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13/01/11 Invitation and timetable for Marine Regions Consultation

Scottish Marine Regions Consultation Invitation

26 January 2011

The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses Fraserburgh, 10.00am

The Town and County Hall, Aberdeen, 2.00pm

The East Grampian Coastal Partnership is hosting two open events as part of the Scottish Government consultation on Scottish Marine Regions and I would be delighted if you could attend.

The Marine (Scotland) Act provides for the creation of marine regions and the delegation of marine planning to a local level. This will allow for local accountability and input to decision making. Scottish Marine Regions will be created through secondary legislation once the characteristics for establishing their boundaries are determined.

Consultation on this process is now underway and will close on 18 February 2011. The full consultation document can be downloaded from

To support the consultation process, East Grampian Coastal Partnership is hosting open events on Wednesday the 26th January at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouse, Fraserburgh. With refreshments and registration from 9.30 finishing to Noon and in the Town and County Hall, Aberdeen from 1.30pm finishing at 4pm Both programs will include a presentation from Marine Scotland, opportunities for questions and annotation of maps.

Your input would be greatly appreciated and, if you will be able to attend, please register for the event by contacting us on 01224 395151 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please feel welcome to pass this invitation on to others who may be interested in attending.

Fraserburgh Lighthouse Museum

  • 0930 Registration Tea and Coffee
  • 1000 Welcome
  • 1010 The Scottish Marine Regions Consultation
  • 1040 Questions
  • 1100 Workshop
  • 1145 Feedback and conclusions
  • 1200 Close
  • Aberdeen Town and County Hall
  • 1330 Registration
  • 1400 Welcome
  • 1410 The Scottish Marine Regions Consultation
  • 1440 Questions
  • 14 55 Tea and Coffee
  • 1500 Workshop
  • 1545 Feedback and conclusions
  • 1600 Close

24/11/10 Scottish Marine Regions Consultation Launched

Marine Scotland wants your veiws on the shape of the regions that will deliver local marine planning. The closing date is the 18th of February:

For More information please follow this link:

20/10/10 Basking sharks a plenty at Rattery Head

Staff at the RSPB Loch of Strathbeg have reported that up to 8 Basking Sharks can be seen of the Coast at Rattery Head during the last few days. The best site seems to be close to the Pill Box close to the Tufted Duck at Inverallochy.

The best way to see them is to watch out to sea on a calm day. You are looking for 3 triangles, a small nose sticking out of the sea a larger dorsal fin and a rapidly moving tail. This can be difficult to spot and can seem a little strange, on a Norcet Survey a few years ago I spent some time watching what looked like 2 puffins swimming forward with a hyperactive bird moving from side to side behind them. With hindsight I should have realised what it was straight away but sea watching can be like that.

18/10/10 East Scotland Dolphins worth £4million per year

A new report commissioned by the Moray Firth partnership has shown that the East of Scotland population of Bottlenose dolphins are worth an amazing £31,000 each per year. This is accounted for by hotel night, boat trips etc.

The report also showed that the area close to Aberdeen, despite having reliable dolphin sightings, receives very little economic benefit. This is something that EGCP is aiming to address though work promoting green tourism in the area.

12/10/10 We have control of the website

You may have noticed that the EGCP website has been looking dated recently, well we are back, all the passwords that i need i now have and updates will begin to follow soon. If you have any news or event please get in contact and we will add them to the site.

12/10/10 EGCP Newsletter

Well, almost 8,000 copies have gone of this bumper issue, if you do not have one let me know and i will send one out, other wise it will be available here soon.

Nigg Bay Clean Up-Saturday 8th August 11 am-3pm

EGCP and Aberdeen City council are having a joint beach clean at Nigg Bay to help tidy up what is a very special area. This area is classified as unique in many ways: its natural heritage (Balnagask & Cove District Wildlife Site, Nigg Bay Geological Site of Special Scientific Interest, Site of Interest to Natural Sciences-do you know the River Dee used to flow into the sea here) and it's built heritage.

