December storms put dunes under threat

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A CARNOUSTIE councillor has drawn attention to the destruction of the town’s dunes following last month’s severe storms.

Independent councillor Brian Boyd has recently been contacted by constituents regarding the degradation of the beach dunes and the damage to the structurally important Marram grass.

The situation is worst at the beginning of the boardwalk, where sand from disintegrating dunes has blown up across the pathway.

A large stretch of the boardwalk is affected, with sand piling up in drifts along its length, as far as Ballister Park.

Councillor Boyd said: “Because of the storms that we had in December I’ve had some neighbours saying that we are definitely losing some Marram grass.

“Those storms have caused major sand and wind damage to the remaining dunes.”

Marram grass of the Ammophila genus is a type of grass which thrives in arid, sandy conditions and has the useful property of binding sand.

It can often be found in artificial shore defences or stabilising coastal dunes.

He added: “A few people have said to me that this is definitely the worst condition the dunes have been in for the last 50 years.”

Councillor Boyd also urged people using the boardwalk not to walk on the damaged areas in order to preserve the remaining grass.

He noted that there were a great many footprints and dog prints on the dunes which would hasten the deterioration of the Marram grass.

He added: “In the meantime we’ll try and clear the pathway. It can seemingly take up to seven years for Marram grass to grow.”

A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “The council is aware of concerns raised about this section of the beach and will be assessing the area to see if any work is required.”