Page last updated at 07:33 GMT, Friday, 30 May 2008 08:33 UK

Record number of 'bathing waters'

Rosemarkie North beach - Pic by SNH
Rosemarkie beach is one of the newly-designated bathing waters

The number of officially-recognised waters suitable for bathing around Scotland's coast has risen to its highest ever level, it has emerged.

Authorities are now obliged to ensure each new site measures up to bathing water standards.

The total number has risen by a third to 80.

Nineteen new coastal sites have been added to the designation list and one new freshwater site at Loch Morlich in the Cairngorms was also listed.

Official recognition requires that identified sites must meet certain water quality standards in order to protect the health of bathers.

Seven sites of the 61 existing in 2007 failed to meet quality standards. Failures followed periods of heavy rain.

Environment Minister Michael Russell called Scotland's beaches "a wonderful natural resource".

He added: "The public need to have the confidence that they are swimming in the highest quality of water, even if at times the Scottish climate can make swimming a bit bracing.

"Recognised status also allows beaches the chance to win quality awards, including the prestigious Blue Flag, a valuable accolade in attracting tourists."

Scottish beaches 'getting worse'
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UK beaches: The full list
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Seven beaches fail quality test
18 May 07 |  Highlands and Islands
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26 May 06 |  South of Scotland
Beach water quality takes a dive
26 May 05 |  Scotland

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