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Historic Montrose links and seafront a scene of “absolute devastation” after weekend storm

Dunes at Montrose golf course - the world's fifth oldest - have been eroded by more than three metres in Storm Babet and its aftermath.

Montrose Seafront Damage
The scene at Montrose seafront. Image: Councillor Tommy Stewart

Historic Montrose golf links has lost more than three metres during the combined battering of Storm Babet and its devastating weekend aftermath.

It’s part of a seafront scene of destruction where parts of the town promenade collapsed “like a pack of cards” under the force of a Sunday’s high tide.

And it’s the latest major blow to already fragile dunes disappearing at an alarming rate.

A swathe of the seafront has now been cordoned off to the public.

On Monday afternoon, contractors were working to shore up the worst-hit sections.

But the public have been warned to stay away because of how unstable the area remains.

And there are fears the damage could take months and cost millions of pounds to repair.

Golf course destruction

Montrose’s 1562 medal course is the world’s fifth oldest.

Storm Babet claimed around a metre of the dunes the historic links sits on.

But links general manager David Brown revealed Sunday night’s spring tide did even greater damage.

Montrose golf links
The edge of Montrose golf links hangs over the dunes. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

“Storm Babet could have been considerably worse,” he said.

“But we didn’t escape so lightly at the weekend.

“In the good area we lost probably around 1.5 metres, but around 2.5m in the worst hit part.”

Montrose golf links storm damage
The coastline shows the scale the weekend damage. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

It’s forced the closure of a path near the second tee.

“Part of it is hanging over the edge – it’s a sheer drop,” added David.

“Golfers are back out on the course today, it is fully operational.

“But it’s not good.”

Promenade ‘devastation’

The sea has completely undermined the area in front of Montrose Coastguard station.

And the area near the Traill Pavilion was described as “absolute devastation” by local Independent councillor Tommy Stewart.

“I was down there on Sunday afternoon and one section had collapsed.

“When I went out for my early morning walk I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

Montrose beachfront storm damage.
Parts of the beachfront promenade have disappeared. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson
Montrose seafront storm damage.
Contractors are trying to stabilise the affected area at Montrose seafront. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

“There are huge sections which have just given way.

“There was a car parked right beside it.

“People need to stay away from it, it is really dangerous.

“It is right up to the road at the Coastguard station.

“I’m not a structural engineer but it could take a lot to reinstate that.”

Montrose Conservative councillor Iain Gall added: “I went down with Cllr Stewart and it is pretty devastating to see.

“A large section of the seafront has been cordoned off.

“But that is just a sticking plaster in the issue of Montrose’s disappearing coastline.

“We are losing metres of coastline for every year of inaction.”

The collapse has left William Lamb’s Minesweeper statue in a precarious position.

It is a sculpture by the famous town artist looking out to the North Sea.

William Lamb Minesweeper statue at Montrose.
William’s Lamb’s Minesweeper stands in the cordoned off section of beachfront. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

An Angus Council spokesperson said: “The road and footpath have been closed on Traill Drive approximately between the beach car park and Coastguard station and are secured with fencing.

“The boardwalk to the beach is also cordoned off.

“Contractors and engineers are currently on site to assess the damage and undertake preventative works.

“However, we would stress that this area is remains very unstable and so we ask the public to please stay away.

“We would also ask that people ensure that their children stay away.”