Erosion may put golf course tees out of bounds

A A A

For more than 400 years, golf has been played on the links of Montrose, making it one of the earliest established courses in the world. Generations of sportsmen have teed-off among the sand dunes that dominate the spit of sandy land a mile wide on which the east coast community is built.

However, changing seas and coastal erosion is now threatening to destroy part of the course and experts are worried public safety is at risk unless there is an urgent redesign. The dunes along the seafront are at imminent risk of collapse after recent high tides carried sand away from the bottom of the dunes and strong winds attacked the top, leaving them unstable.

After four centuries - the existence of golf at Montrose was recorded as early as 1562 - council officials have called for part of the course to be moved inland as increased sand-dune erosion at Montrose beach is making the sand dunes unstable.

It is estimated that to relocate just two of the tees, which are worst affected, could cost up to £1.5m. Although Angus Council has been considering plans to arrest the erosion, with the erection of fencing and altering the slope of the most affected dunes to make them more stable, engineers claim they are fighting a losing battle.

"Erosion in spring 2006 has made the dunes system at Montrose beach highly unstable and action has been taken to fence off the southern length along the golf course edge and erect additional warning signs," said Ronnie McNeil, Angus Council's roads director, in a report recommending that the golf course operator, Montrose Golf Links, relocates the second and third tees as soon as possible.

"Further action may be required to safeguard the public, including active intervention to stabilise sections of the dunes as the system goes through the erosion cycle," he said.

"This will impact on the golf course further and it is considered prudent to recommend to Montrose Golf Links that they relocate the second and third tees landward." Experts are concerned that as the steepness of the dunes has increased, bad weather expected over the next few months, along with high tides and rough sea conditions, will dramatically increase the rate of degradation. "They are now extremely vulnerable to further erosion during adverse weather and sea conditions over the next few months during the period of high tides, which will increase the degree of instability," said Mr McNeil. Proposals to tackle the problem of erosion with a coastal protection scheme for the area has been ruled out because the measures could affect an environmentally protected site of special scientific interest further along the coast at St Cyrus.

Any such project would also be unlikely to receive any financial help from the Scottish Executive because it would not be considered effective.

A spokesman for the council said that teams had been monitoring the beach and carrying out surveys but that further research, using all the available data on wave heights, wind speeds, beach and seabed contours and tide levels, was still continuing.

Eight years ago a study into the possible erosion of the coastline bordering the golf course indicated the shoreline could recede by up to 260ft by 2050.

Although golf has been played on the links since the 1500s it was not until 1810 that the golfers of Montrose formed themselves into an official club, to fight off a threat by the town council to build a school on the first tee.

A spokeswoman for the club said that it was unable to comment on the report until it had been before the council today.

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Nationwide - OTE £65,000

£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum