BATHING waters at four East Lothian locations have received top marks from a national organisation.

Throughout the season, specialist teams from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) sample designated waters and provide regular water quality information.

The bathing season runs from the beginning of June until the middle of September.

Now, following the end of the bathing season, SEPA has revealed which beaches have the top water quality across the country.

In East Lothian, Gullane, North Berwick West, Thorntonloch and Whitesands have all been deemed excellent.

The rating system is split into four: excellent, good, sufficient and poor.

Five further areas in the county – Dunbar (East), Fisherrow Sands, Longniddry, Seacliff and Seton Sands – received the second highest marks.

Fisherrow Sands was de-designated in 2020 following five years of poor classifications. It was re-designated following work between SEPA, the Scottish Government, Scottish Water, East Lothian Council and wider stakeholders.

More than £3 million has been spent on works to upgrade wastewater pumping stations, resolve multiple misconnections and make improvements to the sewer network to reduce spills.

Finally, Dunbar (Belhaven), North Berwick Milsey Bay and Yellowcraig were all deemed sufficient.

SEPA works with regulated operators and stakeholders across the country.

Millions of pounds have been invested to bring about changes needed to ensure the country’s bathing waters are a success story.

Just two beaches in Scotland – Kinghorn (harbour beach) and Lower Largo – have had their bathing water classified as poor.

Ruth Stidson, SEPA’s principal scientist for bathing waters, said: “Scotland started this bathing water season with more bathing waters than ever and a record-breaking number rated excellent.

“I’m delighted to say we’ll start next year just as strongly.

“Our bathing waters have the best water quality since 2015, when tighter standards first came into force.”