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Cairngorms beach wins award

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A Highland beach glistens 1,000ft above sea level has won a prestigious national award for the fifth year running.

Loch Morlich near Aviemore took the Rural Beach Award a prize it has held since 2009.

Astonishingly, Loch Morlich is in the heart of Glenmore Forest Park, managed by Forestry Commission Scotland.

Jack Mackay, for the commission’s team in the Inverness, Ross and Skye District said: “Even though forestry is our stock in trade, we’re pretty comfortable with managing our award winning beach. Winning this accolade is testament to Loch Morlich being one of the best beaches in the country, which is a great boost for Aviemore and a pretty unique claim for any Highland community.

“It’s one of the few commission sites in Scotland where you can go sailing but it’s also surrounded by some of the best preserved areas of ancient Caledonian pine forest in the country – and great opportunities for outdoor activities like walking, cycling, orienteering and bird-watching. It all adds up to the great character of this beautiful and surprising location.”

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