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									Scottish Executive Environment Group

Consultation on Proposals for a Bathing Water
Identification Strategy
                                          April 2004
                                       Paper 2004/7
Scottish Executive Environment Group
Consultation on Proposals for a Bathing
Water Identification Strategy
                                    April 2004
                                  Paper 2004/7
Summary ....................................................................................................................................1
Introduction and Context Setting ...............................................................................................2
Previous bathing water identifications in Scotland....................................................................3
The proposed new Bathing Water Directive and future developments .....................................4
Work undertaken to support this consultation ...........................................................................4
Proposals for a bathing water identification policy ...................................................................5
Next steps.................................................................................................................................11
Responding to this consultation paper .....................................................................................12
Access to consultation responses .............................................................................................12
Annex 1: Previous criteria used for the identification of bathing waters ................................13
Annex 2: Summaries of supporting survey work ....................................................................14
Annex 3: Proposed revised criteria for the identification of bathing waters ...........................16
Annex 4: List of consultees......................................................................................................17
Annex 5: Respondee Information Form ..................................................................................18
The Scottish Executive Consultation Process..........................................................................19

With the on-going implementation of the Water Environment and Water Services Act
(WEWS), which transposes the Water Framework Directive (WFD) into Scottish legislation,
the entire way in which we categorise, monitor and manage water is changing. The scope of
the WEWS Act is very broad – it will apply to all freshwater, transitional and coastal waters
(out to 3 nautical miles) and to all groundwaters in Scotland. Within the context of the
national river basin management plan, the quality of all waters will have to be monitored and
assessed, and where they fall short of good ecological status, then measures will have to be
implemented to improve standards. Derogations will apply, and the Directive does require
social and economic objectives to be balanced against environmental objectives, but it is clear
that these new regulations will transform water use planning and management in Scotland.
Many of the current water regulations will be superseded by the requirement of the WEWS
Act, but the Bathing Water Directive will remain outwith that framework because of the very
specific purpose of that Directive – which is to afford a certain level of health protection to
bathers in waters where bathing is traditionally practiced by a large number of users. The
Bathing Water Directive is also under revision, so the time is right to review the current
interpretation and scope of the Bathing Water Directive and to set in place a more formalised
system for taking this work forward.

In formulating its proposals for identifying waters, the Scottish Executive has received advice
from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Water and Clean Coast
Scotland, as well as heard representations from a number of groups concerned with the
coastal environment. The purpose of this consultation is to seek further comment from all
interested parties.

We are inviting comments on this paper until the 30th June 2004. Details of how and where
to send your comments can be found in the section Responding to this consultation paper.
Information on the Scottish Executive Consultation Process can be found at the end of this

Water Environment Division
Environment and Rural Affairs Department
Scottish Executive
2nd April 2004

       Introduction and Context Setting

       1. The EC Directive concerning the quality of bathing water (76/160/EEC), also known
          as the Bathing Water Directive, was one of the original pieces of environmental
          legislation to emerge from the European Commission. The aim of the legislation was
          to protect the quality of waters where bathing takes place in large numbers and,
          ultimately, to protect the health of people who go to those areas. The Directive is
          aimed at ensuring favourable conditions for all users throughout the bathing season1,
          and at providing uniform standards of protection for bathers at recognised bathing
          waters throughout Europe. At present, the Bathing Water Directive is being reviewed
          by the European Commission.

       2. The Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003 (“WEWS Act”) sets
          out new arrangements for the protection of the water environment and changes how
          new connections to the public water and sewerage infrastructure are to be funded.
          This important legislation reinforces the Executive's commitment to a cleaner, safer
          environment, creating a strategic framework to protect our water environment. The
          Act will give Scotland the opportunity to promote more sustainable use of our
          valuable natural resources – our rivers, lochs, coastal waters and groundwaters – and
          to protect these important assets for future generations of Scots.

       3. The WEWS Act implements the European Water Framework Directive (WFD)
          2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000
          establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy. The
          Directive requires Member States to put in place systems for managing their water
          environments, based on natural river basin districts and underpinned by extensive
          environmental monitoring and scientific investigation, called "river basin
          management". The Directive incorporates many of the current water directives, but
          the Bathing Water Directive, will remain outwith the scope of the WEWS Act. Under
          WEWS, all waters will be required to meet the status of good ecological status, except
          where derogations apply. The Bathing Water Directive will remain outwith the scope
          of WEWS because of the very specific remit of that Directive which is to afford a
          certain level of protection to the public by guaranteeing a certain water quality in
          waters where significant numbers of people bathe.

