Tourism boost as Ayrshire beach is reborn after securing bathing water status

An Ayrshire beach has been reborn after securing bathing water status.

Barassie beach in Troon is now firmly on the map as one of Scotland’s top outdoor destinations.

The beach which lays on the north shore of the town was given the thumbs up by environmental chiefs after a successful bid by Friends of Troon Beaches.

The organization which looks after Troon’s coastal gems are now hoping Barassie can emerge as a new favorite for visitors to the town.

And the announcement is perfectly timed, with a new water sports center in the works at Barassie beach, with kite surfers, paddle boarders and kayakers keen to take to the water.

Barassie beach has achieved bathing water status

Volunteer Annie McIndoe of Friends of Troon Beaches put together the successful application to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).

The dossier was collected over last summer to prove the beach was attracting plenty of visitors across the bathing season which runs June to September.

The volunteer and town campaigner told Ayrshire Live: “I’m really delighted and really chuffed.

“There were four applications put in and two got approved.

“It is good that the project worked.

“It will form the basis for the water sport center and it will help with that and other projects.

“We can now say that Troon has two bathing quality beaches, that can only be a huge boost for tourism.”

Annie admits she was shocked to discover that Barassie beach was not already of bathing standard with visitors regularly seen enjoying the water.

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As part of Friends of Troon Beaches’ litter crew she helped tackle the problem of sanitary objects being found during regular litter picks, with unwanted items floating into the shore near to Barassie.

Friends of Troon Beach toast a successful campaign
Friends of Troon Beach toast a successful campaign

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The attention then turned to securing the missing piece for Barassie by collecting the data required.

She said: “We created a business case for getting bathing water status.

“We got Vincent McWhirter, who is putting together the water sports centre, on board and all the other organizations who are involved at Barassie beach.

“We had to track that 190 people would use the beach on a daily basis during the bathing season.

“On one day last year I counted 390, there were people from Lanarkshire, other parts of Ayrshire and further afield who had come down to Barassie.

“I was walking around taking their postcodes and taking pictures as evidence that the beach was being used.”

The application was approved by Minister for Environment and Land Reform, Mairi McAllan MSP who declared Barassie’s bathing water status.

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It now means that the water quality at Barassie will be routinely monitored each bathing season.

Lower Largo beach in Fife also secured water bathing status.

Environment Minister Mairi McAllan said: “The new Bathing Waters status for Barassie Beach and Lower Largo is great news for the local communities, and will support the large number of residents and tourists who enjoy taking a dip at these seaside locations.

Ayr, Prestwick and Troon MSP SNP Siobhian Brown praised Friends of Troon Beaches.

Ms Brown said: “You should all be very proud of your hard work – I know I am.”

Troon councillor Craig Mackay SNP added: “Fantastic news that following the efforts of volunteers last year, water quality will now routinely be monitored at Barassie Shore. Well done to Annie and all who helped make this happen.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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