Environmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful, has announced that Newton Beach, Millport, has been recognised for the high standards provided to the public.

From keeping sand litter free to providing excellent information and access, the island beach has been heralded as one of the best managed beaches in the country.

Signalling the start of the traditional Scottish bathing season, with families set to flock to Scottish shorelines to make the most of the warm weather, the Scottish Beach Awards celebrate the best beaches in the country and has acted as the national benchmark for local environmental quality for a quarter of a century.

Flags from the 2017 awards will be flying at 60 beaches the length and breadth of Scotland.

North Ayrshire Council's Russell McCutcheon, Head of Service (Place), said: “We are all delighted, but not surprised, that Newton Beach has been recognised by Keep Beautiful Scotland for a seventh straight year. It is a wonderful beach, which boasts stunning views of the Clyde Estuary and Little Cumbrae, and is hugely popular amongst locals and tourists. We work very hard to keep it in an excellent condition so this prestigious award is great recognition of the work that is being carried out."

"With domestic visits to seaside locations in Scotland worth over £3m per annum to the Scottish economy, the awards serve as a quality benchmark for the provision of facilities to visitors - from assessing toilet provision to the maintenance of beautiful promenades and the cleanliness of secluded bays.

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented: “The Scottish Beach Awards set the standard for our stunning coastlines and inland shores - making sure that they are litter free, provide excellent facilities for families and encourage more visitors to our beautiful beaches.

“Going to the beach is a tradition that we want to continue, whilst protecting this valuable environment. It is vital that we maintain our support for organisations efforts to ensure that North Ayrshire’s coastlines offer a great day out whilst recognising the wider benefits of a good quality environment for people’s health and wellbeing and local economies.”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “The Scottish Beach Awards play an important role in keeping our beautiful shorelines to a high standard. Trips to the seaside are incredibly popular, with our new Scotland Visitor Survey revealing that more than a third of our visitors enjoy going to the beach while on holiday. We would like to congratulate all the winners of this year’s awards and wish everyone a successful summer season.”

Focussing on local environmental quality, the award is designed to complement the work currently undertaken by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency on bathing water quality.