Support campaign to restore the dunes

New Dunes for Old Trees could restore the dunes.
New Dunes for Old Trees could restore the dunes.

St Andreans are being urged to get online and support a campaign to protect the town’s iconic dunes.

Fife Coast and Countyside Trust is taking part in the Aviva Community Trust, which asks the public to vote for projects they want to receive funding.

‘New Dunes for Old Trees’ is the Trust’s newest project, and is aimed at protecting the dunes after a series of incidents this year.

The latest came last month, when countryside ranger Ranald Strachan discovered that a 30 square metre patch of grass had been destroyed by fire and fireworks.

The ‘New Dunes for Old Trees’ project would see the building of new and never tried before triangular dunes to protect the most vulnerable parts of the dunes – the pedestrian and vehicle access points.

The primary part of the project, however, would be the use of old Christmas trees from the local community to fill damaged holes in the dunes.

Sand is then used to cover the trees, before dune grasses are transplanted onto the newly created dune.

Ranald described the incidents as “very frustrating”.

He added: “We must be approaching 1000 volunteers who have helped.

“That’s a lot of people.

“What’s most frustrating is that the people of St Andrews and visitors to West Sands have given up their access rights to get on the sand dunes because they believe we are restoring them.

“And we are. But these setbacks are disrespectful to the efforts that have gone in to restoring them.”

Hundreds of charities, organisations and groups take part in the Aviva Community Fund, submitting ideas for projects across the UK.

Other projects throughout Fife include a bid to restore the old open air swimming pool at Pittenweem and an extension to the Silverburn Festival near Leven.

So why should the sand dunes project receive your votes?

“In Fife the sand dunes are a pretty rare habitat,” Ranald said.

“We have good beaches, but that’s it.

“There’s little sand dunes.

“But the most important thing for the people of St Andrews is that the dunes are the only coastal defence for the links trust golf courses.

“Without them you can imagine what will happen.”

If you would like to suppot the ‘New Dunes for Old Trees’ project, visit https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/17-6209.