Concern over pollution at Fife Coastal Path and dead birds on Kirkcaldy beach

Locals people have raised concerns over pollution on Fife Coastal Path, and an increasing number of dead birds being found on a Kirkcaldy beach.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 4:20 pm

Worries have been raised a red coloured discharge and oil which has been seen in the streams and running into the Forth as well as a lot of dead birds which have been found washed up on Pathhead Sands.

One woman who contacted The Fife Free Press said: “I am getting so concerned about the pollution on the Fife Coastal Path between West Wemyss and Dysart. There is red coloured discharge and oil on the streams running into the Forth and lots of dead birds. Please help. Thank you.”

There have also been concerns voiced on social media about the number of dead birds being found on Pathhead Sands.

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Concerns have been raised by locals about red coloured discharge seen in streams along Fife Coastal Path and the number of dead birds found washed up at Pathhead Sands, Kirkcaldy.

One concerned dog walker wrote: “I took the dog down to the beach this morning at Path Sands for what should have been a nice leisurely walk. However it became quite stressful as there are so many dead birds washed up there I had to keep shooing the dog away from them worried he might catch something. I don’t know what’s going on but it was a concerning sight.”

Another said her son had found a line of dead birds on the tide line at the Kirkcaldy beach.

Fife Coast and Countryside Trust and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) have responded to the concerns saying the rusty colour is the result of iron deposits from disused coal mine areas and the dead birds are being attributed to adverse weather conditions.

A spokesman for Fife Coast and Countryside Trust said: “The rusty colour is a feature of disused coal mine areas and is the result of iron deposits.

“I am not aware that the ochre colour of water outlets along this section has changed or worsened in recent times but will double check . Having said that, we do not have the equipment to test water toxicity so any concerns regarding this should be directed to SEPA or the Coal Authority.

“Regarding the dead birds, I am afraid these have been washing up on many parts of our coastline, not just the Wemyss area. I understand that the primary cause is a prolonged period of stormy weather out at sea which sadly resulted in exhaustion and starvation for many birds.”

While a spokesman for SEPA said: “SEPA is aware of a red coloured discharge along the Fife Coastal Path. There are a number of historic mining impacts in the area of Fife between West Wemyss and Dysart that result from the area’s key role in the mining industry. Discolouration of surface waters is often associated with historic mine workings.Water from the mine workings contains naturally occurring metals, such as iron, from the mined rocks. When mine water flows into a river, the iron can cause an orange colour."SEPA works with the Coal Authority to monitor and reduce the impacts of historic mining on the water environment.”The spokesman added: “We would advise members of the public concerned about a pollution incident to contact our 24-hour online form at”

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