Hope for the future of Montrose coastline

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THE THREATENED coastline of Montrose could find a reprieve thanks to a major new project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

A grant of £285,000 will be used to help manage the eroding coastline while gathering information on the heritage that exists there before it is lost to the effects of storms and climate change.

It has become clear that climate change is having an impact on the coastline of Montrose and neighbouring communities, so volunteers from across the country are gathering to ensure that the coastal heritage is maintained.

In the town special attention will be paid to the area at Boddin Point where researchers hope to find ways to alleviate the erosion which has already threatened the site.

A further 950 high-priority sites will be assessed across the country with the specially trained volunteers (coastal heritage stewards) recording all that they find.

The information collected by the coastal heritage stewards and at the digs will be fed into a web database and, working with Historic Scotland and local authority archaeologists, will be used to form a national paper on how best to manage coastal heritage at risk from erosion.

It is hoped that the findings will also feed in to the new regional marine planning partnerships which are being established as a result of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010.

Colin McLean, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “Scotland’s coastline is one of our most incredible assets. From the towering cliffs of Orkney to the sandy dune-fringed beaches of Fife, you are never more than 65km from the sea.

“However, stretching over 15,500km, the sheer length of it makes gathering information on this scale a near impossible task.

“This project will allow volunteers, with a common interest in protecting Scotland’s coastal heritage, to work together locally, learning new skills and helping people better understand erosion, climate change and other environmental issues affecting our shores.”