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A large section of the bank between Findhorn Road and the bay has collapsed


By Garry McCartney

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Donald Watson and Cathy Low of Findhorn Village Conservation Company with Sam Russell of Findhorn Residents Association.Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
Donald Watson and Cathy Low of Findhorn Village Conservation Company with Sam Russell of Findhorn Residents Association.Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

VILLAGERS concerned by the effects of increased coastal erosion and flooding this year have asked the authorities for help.

Findhorn Village Conservation Company FVCC) secretary Cathy Low said Moray Council and Scottish Water are aware of “significant erosion” along the front bank of Findhorn Bay, as well as surface water damage to local homes following heavy rain.

She said: “There has been significant erosion along the bay front, especially on the old railway bank from the Fyrish Road entrance to the church.

“Moray Council have carried out interim work at the worst affected area, putting large sand bags and stone down.

“They are currently working on a plan to address this, as the adjacent road into Findhorn is high on their priorities.

“This work is expected to be carried out before the winter.”

The landslide and new defences.Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
The landslide and new defences.Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

High tides and strong winds have also caused considerable damage along the back beach between Findhorn and Burghead where decades-old sea defences are starting to disintegrate.

FVCC have been advised Moray Council is unable to complete preventative works at this time as the area does not have an immediate impact on residences or infrastructure currently.

Cathy added: “The dunes track doesn't have any sea defences and is being eroded at an alarming rate.

“However, it will not impact residences or infrastructure in the near future so will not be addressed.

“The area beyond the church and down to the point will become more of a concern as time goes on.

“The sand and shingle is always moving with the forces of the sea and winds.”

Increasing surface water caused by heavy downpours is also causing concern. Scottish Water is working with residents – mainly in the conservation part of the village most affected – to identify a solution to prevent ingress into homes.

Councillor Draeyk van der Horn surveying the damage.
Councillor Draeyk van der Horn surveying the damage.

Findhorn resident and local Moray Councillor Draeyk van der Horn (Greens) said the latest surveys put the village at more of a threat than previously understood.

He said: “Findhorn is one of the ‘canaries in cage’ for climate breakdown in our region, with communities around the bay in one of the highest risk areas in Moray for coastal flooding.

“Moray Council is working to predicted sea level rises of over half a metre by the end of the century.

“This coupled with increased frequency and intensity of storms means we can expect more devastating and costly damage to our coastline, with far reaching implications inland as waterways burst banks during storms.

“Managed retreat is part of the council strategy; this means land will need to be allowed to flood as we cannot defend the whole coastline.

“There are nature solutions that could be employed and these need to be openly discussed with landowners and local people to work up these ideas.”

The landslide shortly after it happened.
The landslide shortly after it happened.

A Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) Freedom of Information response to Findhorn and Kinloss Community Council asked for flood maps and a management plan.

SEPA replied: “Kinloss and the surrounding area is identified as a potentially vulnerable area in the 2021 plan, with actions specifically targeted to the community of Kinloss.

“A local flood risk management plan was published by Moray Council in December 2022 which gives more information on the actions proposed

“SEPA has just launched a consultation on a review of the potentially vulnerable areas for the next set of plans which will be published in 2027/28.”


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