IT'S been one the region's favourite bathing spots for decades - but Coldingham Bay has been condemned by water watchdogs.

The Berwickshire beach lost its Blue Flag status this week after recent samples failed guidelines.

Hundreds of Borderers flock to picturesque coastal resort every year to soak up the surf.

But after three successful years of flying the Blue Flag it has now been lowered.

Coldingham Beach is still on track to meet the Mandatory standard of the EU Bathing Water Directive and can continue to fly the Scottish Seaside Award flag.

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, which administers the Blue Flag in Scotland, said: "Coldingham beach has achieved the prestigious international Blue Flag award for three years, and the much acclaimed Seaside Award for five years. "The beach passed 32 strict criteria this year to obtain the Blue Flag but unfortunately the Blue Flag only recognises beaches across the world with the top water quality. "While we are all bitterly disappointed that the Blue Flag has had to be withdrawn, we are pleased that Coldingham will continue to be actively managed and that Seaside Award standards will be maintained - allowing visitors to access up to date information about the water quality. We would urge people to keep visiting the beach, and to check the most recent water quality results on the information boards or online at" Keep Scotland Beautiful will be working closely with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Scottish Borders Council to make sure that the causes of the water quality breaches are identified.

Councillor Ron Smith, Executive Member for Planning and Environment at Scottish Borders Council, said: "We will be working with Keep Scotland Beautiful, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Scottish Water to identify the water quality breaches. It is highly likely that these failures can be attributed to the unusually heavy rainfall we have been experiencing over the past couple of months.

"Keep Scotland Beautiful will also liaise with Scottish Borders Council who will continue to manage the beach as a Seaside Award bathing resort."

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