Mearns coastal landslips in the spotlight

Members of Catterline Braes Action Group install live ground anchors in June, 2019.
Members of Catterline Braes Action Group install live ground anchors in June, 2019.

An alternative method of tackling landslips and erosion on the Mearns coast will be highlighted next month.

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) has been working with Catterline Braes Action Group since 2013 to preserve the slopes through the use of natural, local materials.

GCU is organising a free workshop in Stonehaven and Catterline in March to demonstrate the potential of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS). It is an alternative to hard engineering which uses steel and concrete.

In addition to the structural benefits, NBS is hailed as helping to restore landscapes and support ecosystems,

In 2018 GCU received EU funding to further develop NBS for Catterline.

Dr Karen Munro, a postdoctoral researcher at GCU, said: “We hope that residents from the Catterline community, from other surrounding communities, and from communities along the North-east coast who share similar landslip concerns, will be able to join the workshop.

“It will welcome representatives from local authorities, universities, and industries to join community members in learning about NBS.

“It will teach knowledge and practical skills that participants can apply in their own communities, supporting them to actively protect their homes, businesses, and natural areas.”

The workshop will run from Thursday, March 26, to Saturday, March 28.

On the Thursday, Stonehaven’s Station Hotel will host talks from experts who will introduce the theory behind NBS, then over the following two days participants will take part in a hands-on practical workshop constructing NBS in Catterline.

Local Councillor George Carr said: “The work done by the local Catterline Braes Action Group, in conjunction with Glasgow

“Caledonian University, Aberdeen University and others, is a fantastic demonstration of local volunteers taking control, and providing a solution to an ongoing serious problem in their community.

“Aberdeenshire Council has taken a keen interest in the work done at Catterline which is pioneering, and can provide solutions elsewhere in the region where landslips have caused inconvenience and costly remedial repair work.

“Tackling water in the slopes with drainage, soil nailing and looking at the biodiversity present in the vicinity, are all key ingredients to preventing these devastating landslips taking place in the first place.”