Coldingham Bay rules put in place

MANAGEMENT rules have been put in place to promote the responsible use of Coldingham Bay, one of the jewels in Berwickshire’s tourism crown.

These were agreed at a meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Committee last week and include rules governing overnight camping, lighting of fires and control of dogs.

Rhona Goldie, chair of Coldingham Community Council, said: “We are incredibly fortunate to have a superb natural resource such as Coldingham Bay right on our doorstep.

“It is important that it is managed in such a way as to allow everyone, locals and visitors, to enjoy it at its best. Common consideration for others, particularly nearby residents, backed up by these local management rules, should allow it to be enjoyed for many years to come.”

The beach at Coldingham Bay has been owned by Scottish Borders Council since 1973 and was awarded Blue Fag status in 2010 in recognition of its bathing water quality and various improvements carried out over a number of years. As such it is one of only seven beaches in Scotland to receive the award this year.

The beach is popular among visitors and Borders residents alike and normally receives around 20,000 visitors over the summer season.

The popularity of the beach has, however, led to a number of complaints by members of the public with 22 police incident reports over misbehaviour since 2008. There is also an increasing threat from overnight camping and fires.

And taking all of this into consideration, a number of management rules have been compiled to make Coldingham Bay a safe and protected environment in order to ensure the full use and enjoyment of of it for locals and tourists alike.

These will be enforced during the summer by seasonal Beach Guards and outside of working hours by Community Wardens.

The proposed rules prohibit overnight camping and open fires all year round and ensure that dogs are kept under control or on a lead on the award section of the beach during bathing season. This is to ensure the integrity of the beach as a visitor attraction.

Some of the specific rules include SBC having the right to refuse admission to any person, group, body or organisation and its decision to do so shall be final; musical instruments, sound and vision entertainment systems not being used in a manner that will cause a nuisance, particularly between 10.30pm and 7.30am; and the council not being held responsible for any loss or damage to any vehicle or any other property left in the car parking facilities, or any injury or damage suffered by anyone contravening the management rules or not taking reasonable care.

If any authorised officer has grounds for believing that a person has contravened, is contravening or is about to contravene any of the foregoing management rules, they may exclude or expel that person from the Bay.

Anyone who persistently contravenes or attempts to contravene the foregoing management rules and is, in the opinion of the Council, likely to contravene again, shall be liable to be made the subject of an exclusion order by the Council.