       4. The purpose of the Bathing Water Directive is to protect the health of water users.
          Focusing on that objective, the decision to identify an area for bathing must be
          undertaken in a considered and sustainable way. It is important to remember that this
          is only one very small part of the overall framework of water policy in Scotland. The
          remainder of this consultation paper will focus on the specific requirements of the
          Bathing Water Directive, although the wider impact of the WEWS Act, which will be
          a driver for improving standards across all of Scotland’s waters, cannot be ignored
          and it is within this context that these proposals are being made.

    For the purposes of 76/160/EEC, the bathing season in Scotland lasts from June 1st to September 15th.

      Previous bathing water identifications in Scotland

      5. A ‘bathing water’ for the purposes of the Bathing Water Directive is defined as a
         water at which bathing is explicitly authorised, and ‘traditionally practised by a large
         number of bathers’.2 This includes inland freshwater sites at rivers and lochs as well
         as coastal locations. In Scotland most of our currently identified bathing waters are
         coastal, with only two being in freshwaters. EU Member States are required to
         identify appropriate waters within their territories and to take actions to maintain and
         improve the quality of these identified waters to specified standards. In Scotland,
         bathing waters are identified under the Bathing Waters (Classification) (Scotland)
         Regulations 1991, and are the responsibility of Scottish Ministers (prior to devolution
         this was the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Scotland).

      6. The first round of identifications was completed by the Secretary of State for Scotland
         in 1987, when some 23 sites were identified, including many of the most frequented
         beaches in Scotland. The following round of identification of candidate bathing
         waters identification in 1998 was undertaken by a Bathing Waters Review Panel. The
         membership of this panel was drawn from a range of organisations, including Scottish
         Executive, Local Authorities, SEPA, the predecessor organisations to Scottish Water,
         Scottish Tourist Board, Keep Scotland Beautiful and a representative from Scottish
         Environment Link.

      7. The selection of these initial sites was based on the criteria of the UK Government,
         and also included evidence of usage (Annex 1). The evidence to support these
         proposals was provided by local authorities and community groups for consideration
         by the selection panel. In advance of the 1999 bathing season an additional 37 sites
         were identified. Since then no further sites have been identified and the selection
         panel has not sat since 1998.

      8. Previous proposals for identification have been based upon applications made by
         individuals, groups and organisations. The criteria used to determine whether or not a
         beach might be considered for identification were based upon provision of evidence
         of usage, as well as a number of other criteria (Annex 1). However, there was also a
         recognition within the selection process of less well used ‘rural’ beaches, and a
         number of these are included within the 60 sites identified to date.

      9. The Bathing Water Directive requires certain bacteriological standards to be attained
         at identified bathing waters. Scotland has a number of beaches that achieve the most
         stringent EU standards, but also has waters that fail to achieve these standards and
         which we are committed to improving. Current and past bathing water results are
         available from the SEPA website (

      10. Considerable investment in sewerage infrastructure, as well as initiatives to tackle
          other factors such as agricultural runoff contributing to reduced bathing water quality
          have been undertaken in Scotland. Since 2001, £1.6bn has been invested by Scottish
          Water in drainage schemes that help to improve the quality of sewage treatment and
          the functioning of sewer overflows to protect bathing water quality. SEPA has also

    76/160/EEC Article 1(2a)

   applied considerable effort and resources to this issue and the agricultural community
   continues to help to reduce diffuse pollution. The Scottish Executive has also
   supported a range of initiatives with partners, including the Four Point Plan
   (, as part of these

11. In March 2002, the Scottish Executive launched “Scotland's Bathing Waters: a
    Strategy for Improvement” (
    00.asp). That strategy paper recognised that a partnership approach to the issue of
    improving Scottish bathing waters was of paramount importance. In that paper it was
    also recognised that there are stretches of coastal waters used for recreational
    activities which had not been identified as bathing waters. These waters were not
    proposed for identification as they had either not been put forward for selection in
    1998, or because the panel had not been persuaded by the evidence presented on
    usage at these sites at that time.

