Golf club's bid to tackle coastal erosion after Storm Babet

The Fortrose and Rosemarkie golf course is raising funds for stronger sea defences after losing five metres of fairway in some areas.

One of Scotland’s oldest golf courses has set up a fund to tackle coastal erosion and damage following Storm Babet.

Damage to the Black Isle’s Fortrose and Rosemarkie course from Storm Babet last autumn left it several yards narrower – and the golf club’s reserve funds seriously depleted.

The club has since invested £180,000 in its own sea defences and is seeking as much again to bolster stretches further along the course.

Fortrose and Rosemarkie golf club captain Cathryn Field said: “It’s been an issue on our radar but we didn’t think it would go so quickly.

“In some areas we lost five metres of fairway in the October storm and the first and second tees were both damaged.

“We had some reserves at the club which we’ve utilised, mostly. We had help from Scottish Water whose waste water pipe runs along the beach and a small amount of money from Highland Council.

“We’re now looking to raise more money to do the rest of the works. We’ve got a GoFundMe page, so we’re hoping that will raise what we need.”

Fortrose and Rosemarkie golf course raising funds to bolster sea defences

The story is the same at many other links courses including Golspie in Sutherland and Montrose Links.

They are among more than 30 Scottish clubs worried about rising sea levels.

Former Montrose Golf Links chairman John Adams said: “We’ve put rock armour in place which has now been topped by the waves.

“A medium sized tide comes over those. We need something more permanent.. a breakwater, groynes – anything to retain the sand.

“And we need more sand as well, which is coming. But how they’re going to keep it on the beaches is another issue.”

Erosion is a focus of an action plan that was commissioned by the world golf body the Royal and Ancient in 2020.

The study from the University of St Andrews estimated that almost £400m worth of property and infrastructure around Scotland’s coastline is at risk due to the effects of coastal erosion.

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