Marine litter monitors have captured a bird’s eye view of the extent of repairs to a historic section of Arbroath harbour wall which fell into the sea at the start of the year.
The Ballast Quay section suffered significant damage in January, leading to a six-figure temporary repair bill for council chiefs to protect the sandstone barrier protecting the channel into the outer harbour.
Permanent repairs are well advanced, and the challenging operation was captured from above by the crew of a UK Civil Air Patrol aircraft involved in a major volunteer operation to log the extent of litter around every mile of Scotland’s coastline.
The SCRAPbook (Scottish Coastal Rubbish Aerial Photography) survey has already revealed “industrial scale” levels of rubbish in parts of Fife.
Former Fife police office Bruce Thomson, the Civil Air Patrol’s chief observer for Scotland was in the aircraft above Angus when it passed over the port.
Angus Council shored up the initial damage with rock armour, before local firm Delson Contracts was awarded the contract for permanent repairs.
Poor maintenance and the effect of dredging works close to the wall were blamed as contributory factors in the collapse by harbour insiders.
Repairs got under way in June and a Council spokesperson said the project is due for completion next month.
Mr Thomson said he had been aware of the harbour wall collapse and was interested to see work ongoing at the busy port during the survey flight over Angus.
“Any deployment is always with a double crew with the observer equipped with a quality digital camera with zoom lens and also GPS equipped so every picture can be accurately located,” he said.
“Most of the observers are also pilots but there are a few of us who are not pilots, including myself. The aircraft are all owned/operated by volunteers and are located at airfields across Scotland
“UK Civil Air Patrol do more than this, although the task of surveying every mile of Scottish coastline, including the islands, is our main focus at the moment.
“We can also be used by agencies such as Sepa, Scottish Fire & Rescue, universities and in missing person searches.”
The litter survey findings are logged on the scrapbook.org.uk website and used to inform community volunteer squads of local hotspots which they can then tackle with beach cleans.