PRESTWICK Beach has been presented with the Scottish Beach Award, just one year after being described a ‘building site’.

Environmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful, recently announced that Prestwick Beach will be joining Ayr Beach, Troon Beach and Maidens Beach in receiving the Scottish Beach Awards this year.

The four beaches have been recognised for the high standards that they provide to its visitors – from keeping the sand litter free and providing ‘excellent information’ and accessible amenities.

And although beaches are not assessed on their water quality, they must provide information about it as part of the award criteria.

Julie Twaddell, of Friends of Prestwick Seafront, said: “This has been tremendously gratifying – it is wonderful.

“Two years ago, the beach was closed due to the asbestos and it resembled a building site with litter all over it. It has had a tremendous transformation.

“From my point of view, we are all delighted with how [the beach] has improved so quickly and the benefits are there for everyone to see.

“It has made such a visual impact from two years ago which we have been pleasantly delighted to see.

“The hard work has been rewarded by getting this award and with the efforts of the fortnightly crew, Prestwick North Community Council Litter Pick Crew, we are going to keep doing this.

“To get the beach where it is today, with George Gemmell and my sister Laura Twaddell, who both passed away last Summer, it took a long number of years.

“We are so proud of George and Laura and they would be very happy to have achieved this.”

Cllr Ian Cochrane added: “With Scotland basking in fantastic weather this week we’re proud that four of our beaches have been recognised with these national awards.

“While Ayr, Maidens and Troon regularly feature we’re delighted to see that Prestwick has made the grade after a major exercise returned the amenity beach to its former glory, in close partnership with the local community.

“I’d like to thank all those working tirelessly through the summer months and for all those who remove litter to help keep our beaches clean and safe for all.”