The proposed new Bathing Water Directive and future developments

12. The recent proposals for a new Bathing Water Directive has led us to undertake a
    review of the current policy and method of bathing water selection. We believe the
    time is now right for an examination of the selection process used to propose
    candidate bathing waters in Scotland, and to develop a new mechanism by which
    Ministers can identify future bathing waters, whilst also maximising stakeholder

13. Any proposals for the revision of this process also need to take account of the
    investment cycle to which Scottish Water operates (termed “Quality and Standards”),
    as well as developments resulting from the provisions of the Water Environment and
    Water Services Act 2003.

Work undertaken to support this consultation

14. During the summer of 2003, the Scottish Executive undertook a number of exercises,
    to determine levels of beach usage at a range of sites around Scotland. This work was
    to assist in formulating the identification policy described below.

       a. SEPA staff undertaking bacteriological sampling at bathing waters and at non-
          identified waters were asked to makes counts of beach users at the time of
          sample collection.

       b. The Scottish Executive commissioned an aerial survey of the coastline of SW
          Scotland and the East coast from Berwick to Golspie.

       c. The Scottish Executive also commissioned an opinion poll to determine
          attitudes and motivations of bathing water users in Scotland.

15. The reports from the Scottish Executive projects are summarised in Annex 2. The full
    reports may be obtained on the internet at

Proposals for a bathing water identification policy

Selection panel and processes

16. Membership While the power to identify bathing waters rests with Scottish Ministers,
    it is important that local views and views of users are incorporated in the deliberations
    on selection of sites. Previously convened panels had wide ranging membership but
    we are aware that there may be other interests which were not represented, or would
    have liked to have done so, at its meetings.

                 Q1: Which organisations do you think should have their
                 views taken into account during discussions on the
                 identification of bathing waters?

                 Q2: Should a group to consider such identifications be set
                 up or could an existing group take on this function?

17. Responsibilities Any review group established would be invited to agree upon and
    propose candidate bathing waters to Scottish Ministers for their consideration. It is
    also important for there to be full stakeholder involvement in proposing candidate
    sites. However, the final responsibility for identifying bathing waters lies with
    Scottish Ministers, as these decisions may impact upon future investment needs.

18. In the past the nomination of beaches was based on a range of criteria, listed in Annex
    1. Proposers forwarded a range of types of evidence that was diverse and highly
    variable in content. In order to ensure that the selection process is as objective as
    possible, it is proposed to develop a standardised series of criteria, tests and standards
    for a site selection (see Annex 3).

                 Q3: We propose to use a simplified single format for
                 producing evidence as part of the nomination process. Do
                 you agree?

                 Q4: We propose that the person or group nominating a
                 site should be responsible for producing the evidence. Do
                 you agree?

                 Q5: This evidence would be considered by a panel and the
                 most suitable candidates agreed and forwarded to
                 Scottish Ministers for their final decision. Do you agree
                 with this process?

19. Frequency The draft Directive requires each member state to report its list of bathing
    waters annually, but leaves open the choice of how frequently reviews of site
    selection are undertaken. Any person or group proposing a site will be required to
    have undertaken a period of data gathering in support of the application (see below).
    As discussed above, the Quality and Standards investment cycle may also be an
    influence at certain sites. With that in mind, the frequency with which new candidate
    sites are assessed will have to take account of both the availability of any group

      proposing site selection, the need to collect relevant data as well as the effect of
      investment planning and policy making.

                    Q6: We propose that the frequency of review should be
                    tied to other linked initiatives, such as those mentioned
                    above. On the basis of this we propose that a review might
                    be undertaken every 5 years. Do you agree with this

   Selection criteria

   20. Numbers and counts From our own research we know that beaches and potential
       bathing waters are used for a wide range of purposes and reasons, not all of which
       could be defined as ‘bathing’. It is also evident from our survey work that most sites
       have one or two very busy days that are significant in determining their overall levels
       of observed usage. Table 1 is based on user numbers at sites observed in 2003 by
       aerial survey.

Table 1: A range of proposed selection criteria applied to survey data from summer
2003. Peak usage was derived from the higher of the two figures obtained by either
aerial survey or visual counts made by SEPA sampling staff. Currently identified
bathing water sites are presented in italics.

