Beach erosion study to continue

Beach erosion: Dundee University's study of the causes and remeidies for Montrose's erosion problems is continuing.'Staff photograph
Beach erosion: Dundee University's study of the causes and remeidies for Montrose's erosion problems is continuing.'Staff photograph

A STUDY monitoring the erosion of Montrose’s dunes and measures taken to arrest the process will continue, Angus councillors have agreed.

The local authority engaged Dundee University to carry out the investigation and at a recent meeting of infrastructure services committee, members agreed recommendations that the findings of the university’s phase two report should continue to be implemented.

Put forward in 2011, the report identified four possible methods, totalling between £1.5 million and £3 million, to slow down the rate of erosion which is threatening the dune system as well as parts of the town’s historic golf course.

It proposed an integrated approach, employing all four options, which would be monitored over a period of time although none are quick-fix measures and it could be years before there is any noticeable change.

Recharging the beach annually with sand dredged from the harbour navigation channel in the South Esk estuary was put forward as well as a one-off shoreface recharge using sand from elsewhere in Scotland. The report also suggested the installation of beach control structures and dune management using a combination of fencing and grass planting.

The recommendations included that prior to any work starting a survey of the channel be carried out to establish its depth in conjunction with a programme to monitor the profile of the beach.

Local councillors Bill Duff and David May have welcomed the continuation of the programme which, they said, will help to arrest the erosion process.

Councillor Duff said: “Erosion of the beach has been an issue in Montrose for quite a long time and is a concern to townspeople who enjoy walking along the beach or children who play on the beach and perhaps most importantly to golfers who see the Montrose Links, the fifth oldest in the world eroding year by year. At present the second tee is particularly in danger. Adding a new hole on the town side of the course would be a seriously expensive issue for Montrose Golf Links Ltd., if the worse happened. While golf is a popular pastime in Montrose, it is also an important part of our tourist economy.

“I’m particularly pleased that we are proposing to continue working with Dundee University on this project. It is reassuring that our approach is founded on good science.”

Councillor May also said he is delighted that the update report was accepted.

He continued: “I am delighted to see this report on the Montrose Beach Study and to get an update on progress as coastal erosion has had a very adverse affect on our beach, and also meant the loss of some of our classic and historic golf course, and the work which is being done will, I hope, slow down the erosion.

“I hope that the contact with the local harbour board would lead to the sand that they regularly dredge could be deposited in such as way as to help to lessen further erosion.”