An environmental charity has announced a new campaign to encourage visitors to take better care of Scotland’s beaches.
Keep Scotland Beautiful has brought the My Beach, Your Beach campaign to Aberdeen ahead of the school summer holidays.
The campaign was originally created to support bathing water quality improvements at target beaches, but has since developed into a successful stewardship.
Georgina Massouraki, campaigns officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said beaches became “more precious than ever” during a year of lockdowns.
She added: “We are encouraging and supporting people to take a more active role in protecting these shared spaces and asking them to consider leaving the beach cleaner, rather than dirtier, than they found it.
“Plan ahead to leave no trace, simply taking an extra bag for your waste can help, and if everyone also picked up a few pieces of litter along the way it would make a massive difference.”
‘Respect, protect and enjoy’
To celebrate the Year of Coasts and Water, the charity is piloting the campaign at four of Scotland’s Beach Awards sites – all recognised for excellent management.
The charity aims to get local communities and those on day trips to “respect, protect and enjoy” beaches across Scotland.
Actions, including binning litter, removing dog poo and not feeding gulls, will ensure a positive experience for beach goers while protecting the marine environment and water quality.
Councillor Philip Bell, operational delivery convener at Aberdeen City Council, said: “We are very lucky to have a long sandy beach which is within walking distance of the city centre – it has been an extremely popular destination since the first lockdown last year and will no doubt be very busy again over the school summer holidays.
“As always, we’d ask people not to litter, and if bins are full, to take their litter home with them.
“We want to keep the beach looking beautiful for everyone to enjoy and we all have a part to play in that.”
‘Keep our beach a beautiful place’
The campaign pilot beaches include Broughty Ferry, Newton Beach on Millport and Prestwick, alongside Aberdeen.
School pupils from Grove Academy in Broughty Ferry are spreading the word by carrying out surveys and hanging up campaign banners at the award-winning beaches.
Councillor Anne Rendall, neighborhood services convener at Dundee City Council, said: “Broughty Ferry Beach is a great asset for the city and it’s important we all come together to protect it and keep it a place we can all enjoy.
“It’s great to team up Keep Scotland Beautiful to show people what steps they can take to look after our sand and sea. Small simple acts like making sure you put litter and dog waste in the bin make a big difference.
“Can I also remind dog owners that some areas of the beach are not available for dog walking in the summer months, to protect other beach users but there is plenty of space further to the east of the beach.
“This summer make sure you get behind this campaign and keep our beach a beautiful place that we can all enjoy.”
My Beach, Your Beach is funded by the Scottish Government and supported by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).