                                             Peak      Peak      Peak       Peak      Peak
   Surveyed waters 2003                      users     users     users      users     users
                                              >50      >100      >150       >200      >300
        Ayr (South)                1,400
 North Berwick Milsey Bay          1,139
          Gullane                  1,106
    Portobello Central             1,064
         Sandyhills                  833
       Yellowcraigs                  617
       Troon (South)                 529
        Seton Sands                  457
        Coldingham                   412
    North Berwick Bay                330
         Saltcoats                   320
  Aberdour (Silver Sands)            308
         Mossyard                    307
    Dunbar (Belhaven)                305
          Seacliff                   292
           Irvine                    273
          Culzean                    267
       Heads of Ayr                  260
        Broadsands                   260

     Lossiemouth East       258
        Southerness         255
     Ettrick Bay, Bute      240
St. Andrews (West Sands)    232
        Nairn East          228
          Girvan            208
Dornoch (Caravan Park)      207
        Lunan Bay           207
       Nairn Central        207
          Maidens           190
   Rosemarkie (North)       189
    Aberdeen Ballroom       187
         Findhorn           175
     Tentsmuir Sands        175
            Elie            173
         Pease Bay          161
            Croy            160
       Inverboyndie         160
  Milarrochy Bay, Loch
          Lomond            160
         Prestwick          155
    Stonehaven Carron       147
           Cullen           143
         Balmedie           141
          Seamill           141
      Lunderston Bay        140
        Peffersands         138
Lossiemouth (Silversands)   127
   Aberdour (Harbour)       125
      Brighouse Bay         124
St. Andrews (East Sands)    123
         Eyemouth           117
      Hopeman (East)        114
        Longniddry          112
       Seamill South        107
         Loch Ken           105
        Burntisland         100
 Luss Bay, Loch Lomond      100
         Rockcliffe         100
      Fisherrow East         95
         Earlsferry          92
           Embo              91
         St. Cyrus           87

         Carrick           84
    Broughty Ferry         82
        Collieston         80
       Kingsbarns          78
      Fraserburgh          75
  Kinghorn (Harbour)       75
         Barassie          74
       Sandgreen           74
        Cramond            73
         Sandend           73
    Portobello West        72
       Leven East          66
        Montrose           66
      Thorntonloch         61
         Greenan           60
      Dunbar East          58
        Easthaven          56
       Whitesands          56
       Carnoustie          55
 Arbroath (West Links)     54
     Ringdoo Point         52
    Peterhead Lido         50
      Largs Pencil         47
   Millport, Cumbrae       47
  Kinghorn (Pettycur)      44
Dalgety Bay (Yacht Club)   42
       Largs Main          42
         Dunure            41
      Lower Largo          40
    Fisherrow West         37
        Ganavan            35
       Cruden Bay          33
Dores Beach, Loch Ness     32
       Largo East          32
         St. Abbs          30
   Crail (Roome Bay)       29
       Stevenston          27
        Shell Bay          26
       St. Combs           26
 Fraserburgh Philorth      19
 Kirkcaldy (Linktown)      18
Arbroath (Victoria Park)   16

   Golspie (South)                  16
 Kirkcaldy (Seafield)               16
      Newburgh                      14
Anstruther, Billow Ness             12
     Loch Linnhe                    12
      Turnberry                     12
        Tayport                     11
        Fairlie                     10
        Buckie                       8
       Monifieth                     8
   Pathhead Sands                    7
      Dunnet Bay                     6
      Rosehearty                     6
        Morar                        4
     Helensburgh                     3
 Thurso Bay (Central)                3
  Machrihanish Bay                   2
  Total sites without
                                            96        81         72        66         61
   Total sites with
                                            82        54         39        28         14

21. The purpose of the surveys was to identify levels of usage of coastal waters and the
    motivations of the public in going to these locations. The current Directive requires us
    to identify those areas where bathing is ‘traditionally practised by a large number of
    bathers’. We now consider all users to be ‘bathers’ in this regard, and the survey work
    undertaken has helped us to be able to better quantify what a ‘large number’ may be.
    By doing so, this information can assist us in targeting our efforts with regard to
    protection and improvement of potential bathing waters to those areas which have the
    largest number of users and therefore beneficiaries.

