Backing for anti-erosion measures

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FERRYDEN community councillors have won the backing of The Great Outdoors (TGO) Magazine in their bid to safeguard a cairn from coastal erosion.

At their meeting on Thursday, members were told that the magazine is keen to see the cairn, which marks the end point of its annual Great Outdoors Challenge coast-to-coast walk, preserved.

Treasurer Gordon Paterson said that he had received a reply to an e-mail sent last month to former editor Roger Smith who was instrumental in helping the community council erect the cairn in 2005.

Mr Paterson said Mr Smith had confirmed that the magazine would not want the cairn to be put in danger and that it would support the community council’s efforts to preserve it.

He said: “Roger will be in Montrose within the next month or so as he is based here during the period of the coast to coast walk and will be happy to meet with us at some time to discuss what is required and how he can be of assistance.

“He seems to be quite keen to see what they can do to support it.”

The walk takes place every year 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.

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.

Recently, coastal erosion has threatened to undercut the cairn and the community council is trying to take steps to preserve it.

At their April meeting, however, members decided the project would be too big to deal with on their own. The first step will be to bring together the different landowners and interested parties to discuss what action can be taken to arrest or reverse the erosion process, although it could take some time to find all those involved.

Help has also been offered by Angus Council’s community learning and development service.

Any action taken, however, is complicated as the area is near a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Chairman Gordon Brown said: “We’re waiting for confirmation of land ownership etc as well as what other parties wanted to take it forward.

“We’ve agreed it’s too big for the community council and we will have to wait for that to be sorted out before we can go any further.”