ONE OF MORAY’S most picturesque beaches has been condemned with the lowest possible mark for bathing under new European testing standards.
Bathers in Lossiemouth may be at risk from dangerous bacteria and viruses if they venture into the water, according to the results of a survey recently conducted by SEPA. Lossiemouth was one of three towns in the North East to receive the ‘poor’ rating alongside Stonehaven and Cruden Bay.
Dr Aileen McLeod, the minister for environment, climate change and land reform, said the survey this year was the first that used a new standardised method to test pollution. Beaches are now tested over a four-year period for bacteria linked to both animal and human waste.
The minister said: “As we move towards a new classification method we must be diligent in continuing to protect our bathing waters. This includes ensuring our waste water facilities are operated efficiently, encouraging farmers to consider carefully the risk of organic measures entering our rivers.
“We will continue to ensure that our bathing waters are of good quality for the Scottish public and our many visitors to enjoy.”
Last night a spokesman for the Moray Coast Tourism Group, set up last year to promote the Laich of Moray coast to visitors, said that people in the region were widely aware of issues over both the West and East beaches in Lossiemouth.
He said: “While we accept there are issues over sewage control into the Moray Firth and the River Lossie, it is perhaps unfortunate that the authorities keep changing the criteria for measuring pollution on our beaches.
“From one survey to the next we are told that Lossiemouth is either one of the best beaches or one of the worst, or all points between. It is an issue of great concern to us all and one that we will work alongside all authorities to address.”