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Highland beaches meet strict environmental water quality standards

27th May 2018

Photograph of Highland beaches meet strict environmental water quality standards

The Highland Council welcomes the findings published by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) that 16 beaches designated for bathing across the Highlands and Islands have met strict environmental standards for water quality.

The results for designated bathing beaches across the Highlands and Islands show 8 classed as excellent, 4 good and 4 falling into the sufficient category. None were ranked "poor".

Achmelvich - Excellent
Dores - Good
Dornoch - Excellent
Dunnet - Excellent
Ettrick Bay - Good
Findhorn - Good
Gairloch Beach - Excellent
Ganavan - Excellent
Loch Morlich - Excellent
Lossiemouth (East) - Sufficient
Machrihanish - Excellent
Nairn (Central) - Sufficient
Nairn (East) - Sufficient
Rosemarkie - Good
Sand Beach - Excellent
Thurso - Sufficient

The Council's Administration Environmental spokesman, Cllr Jimmy Gray said: "The Highlands is lucky to boost some of the country's' most spectacular beaches - from remote West Coast gems and the wide sweeping northern coast beaches to the popular golden sands that run along the East Coast Eight of the beaches designated for swimming have received an "excellent" rating which is a fantastic result. I am delighted that this year none of the ratings fell into the “poor" category.”

“Our stunning beaches are precious to their local communities and surrounding area and play a part in boosting tourism and the local economy so it is good these high standards are in place. Local families and visitors spending time exploring and enjoying them have the reassurance that the water they swim and paddling in has met these very strict standards.”

Following the publishing of results in 2016 that gave the beaches at Nairn a poor water quality rating Highland Council met with SEPA, Scottish Water and representatives of Nairn community to discuss issues at Nairn Central and East Beaches. An action plan was identified for improving the water quality at the town’s popular beaches and the rankings published today show an improvement in the water quality.

Chair of the Nairn Committee, Cllr Tom Heggie said: “The better ratings for Nairn Central and East Beach reflects the work done to make improvements so I would like to thanks officers from SEPA, Scottish Water, Highland Council and community representatives for their involvement. Going forward, we hope to build on this positive result and look to putting in place longer term action plans for continuing to improve the water quality of our two fantastic beaches.”

SEPA have announced that beach users will have access to real time water quality information from across these designated beaches thanks to their scientists who sample and combine with state-of-the-art weather data to provide daily bathing water forecasts throughout the three and a half months. These are available at 31 bathing water locations by 10am every morning through: (external link) - SEPA’s mobile website (external link) - SEPA’s website
08452 30 30 98 - SEPA’s Beachline

Achmelvich beach

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