SEPA give beaches poor rat­ing

The Galloway News - - VOICE OF THE PEOPLE -

STU­ART GILLE­SPIE Bathing wa­ter at four Ste­wart ry beaches is amongst the worst in Scotland.

They have all re­ceived a poor rat­ing in the lat­est clas­si­fi­ca­tions re­leased by the Scot­tish En­vi­ron­men­tal Protection Agency (SEPA).

Brig­house Bay, Dhoon Bay, Rock­cliffe and Sandy­hills make up nearly half of the 10 sites across the country to be handed the worst pos­si­ble rat­ing — the sec­ond year run­ning they’ve achieved that grade.

Car­rick and Mossyard have all main­tained their good rat­ing from 2018. South­er­ness also has a good clas­si­fi­ca­tion, down from the ex­cel­lent stan­dard it was given in 2018.

SEPA’s en­vi­ron­men­tal qual­ity man­ager, Calum McPhail, said: “Each bathing wa­ter is dif­fer­ent, with a unique set of po­ten­tial wa­ter qual­ity chal­lenges.

“Work­ing with part­ners we’ re con­tin­u­ing our fo­cus on bathing wa­ters rated as poor with tai­lored im­prove­ment plans, pre­pared by SEPA, well un­der way.

“We are com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing real time in­for­ma­tion on bathing wa­ter qual­ity to en­sure those head­ing to Scotland’s beaches can have a great day and, through part­ner­ship work­ing, we hope to see fur­ther im­prove­ments in bathing wa­ter qual­ity in the com­ing months and years.”

Out of the 86 Scot­tish beaches where wa­ter qual­ity is mon­i­tored, 28 were rated ex­cel­lent, the high­est num­ber since stricter stan­dards were brought into force in 2015; 35 were classed as good; 13 re­ceived a suf­fi­cient mark; and 10 re­ceived poor grades.

En­vi­ron­ment Sec­re­tary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Scotland’s shore­lines and wa­ters are among the most beau­ti­ful in the world and sig­nif­i­cant progress has been made, in the space of just a few years, to im­prove stan­dards still fur­ther.

“In cases where a lower rat­ing has been achieved — of­ten due to in­di­vid­ual cir­cum­stances — SEPA and its part­ners are work­ing through a com­pre­hen­sive course of ac­tion to drive im­prove­ment.”

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