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Crucial Coastal Protection Work to be carried out along West Sands

February 21 2022

Sand dune restoration work will take place along West Sands beach from Monday 28 February – Sunday 6 March 2022.
The ongoing sand dune enhancement work on West Sands, which began in 2010 following serious storm damage, is now officially recognised as Scotland’s largest and longest running programme of dune restoration.
This next phase will include the build of two new ‘clavicular gate’ dunes and infilling two large, low areas of the dune ridge. The dunes will be fenced to assist trapping sand and planted with Marram and Lyme grass harvested locally, helping stabilise the new sand dunes.
St Andrews Links Trust Environmental Development Officer Ranald Strachan said: “Since 2010 we have restored up to 2.5km of dune gaining the equivalent ground of 8 holes of golf course through adding dunes, planting grasses, fencing dunes and natural build up. The ‘gate’ dunes are inspired by the Romans and how they built their marching camps. Designed to protect straight access paths through the dunes from flooding by simply adding a new dune to offset the straight path on the beach side. Alongside the path protections we will be infilling two very low areas of dune with new sand, this will help raise the dune ridge and adds another level of protection to the most popular part of the beach.”
Funded under NatureScot’s ‘Nature Restoration Fund’ St Andrews Links will lead on the project with GolfLink Evolve taking care of the sand movement.
“Our experienced fencing team will be restoring the dune fences and Fife Coast and Countryside Trust and local volunteers will be assisting with the replanting of the new dunes,” said Ranald.
To ensure the safety of the team and visitors to the area, there will be closures in place of certain access routes through the dunes and the southern part of the beach will be restricted during operations. Due to large dump trucks travelling at a reasonable speed on the beach, the public are being asked not stop or play within restricted areas and dogs should be kept on their leads around any machinery. There will be a large excavator present at the north end of the beach and on the dunes within the restricted area. Signage will be in place to help members of the public navigate the area and all routes will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.
Ranald added: “We are recommending visitors keep clear of the area during this time. This work is a vital part of ensuring the dunes are in good health and size as they are our first line of protection against North Sea storms. The dunes are also a vital part of the beach experience for anyone visiting St Andrews Links and West Sands, and a great habitat for wildlife. With the incredible support of our local community and visitors from far and wide who have all helped us immensely, either by actively supporting the programme or simply by allowing us to restore the dunes, we hope to take the next step towards a more robust and sustainable beach.”
St Andrews Links, Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, NatureScot and Fife Council greatly appreciate your support and understanding.
Click here to view the attached map for details on restrictions.

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