22. The current Directive asks us to consider numbers of bathers, rather than the number
    of beach users, as shown in the table. However, we have estimated that only up to
    10% of beach users actually bathe. The number of actual bathers is therefore very
    small indeed, and we have chosen to focus on the number of beach users. In
    comparison to many other parts of Europe our beach usage figures are very small. In
    countries where beach tourism is an important part of the economy, the definition
    “large number of bathers” within the Directive is being interpreted as being in the
    thousands, rather than the hundreds that we are considering. Nonetheless, we feel
    there is an important public health protection issue at stake, which of course has to be
    balanced against the costs of making the water quality improvements by actions such
    as upgrading sewerage treatment works.

23. We are aware from the surveys in summer 2003 that many of the major parts of the
    coast accessed by large numbers of bathers and other users are already identified as
    bathing waters. Usage at these sites is highly variable but on the busiest days at least

   50% of existing bathing waters had 133 users. Elsewhere, usage was found to be
   relatively low.

24. Our survey recorded usage at the sites listed on six occasions, but as might be
    expected, analysis of the data indicated that the order of sites varied only slightly
    between “one-off” counts and total user counts accumulated over the summer. This
    would limit the effort required to produce evidence of usage for any nominated site.

           Q7: We propose that the numbers of visible users, regardless of
           whether they are bathing or not, should be our measure of
           ‘usage’. Should we be considering any other methods of
           determining use?

           Q8: We further propose that level of usage be based upon peak
           numbers observed at a site on a single day, rather than use a
           value for cumulative usage. Do you agree?

           Q9: SEPA survey teams can make counts on their routine
           sampling visits, as a means to verify usage. Is this an
           appropriate means to determine site usage? Are there other
           independent means to obtain robust survey data?

25. Table 1 provides an indication of the effect that choosing different levels of user
    numbers may have on the sites visited during our survey, as well as the effect of
    retaining designations, or removing designations at different levels of usage. The data
    includes both existing identified sites and other areas where SEPA currently
    undertake water quality sampling. This does not represent the complete national
    picture, as it was not possible to visit all sites during summer 2003, it does however
    provide an indication of overall site numbers for the major bathing areas.

26. Across continental Europe, the numbers of bathers at beaches run into the thousands,
    but it is clear that usage levels will never be that high in Scotland. Our surveys
    measured beach users and as we estimated that only around 10% of users actually
    entered the water then the peak number of waters users was 114, in Ayr, which is
    clearly very small compared to some other European countries. Nevertheless, it is
    important that we designate the waters which will afford the most protection to the
    public and your views are sought on where the cut-off should be set. Options include
    setting the threshold of usage at:
                           (a) 50 users         (d) 200 users
                           (b) 100 users        (e) 250 users
                           (c) 150 users     or (f) 300 users

           Q10: Should a cut-off value for users be set, and if not, what
           other means of gathering beach-use evidence should be used to
           determine which bathing waters ought to be identified for the
           purposes of the Directive?

           Q11: Bearing in mind (i) the exceptional summer weather in
           2003, (ii) that we are currently implementing the Water

              Framework Directive through the WEWS Act which will
              require good ecological status to be attained for all waters (out
              to 3 nautical miles) in Scotland, and (iii) that for the specific
              purposes of this Directive, which require us to identify places
              where there are “large numbers of bathers”, we would propose
              to use 200 users as a cut-off value for indicating a site has
              sufficient usage to be considered as a potential bathing water.
              Do you agree?

   28. If we were to apply any of the above criteria, some of our existing identified waters
       would have usage that fell well outside of these criteria, as shown in Table 1. If usage
       is very low, then it may be appropriate to seek the de-designation of such waters. This
       would allow resources for improvement to be directed towards more popular sites

              Q12: What are your views on possible de-designation? Should
              all existing sites be retained, with any new identification
              criteria applying only to new candidate sites, or should we
              consider the de-designation of any site with very low levels of
              observed usage?

              Q13: Should we have a usage level below which de-designation
              may be considered – say less than 50 users – what are your

              Q14: It will be important that main beaches continue to be
              recognised as a valuable local and tourist amenity – in what
              ways, other than identification under a European Community
              Directive – might a beach be recognised?

   29. Facilities We also know that many of the people accessing beaches do so for ‘peace
       and quiet’, and are therefore more likely to be attracted to less well frequented sites.
       Previously, sites proposed have been required to also take into account other criteria,
       as indicated in Annex 1. These criteria include the provision of services that are not
       normally associated with the more rural setting of many beaches in Scotland.
       However, as valuable as these beaches are for Scotland and its tourist industry, these
       sites may not be considered within the scope of the Bathing Water Directive. The
       Directive is concerned with maintaining standards at higher use beaches, and
       therefore identification may not be appropriate in these instances.

