Discovering Angus’ Wild Coast

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Teacher showing small crab
Published on Wednesday 8 August 2018

The inaugural festival celebrating all things coastal in Angus gets underway on Friday 7 September. The festival is being led by the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership’s Marine and Coastal Group.

This brand new event will be launched by Woodlands Primary School children as stalwart School Species Champions for both Swifts and the Small Blue butterfly. Pupils will be joining up with Council Leader, and the Angus Species Champion for the Small Blue butterfly, Councillor David Fairweather, to sow an area of sand dune at Carnoustie Links with seeds and locally grown plants.

There are more than 35 of events taking place from 7 to 17 September. The first weekend features the Littoral Art project which explores the science and art behind coastal litter, an RSPB tideline scavenger hunt, a cycle ride from Montrose and a geodiversity walk from Arbroath.

Welcoming the news, Councillor David Fairweather and the Angus Species Champion for the Small Blue butterfly said: “These family-friendly events are a perfect way to enjoy everything our coast has to offer. We know how lucky we are in Angus to have an abundant and diverse wildlife, stunning coastline and waters rich with marine life. We are often treated to seeing dolphins and whales near the coast and during the breeding season our cliffs are full of seabirds. Even the cliffs themselves are interesting as they feature some fascinating geology which again so few people know about.”

Tayside Biodiversity Co-ordinator Catherine Lloyd said: “The idea behind this brand new festival is to highlight the iconic wildlife we have in Angus and to share special walks, cycle rides and events down on the beach with local residents and visitors alike. Angus’ hidden, wild coastline is very much a secret waiting to be shared.

“I’d like to extend our thanks to Brechin-based Scotia Seeds for providing the Kidney Vetch seeds and to Perthshire-based Celtica Wildflowers for the Kidney Vetch plants, which are being used to sow the sand dune at Carnoustie Links.”

There’s heaps happening during the 10 days including;  talks, walks, seaweed culinary delights plus butterfly and bird identification workshops, ANGUSalive libraries and museums and the Scottish Montrose Basin Wildlife Centre will be hosting coastal themed family events and exhibitions.

The Festival will end with a wildlife photography workshop, and the opportunity to take part in the Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Cleans, rock pool rambles and a demonstration on cetacean rescue.

Most events are free but need to be pre-booked. Search “Angus Coastal Festival” on Eventbrite, see the programme at www.taysidebiodiversity.co.uk  or contact taysidebiodiversity@pkc.gov.uk  for further details.  

The Tayside Biodiversity Partnership covers the local authority areas of Angus and Perth and Kinross.

The Tayside Biodiversity Action Plan 2nd Edition (2016-26) features many actions to safeguard and improve the area’s Marine & Coastal habitats and species. Further details are available via www.taysidebiodiversity.co.uk

Following in the footsteps of MSP Species Champions, Angus has its own “Species and Habitat Champions”. At present, fifteen local elected members have pledged their support for local biodiversity and will engage in projects and carry out awareness raising with local communities, businesses and schools. Visit the Angus species and habitat champions page to find out more.

Photo: Kaye Banks – Teacher Naturalist at Scottish Wildlife Trust Montrose Basin Visitor Centre.