Stonehaven CoastSnap photography initiative is a first for Scotland

An exciting new initiative which monitors how our coastlines evolve has been launched at Stonehaven.

In the first scheme of its kind in Scotland, the global CoastSnap process allows members of the public to be actively involved in collecting vital data for beach monitoring.

In 2019, Aberdeenshire Council completed a study into the coastal flood and erosion risk within Stonehaven Bay.

Following on from that, CoastSnap has been developed in partnership with JBA Consulting with the aim of better understanding beach behaviour to support future coastal management decisions.

Images of Stonehaven’s coastline can be taken from the same fixed spot using a purpose-built camera frame located at the ‘Crow’s Nest’ looking south.

They can then be uploaded to a dedicated Facebook page or sent via email with a date and time to eventually produce a time-lapse video of how the coastline is evolving.

By utilising known points in the image as a reference, it enables the image to be converted and projected in a bird’s eye view.

Dr Douglas Pender of JBA Consulting said: “Beach environments are under a variety of pressures such as climate change and rising sea levels.

“By using this simple approach, it is hoped a vast amount of information can be gained which ultimately provides knowledge for coastal planners and managers.

“We understand this is the first of these coastal monitoring fixings in Scotland and if the Stonehaven scheme is a successful in evaluating beach movement over time, we may consider other locations.”

Gavin Penman, Aberdeenshire Council’s Projects Manager (Flood Management, Coastal and Harbours), said: “Natural beaches form the first line of defence against high tides and stormy seas in many coastal towns all over the world.

“As sea levels are predicted to rise and storms get worse, understanding the behaviour of these natural systems has never been more important and I would encourage residents and visitors alike to take photographs for CoastSnap to help us collect monitoring data.”

You can access the initiative via social media at or on Twitter @StonehavenSnap using the following hashtags #coastsnap #citizenscience #stonehaven #fcerm to maximise its reach.

You can also email pictures, including time and date, to

Find out more about the wider Stonehaven Bay Coastal Flood Study online at