Maidens beach has received a highly prestigious award from the environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful this week.
The independent charity released its 2014 Seaside Awards on Friday 30 May and for the first time Maidens beach has been recognised with a Rural Seaside Award.
The awards are hugely coveted and recognition is sure to bring a welcome boost in tourism to the beaches of Carrick, including Maidens.
Seaside Awards help signpost visitors to the best managed areas of Scotland’s seaside and coastline. The most recent visitor figures show that in 2013, the Year of Natural Scotland, there was an increase in the share of seaside holidays to 17% (from 14%) of all holiday trips
A record breaking total of 61 beaches were recognised this year for their environmental quality and an exceptional seaside experience.
The annual awards also recognise good water quality, excellent litter and safety as well as environmental procedures and Ayr beach was also recognised by the charity.
Ayr beach first received a resort seaside award in 2012 and they have been flying that flag ever since and this year is no different.
Celebrating some of the cleanest and best managebeaches in the country, the Seaside Award scheme has been used as a quality benchmark for Scotland’s beaches for the past 22 years and this years awards were unveiled by the Scottish Government Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Fergus Ewing MSP on 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.”
Mark Bevan, Head of Campaigns at 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.
“Keep Scotland Beautiful is 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, including two excellent beaches in South Ayrshire”.
A map showing all the award-winning beaches can be found at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/coastal.
There is also a new facility to enable people to choose the type of beach they wish to visit and an option for rating their favourite beaches.