              Q15: Would it be worth considering another scheme for the
              identification/recognition of more rural, less well frequented
              beaches? If so, we would welcome your comments or

Next steps

   30. In the light of the results of the responses to this consultation, the Scottish Executive
       will reconvene the former Bathing Waters Review Panel to discuss the outcomes from
       this consultation process and take this work forward.

Responding to this consultation paper


We are inviting written responses to this consultation paper by Wednesday 30th June 2004.

Please send your response to:
Liam Kelly
Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department
Water Environment Division
1-H Dockside
Victoria Quay

If you have any queries, contact Liam Kelly on 0131 244 7844. We would be grateful if you
could clearly indicate in your response which questions or parts of the consultation paper you
are responding to (using the consultation questionnaire at the end of this document, if
appropriate) as this will aid our analysis of the responses received.

For future engagement

If      you    wish       to     access    this    consultation     online,     go     to You can telephone Freephone 0800 77 1234 to
find out where your nearest public internet access point is, if you prefer to submit your
response by e-mail to


A new email alert system for SE consultations (SEconsult) is currently being planned. This
system will allow stakeholder individuals and organisations to register and receive a weekly
email containing details of all new SE consultations (including web links). SEconsult will
complement, but in no way replace, SE distribution lists, and is designed to allow
stakeholders to ‘keep an eye’ on all SE consultation activity, and therefore be alerted at the
earliest opportunity to those of most interest. We will publicise the launch of the system on
the SE website and would encourage you to register when it is available.
Access to consultation responses

We will make all responses available to the public in the Scottish Executive Library by 20th
July 2004 and on the Scottish Executive consultation web pages by the same date, unless
confidentiality is requested. All responses not marked confidential will be checked for any
potentially defamatory material before being logged in the library or placed on the website.

Annex 1: Previous criteria used for the identification of bathing waters

The following objective criteria were, amongst others, applied to all sites (whether existing
sites or new applications):

(1) facilities for access to the beach
(2) sanitary equipment (e.g. toilets)
(3) facilities for changing
(4) parking space for cars
(5) life-guards on the beach
(6) first-aid service
(7) kiosks and shops (including mobile shops)
(8) availability of water sports facilities (e.g. boats, surfing, swimming lessons)

Furthermore, any application was required to provide evidence that the site was regularly
used during the bathing season by the public.

Annex 2: Summaries of supporting survey work

As a stakeholder in the Clean Coast Scotland group, the Scottish Executive is keen to see the
development of a designation framework for beaches and recreational waters based on the uses and
values placed upon them by the local population and visitors who are attracted to these locations.
This survey was undertaken in support of this wider policy development on beach usage and bathing
waters. An important element in developing the process is to gain an understanding of how beach
users currently use the water environment for recreation. This will ensure that the management and
monitoring of these sites is undertaken in a way which is appropriate to their use(s). The Water
Environment Division also wishes to ascertain attitudes towards the use of public information sign
systems which will provide real time information on water quality at bathing water sites. In August
2003 TNS Travel and Tourism conducted a research exercise ‘to understand how, when and why the
public uses beaches and bathing waters in Scotland and to identify public attitudes towards public
information real time sign systems on water quality’.

♦ The findings show significant differences between the Scottish population overall and people
  living in communities near beaches. Residents living near beaches were more likely to take more
  trips to beaches over the last year.

♦ People with children in their household were much more likely than people without children in
  the household to visit Scottish beaches.

♦ Around a third of the general Scottish population and residents near beaches would go into the
  water when visiting a beach (34% and 32%). People with children would enter the water on at
  least some visits to a Scottish beach, compared to the Scottish population without children in their

♦ Although water activities were not among the main reasons to visit a beach for many, it was
  clearly an important part of the beach visit, particularly during the peak months of April to
  September. A third of the respondents stated that one of their reasons for going to a beach was to
  go paddling, swimming or to take part in other activities in or on the water (33%).

♦ The main reasons to go to beaches were social in nature, or as a place to take the family/children,
  for the enjoyment of being outdoors, something to do in good weather, to go for walks with or
  without dogs and to enjoy the scenery and views.

♦ The two most important factors for those who had visited beaches during the last 12 months were
  the cleanliness of the beach and the cleanliness of the water.

