BATHING water in Prestwick and Troon has been rated 'excellent' by Scotland's environmental watchdog - and the rest of South Ayrshire isn't far behind.

According to figures released by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), 98 per cent of Scotland's bathing waters met or surpassed the watchdog's ‘sufficient’ classification.

More than four out of 10 were rated 'excellent' while another four out of 10 were 'good'.

The beaches at Prestwick and Troon South were both ranked 'excellent', while Ayr South, Barassie Bay and Heads of Ayr were classified as 'good'.

Ayr MSP Siobhian Brown said: "Scotland's bathing water quality is at its best since the implementation of stricter standards in 2015.

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"These results are a testament to the dedicated efforts of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), who work alongside other agencies and organisations across Scotland.

“In my time as a councillor I campaigned for improvements at Ayr South Beach, which had been facing its fourth consecutive year of 'poor' water quality in 2017.  

"Working alongside Keep Scotland Beautiful, Scottish Water, SEPA and the Scottish Government, in 2020 Scottish Water invested £10m for increased storm storage capacity locally which has led to remarkable improvements.

"The 2021 results reflected a significant enhancement in water quality, resulting in Ayr South Beach achieving a 'good' classification, which it has maintained.”

“This showcases the positive impact these collaborative efforts and strategic investments make in terms of environmental sustainability.

"And I trust it will give tourists and locals alike the confidence to make full use of our beaches in the future.”

To find out more and see the 2023 classifications in full see SEPA's website (