A £350,000 award to help save the Montrose coastline from erosion has been welcomed as “a start”.
Angus Council will use the Scottish Government funding to reinstate dunes at Montrose Golf Links.
Dunes next to the golf course are being claimed by the sea at a rate of two metres per year.
And there are fears of flooding in the town of Montrose if the dunes fail to hold back the sea.
‘Its a start, but…’
John Adams is a former chairman of Montrose Golf Links.
He has been involved in Dynamic Coast – a Scottish Government led research project.
Montrose was a focal point for the research because of the alarming rate the dunes are retreating.
The sea has already claimed a few tees and fairways at Montrose’s 1562 Course.
John says £350,000 “will not go a long way”.
He adds: “You think of the need to spend in the region of £40m plus for a semi-permanent solution.
“If the £350,000 spend is genuinely just a shoring up exercise until a larger scheme is produced, well it’s a start.”
Is there a permanent solution?
Angus Council bosses say this is just the “first phase of a wider plan” to tackle the issue of erosion at Montrose.
In the coming years the council will draw up a long-term strategy to replenish the dunes and protect the beach.
John has backed the idea of a ‘sand motor’ and an Angus Council spokesperson recently indicated the authority had not ruled out this option.
A sand motor has already been trialled in the Netherlands.
Dutch authorities used millions of cubic metres of sand to create an artificial peninsula off the coast.
Wind and tidal action drives the sand landward, nourishing the dune system.
However, the project at The Hague cost in the region of £60m to build.
What happens now?
The funding will allow Angus Council to commission the design and construction of a solution to coastal erosion at Montrose.
But before any work can go ahead the council must assess potential environmental impact and assess its options.
John does not believe at this stage that the work will have a huge impact on the layout of the golf course.
Council officers are working with Montrose Golf Links, NatureScot, Marine Scotland, Montrose Port Authority and Sepa (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) on the project.
Montrose SNP councillor Bill Duff said: “Studies by Angus Council and Dynamic Coast highlighted that dune repair work is urgently required to maintain the dune cordon and reduce the flood risk.
“I am acutely aware that this project, while important for Montrose, will also be very important to golfers, as it will assist in defending the golf course.”