Action required to save Ferryden cairn

ACTION is being considered to counter coastal erosion at Ferryden which is threatening a marker for one of Scotland’s top endurance walks.

A cairn erected by the village’s community council to mark the end of the annual Great Outdoor Challenge is in danger of toppling into the sea.

The coast-to-coast walk takes place every October with entrants leaving from around a dozen starting points in the west to finishing points scattered along the coast between Arbroath and Fraserburgh.

All walkers have to report to the organisers’ control centre in Montrose but the cairn, at Scurdieness Lighthouse, was erected as an official marker in 2005.

The community council funded the project itself as it was hoped more people would be attracted to the village and surrounding area to finish their trek.

It is now considering installing gabions – wire baskets filled with rubble – to try to halt the process.

David Wilson, who lives in the lighthouse, had sought advice on how the area around the cairn could be protected and enhanced, and at the community council’s meeting last Thursday told members that work could cost around £8,000.

He also circulated designs for three suggested improvement schemes which include hard landscaping and seating.

Ingram Bruce pointed out that it was not a project the community council could deal with by itself, and chairman Gordon Brown queried if funding could be found to help finance the repairs. Member Daniel Paton suggested that an application could be made to Angus Council’s community grant scheme, which carries a maximum award of £5,000.

Mr Wilson said: “It’s enjoyed by the people of Ferryden and people who come to the area.

“I think that if we did something like this it would show that the community was willing to muck in and retain a place of beauty which is a real asset to everyone.”

Mr Paton pointed out that the community council’s responsibility lies with the protection of the cairn rather than dealing with the coastal erosion which is threatening it but Mr Brown said that if the erosion continues the cairn will disappear.

He said: “We need to investigate various sources of funding because to do nothing would be a bit foolhardy. It’s important that we look after it but it needs further investigation regarding costs, because we want to get this right.”