♦ The views on the proposed public real time information system were very positive, with over half
  of the respondents stating they saw this type of information as ‘very useful’ (56%).

♦ The proposed public real time information system was mainly seen as useful because it would
  provide information which would be helpful in deciding whether or not to go into the water or
  indeed visit a particular beach. Information about the quality of the water and safety for children
  were also mentioned as reasons for considering the real time system useful.

♦ Over half of the respondents supported the route of implementing a network of real time
    information signs (56%). Around a tenth of the respondents were in favour of increased
    water charges (9%).

Annex 2: Continued

                 JULY – SEPTEMBER 2003
Edinburgh Air Centre Ltd. (EAC) was commissioned to carry out an aerial survey of Scottish beaches
on parts of the East and West coasts. This survey was completed during the months of July, August
and September 2003 and was undertaken in support of wider Scottish Executive policy development
on beach usage and bathing waters.

The survey was undertaken to provide a qualitative view of bathing water usage. Consequently,
observations were made at weekends and in good weather in order to coincide with periods of likely
higher beach activities. The survey sought to identify both numbers of users (both in and out of the
water) as well as locations not currently designated as bathing waters for the purposes of the EU
Bathing Water Directive (76/160/EEC).

Still images of bathing waters were processed using software developed by Inovas Ltd. The software
allowed each image to be geo-referenced and also make records of counts of beach users.

The survey obtained a total of 8,303 digital still images of the coastline of Scotland, and identified a
total of 38,316 beach users (including bathers) on the six complete cycles of surveys. Of that total,
25,106 people were observed to be on designated beaches, 8,414 on non-designated beaches, and a
further 4,796 in other locations.

This report details the key parts of the survey, including the programme of survey activity, recording
methods, prevailing aircraft operating requirements and an explanation of the timings of the survey
carried out. There is also a short description of the main results, and the main part of the data attached
as Appendices.

Annex 3: Proposed revised criteria for the identification of bathing waters

The following criteria are to be applied to all sites (whether existing sites or new

       1.     Usage at a site should exceed 200 persons on the busiest recorded period in
              any bathing season, recorded by independent and verifiable means.

       2.     Bathing must not be prohibited or inadvisable for reasons of safety.

       3.     Any proposed site will have to have produced a beach management plan
              covering the following areas:
                   i. Provision of adequate signage and information, covering both beach
                      and bathing water quality, compliant with current and future statutory
                  ii. Litter collection
                iii. User safety
                 iv. Public access for all users
                  v. Public sanitation

       4.     A user survey of beach, indicating public expectation of level of facilities, and
              plans to meet those needs.

Annex 4: List of consultees

•   Aberdeenshire Council                                   •   Scottish Agricultural College
•   Angus Council                                           •   Scottish Borders Council
•   Argyll & Bute Council                                   •   Scottish Canoe Association
•   Argyll & the Islands Enterprise                         •   Scottish Consumer Council
•   Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland        •   Scottish Council for Development & Industry
•   Association of Public Analysts of Scotland              •   Scottish Crofters Union
•   Association of Scottish Chambers of Commerce            •   Scottish Enterprise
•   Association of Scottish Community Councils              •   Scottish Environment Link
•   British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC)                            •   Scottish Environment Protection Agency
•   Broughty Ferry Beach Management Group                   •   Scottish Landowners Federation
•   Centre for Ecology & Hydrology                          •   Scottish Natural Heritage
•   Centre for Environment & Business in Scotland           •   Scottish Sub Aqua Club (BSAC)
•   Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental          •   Scottish Triathlon Association
      Management                                            •   Scottish Water
•   City of Aberdeen Council                                •   Scottish Wildlife Trust
•   City of Dundee Council                                  •   Shetland Islands Council
•   City of Edinburgh Council                               •   Solway Firth Partnership
•   Clean Coast Scotland                                    •   South Ayrshire Council
•   Clyde Estuary Forum                                     •   Surfers Against Sewage
•   Comhairle nan Eilean Siar                               •   Tay Estuary Forum
•   Convention of Scottish Local Authorities                •   Toller Beattie Solicitors
•   Crofters Commission                                     •   Tourism & Environment Forum
•   Crown Estate Office                                     •   United Utilities
•   Crown Estates Receiver (Scotland)                       •   Visit Scotland
•   DEFRA                                                   •   Water Industry Commissioner
•   Department of the Environment Northern Ireland          •   Water UK
•   Dumfries and Galloway Council                           •   World Wide Fund for Nature (Scotland)
•   East Lothian Council
•   Environment & Heritage Service Northern
•   Findhorn Community Council
•   Forth Estuary Forum
•   Friends of the Earth (Scotland)
•   Group for Recycling in Argyll & Bute (GRAB)
•   Highland & Islands Enterprise
•   Highlands & Islands Council
•   Historic Scotland
•   Keep Scotland Beautiful
•   Largs Beach Watch
•   Law Society of Scotland
•   Macaulay Institute
•   Marine Conservation Society
•   Moray & Cromarty Firth Partnership
•   Moray Council
•   National Assembly for Wales
•   National Farmers Union of Scotland
•   North Ayrshire Council
•   Northumbrian Water Ltd
•   Orkney Islands Council
•   Prestwick South Community Council
•   ReJig (Recycling Jura, Islay and Gigha)
•   Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland
•   Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
•   Royal Yachting Association Scotland

