, Durness, Sango Bay, Embo Beach, Golspie, Loch Morlich, Melvich, Nairn Central, Portmahomack, Shandwick Bay and Strathy Bay in the Highlands.
Sands of Breckon, St Ninian’s Isle, Tresta, West Sandwick and West Voe in Shetland.