Keep Scotland Beautiful ensures policy is clean, green and sustainable - Katie Murray

People come to Scotland to see our majestic environment, immerse themselves in our heritage and culture and be inspired by our wildlife. Our beautiful country has a lot to offer.

Recent research from VisitScotland, looking at how people choose where they visit, highlighted that those aged 45 and under were likely to say ‘to connect with nature and the outdoors’.

Scotland is an emotive destination. It is a country that helps people get away from it all, providing a contrast to the hum-drum of everyday life, a real change of environment.

Those that spend time in nature feel in awe of it, learn to appreciate it and foster a desire to protect it.

It’s not hard to guess why people want to visit our country, nor is it hard to understand why so many Scottish people also choose to take their precious holidays here.

However, it is perhaps more difficult to appreciate the effort that goes into maximising Scotland’s potential.

Set against a Climate Emergency, a litter crisis and the challenges of cost of living rises and a post pandemic and Brexit world, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Scotland was up against it when it comes to green tourism.

But, you’d be wrong.

We are lucky to work with people across the country driving environmental management standards up, from council staff, to community volunteers and businesses - all striving to do the right thing for Scotland and our planet.

This year we celebrated 30 years of excellent beach management at St Andrews West Sands and Gullane Bents. Both beaches are flagship destinations for Scotland’s Beach Awards – the only independently verified accreditation for beach managers in Scotland. Beach awards are a way of raising standards and managing people and nature together, and they contribute positively to local economies.

We also annually present parks with the international Green Flag Award, a framework supporting managers and communities to manage and promote their parks and open spaces.

Our awards help managers celebrate success, publicise appropriate behaviours and generate a sense of civic pride.

In 2021, we added to our portfolio of accreditation schemes the International Green Key, helping hospitality businesses secure environmental improvements and cost savings.

As the hospitality sector rebuilds after Covid-19, we have been supporting hotels and visitor attractions towards a green recovery by providing a framework for continual environmental improvement. The first hotel to be awarded was Radisson Red in Glasgow adjacent to the COP26 venue.

Excitingly we are offering a £500 discount for ten small businesses on their first years’ Green Key membership fee.

Often good management goes unnoticed. But, we believe that by recognising and celebrating the best managed beaches, parks and hospitality venues through our awards, we can keep Scotland beautiful for everyone to enjoy.

If you know of a park, beach or hospitality business that goes above and beyond and deserves a big cheer, please get in touch.

Let’s keep Scotland beautiful for us all.

Katie Murray, Environment and Place Services Manager, Keep Scotland Beautiful

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