30 October 2020

Project lead appointed for new Coast Aberdeenshire initiative

Aberdeenshire Council has appointed a project lead for phase one of the new Coast Aberdeenshire initiative.

Alan Jones Associates will oversee the £25,000 project - funded by the Coastal Communities Fund - which will initially look at improved integration and management of the coastal path and coastal path resources from Peterhead all the way round to the Moray boundary.

The project will consider targeted local initiatives to improve some existing sections of the coastal path, while exploring sustainable strategies for its ongoing promotion, development and management.

It is anticipated that funding applications resulting from this initial phase will support an ongoing work programme in subsequent project phases.

Today (Fri, Oct 30), Aberdeenshire Council Environment Planner Katherine Low explained: “We are delighted to have Alan Jones Associates on board to lead this project and we will be jointly undertaking community engagement on our coastal paths network.

“This will be a vital first step in helping us prioritise the aims and outcomes of the Coast Aberdeenshire Project and the creation of a community forum will act as the focal point for connection both during and after the project. Our ambition is that post completion, sustained progress will continue to be pursued and supported by the forum and those with interests in the coastal path corridor.”

Alan Jones added: “We are very pleased to be managing this innovative new project which will create tremendous opportunities to open up the North-east coast to many more people both from the local coastal areas themselves and further afield.

“There is a strong desire to see cultural, natural and heritage events being woven in to the wider project and broadcast to a large audience to showcase the North-east and that can only be good news for businesses in the many towns and villages along this coastal corridor.”

The project forms part of a wider approach to coastal improvements and initiatives after the local authority was awarded £770,923 in the first and second tranches of monies from the Scottish Crown Estate (Marine) Coastal Communities Fund to be spent by March 31, 2021. 

Meanwhile, further information and guidance on how to apply for monies through the Coastal Communities Fund and the criteria of each programme can be obtained by visiting the BRASS or NESFLAG websites at
or by contacting coastalcommunities@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

The Aberdeenshire coastline is around 91 miles in length, extending from St Cyrus in the south to Logie Head near Cullen. The route already features a coastal path which comprises Core Paths, cliff-top paths, extensive beach sections and some minor roads and tracks.

The full Aberdeenshire route links approximately 30 settlements. The path is not continuous, having some relatively short breaks. For the sections managed by Aberdeenshire Council, coordination and maintenance is undertaken through existing access agreements or informal arrangements.

Some short sections exposed to the forces of coastal erosion and recent severe weather events have proved difficult to maintain in a stable condition, resulting in section closures.