Annex 5: Respondee Information Form

Please complete the details below and attach it with your response. This will help ensure we
handle your response appropriately:


Postal Address:


1.      Are you responding as (please tick one box):

        (a)    an individual                                                      (go to 2a/b)
        (b)    on behalf of a group or organisation                               (go to 2c)

Do you agree to your response being made available to the public (in SE library and/or on
SE website)?

        Yes (go to 2b below)
        No, not at all

2b.    Where confidentiality is not requested, we will make your response available to the
public on the following basis (please tick one of the following boxes)

        Yes, make my response, name and address all available

        Yes, make my response available, but not my name or address

        Yes, make my response and name available, but not my address

Your name and address as respondees will be made available to the public (in the SE library
and/or on SE website). Are you content for your response to be made available also?


3.      We will share your response internally with other SE policy teams who may be
        addressing the issues you discuss. They may wish to contact you again in the future,
        but we require your permission to do so. Are you content for the Scottish Executive to
        contact you again in the future for consultation or research purposes?


The Scottish Executive Consultation Process

Consultation is an essential and important aspect of Scottish Executive working methods.
Given the wide-ranging areas of work of the Scottish Executive, there are many varied types
of consultation. However, in general Scottish Executive consultation exercises aim to provide
opportunities for all those who wish to express their opinions on a proposed area of work to
do so in ways which will inform and enhance that work.

While details of particular circumstances described in a response to a consultation exercise
may usefully inform the policy process, consultation exercises cannot address individual
concerns and comments, which should be directed to the relevant public body. Consultation
exercises may involve seeking views in a number of different ways, such as public meetings,
focus groups or questionnaire exercises.

Typically, Scottish Executive consultations involve a written paper inviting answers to
specific questions or more general views about the material presented. Written papers are
distributed to organisations and individuals with an interest in the area of consultation, and
they are also placed on the Scottish Executive web site enabling a wider audience to access
the paper and submit their responses3. Copies of all the responses received to consultation
exercises (except those where the individual or organisation requested confidentiality) are
placed in the Scottish Executive library at Saughton House, Edinburgh (K Spur, Saughton
House, Broomhouse Drive, Edinburgh, EH11 3XD, telephone 0131 244 4552).

The views and suggestions detailed in consultation responses are analysed and used as part of
the decision making process. Depending on the nature of the consultation exercise the
responses received may:

          •   indicate the need for policy development or review
          •   inform the development of a particular policy
          •   help decisions to be made between alternative policy proposals
          •   be used to finalise legislation before it is implemented

If you have any comment about how this consultation exercise has been conducted, please
send them to:


Liam Kelly
Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department
Environment Group
Water Environment Division
1-H Dockside
Victoria Quay


Small changes in the way we perform everyday tasks can have huge impacts on Scotland’s

Walking short distances rather than using the car, or being careful not to overfill the kettle are
just two positive steps we can all take.

This butterfly represents the beauty and fragility of Scotland’s environment. The motif will
be utilised extensively by the Scottish Executive and its partners in their efforts to persuade
people they can do a little to change a lot.
                                                                              ISBN 0-7559-2463-0

                                                                             9 780755 924639
100% of this document is printed on recycled paper and is 100% recyclable.

Designed and produced on behalf of the Scottish Executive by Astron B35311

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