A major new investment by the Big Lottery Fund is set to transform Pathhead Sands on the Kirkcaldy coastline.
The news, which was announced by the Coastal Communities Fund, will see the creation of a new car park, the removal of hard collapsed standing, plus a new coastal path section linking the sands with Ravenscraig Park.
Restoration work will be carried out on the site’s beach, dunes and natural habitats, with invasive plants cleared and new interpretation boards giving visitors details of the area’s historical and natural features.
Fife Coast and Countryside Trust (FCCT), which manages and maintains the Fife Coastal Path and Fife’s beaches, secured Big Lottery funding of £275,000 from the organisation’s Coastal Communities Fund, with the remainder of the funding coming from FCCT and Fife Council.
The news was warmly welcomed by Fife councillors at Kirkcaldy’s Pathhead Sands, which is now set to be upgraded to the standard of other recreational beaches in the area.
“I’m delighted that Fife Coast and Countryside Trust has been successful in attracting this new investment for the coast,” said Councillor David Ross, Leader of Fife Council.
“I’m particularly pleased that this funding will see the upgrading of Pathhead Sands and connections made to Ravenscraig Park.
“This will improve Pathhead Sands, make this part of the coastal path more attractive to visitors and help to make much more of what should be a valuable asset to Kirkcaldy and to Fife.”
The two-year Pathhead project will also see the creation of a new community partnership including representatives from local community groups and businesses. Kirkcaldy East Councillor Arthur Morrison commented: “The investment in Pathhead Sands will mean Kirkcaldy will at last have a beach for families, picnics and outdoor enjoyment.
“The improvements have been sorely needed and will hopefully lead to the improvement of more coastal areas for future generations.”
Elsewhere in Fife, the Coastal Communities Fund money will create two new circular walks on Fife’s Tay coast, taking walkers through native woodlands and fields at Birkhill and Newburgh. Repairs to a collapsing seawall at Ardross near Elie will also help to safeguard the path and nearby property from coastal erosion.
Meanwhile, new lifesaving equipment will be brought in at the 14 European-designated bathing beaches which stretch from St Andrews to Aberdour, and new electronic signage will give visitors to St Andrews’ East Sands the most up-to-date information on the quality of the bathing water at the popular beach.
“Fife already has so much to be proud of,” said Fife Coast and Countryside Trust Chief Executive Amanda McFarlane.
“We have been ranked as the number one destination for outdoor recreation for the past seven years, we have Scotland’s longest and most popular coastal walk and last year we had all of the blue flag award beaches in Scotland
“This significant new funding will allow us to make the Fife coast even safer and more accessible – as well as helping to support the many businesses who help to make the Fife Coastal Path such a rich and rewarding experience for Fifers and visitors.”