St Andrews Links Trust acquires farmland in coastal erosion battle

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 17, 2024 09:57

St Andrews Links Trust has acquired land from a nearby farm as part of coastal management activity to protect and maintain the future of the links.

The land at Easter Kincaple Farm on the coastline of the Eden Estuary, the land has been identified as a potential ingress point for coastal erosion and flooding.

The acquisition allows the trust to incorporate the land and the coastline into its strategic planning.

Over the past 15 years St Andrews Links Trust has undertaken significant dune restoration work amounting to the largest and longest-running dune restoration programme in Scotland as well as beach feeding and salt marsh planning on the Eden coastline which have provided protection against coastal erosion across the links.

As part of the deal, the acquired land will remain in use for agricultural purposes for the foreseeable future.

Neil Coulson, chief executive, said: “As we are seeing elsewhere in Scotland and throughout the world, the threat of coastal erosion is not only an issue that we have to plan for in future years but something which is already having an impact on coastal communities and facilities.

The Eden Estuary. Image from X

“Not only does this land allow us to add to our coastal defences it also helps protect against any potential future development by third parties. We have no immediate plans for development of the land other than to enhance coastal erosion mitigations.

“However, while the decision to purchase has primarily been taken on environmental grounds to combat coastal erosion, it may offer opportunities for future expansion of the links and its facilities in years to come.”

Ranald Strachan, a ranger at St Andrews Links Trust, described last winter as “a challenging one” with a number of storms, high tides and easterly winds impacting restoration efforts.

He added: “There is no doubt we are in a much stronger position than we would be due to the dune restoration work and coastal management that has been undertaken over the past 15 years.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 17, 2024 09:57
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