It is also an area that can collect lots of litter so please come down and lend a hand. All equipment will be provided, just bring something to eat and drink and wear suitable clothing and stout shoes.

Hope to see you there!

Scotland's Coastal Archaeology and the Problem of Erosion

The SCAPE Trust are pleased to announce the publication of our Annual Review for 2008.

SCAPE (Scotland's Coastal Archaeology and the Problem of Erosion) is a charity working within the area of the historic environment of the coastal zone. Our primary focus is related to raising awareness of the impact of climate change (particularly accelerated erosion) to Scotland's coastal heritage, and we have a very strong commitment to promoting community involvement in Scotland's coastal heritage, which we do through Shorewatch and other site specific projects.

Please follow the links within the Annual Review to learn more about SCAPE, Shorewatch, and some of our current projects.

One of the intentions of the Annual Review is for people to find out more about SCAPE and how to get invovled with coastal heritage.

Butterfly Conservation’s UK-wide count of Painted Lady’s - 30th May 2009

In the UK millions of Painted Lady butterflies have arrived in recent days and more are likely to arrive with sunny weather and favourable winds forecast over the coming weekend.

There is a unique opportunity to get better information on the nature and scale of this spectacular and unprecedented migration by taking part in a UK-wide count. Butterfly Conservation are inviting interested recorders to carry out a two hour sample count from 11:00 -13:00 (UK time) on Saturday 30th May. This will enable objective compassion with all other sites recorded in the same way.

The data can be entered online at Butterfly Conservation’s website.

Simply record the total number that you see flying through your set search area over the full two hours of observation (including the 10% or more that are likely to stop briefly to feed before carrying on migrating). Your search area will either be your garden or over a 20 wide strip of countryside (10m either side of where you stand stationary for the two hours). Pick somewhere with a good view and do not record beyond 20m.

Good luck and fingers crossed that the weather is suitable for what should be a fascinating day!

Sustainable Seas for All – and that means you!

If you have a view on the running of coastal and marine waters then this September will be the best chance for a generation to influence a major piece of legislation. The Scottish Government has tasked EGCP with running a consultation workshop in Aberdeen on 17th September.

Got An Idea?

One of last year's projects

If you have an idea for a project in your area, why not apply for an EGCP Community Grants Scheme? The scheme offers grants of up to £1000, which are available to non profit making bodies such as community groups and schools for projects which benefit the natural environment of the coast, the local area, the community and its visitors.

We can help with the process of making an application from advice for writing the forms to setting up a group to run the project.

For more information please see the website or contact the partnership staff. The closing date for the applications is 19th December 2008.

National Whale and Dolphin Watch

The 7th annual National Whale and Dolphin Watch, organised by the Sea Watch Foundation, took place between 21st and 29th June. When much of the UK was having bad weather, we were basking in sun shine and enjoying high numbers of sightings. This year the hot spot proved to be between Fraserburgh and St Cyrus with 20% of all the UK’s sightings coming from this small stretch of coast! Several watches took place over the week, with experts on hand to help with identification and spotting them in the first place! Harbour porpoise, bottlenose dolphins, white beaked dolphins and minke whales were all recorded during the week itself with rissos dolphins, common dolphins and killer whales spotted in the fortnight beforehand, highlighting what a fantastic place the local coast is-these amazing creatures are literally on our doorstep.

Cutter and friends
Record Summer for Whale and Dolphin Surveys

This year more people than ever have taken part in the Northern North Sea cetacean Ferry Surveys (NORCET). The surveys are part of a joint project between researchers at the University of Aberdeen, the East Grampian Coastal Partnership and the South Grampian Seawatch Group. The project was set up to collect data on cetacean occurrence and distribution in the northern North Sea between Aberdeen, Orkney and Shetland in summer 2002. Since then the project has expanded greatly, with this year having one of the best summers of coverage yet, thanks to a growing team of volunteers. We have had some great sightings this year including bottlenose dolphins, porpoise, minke whale, white beaked dolphin, killer whales and rissos dolphins as well as lots of birds and other wildlife. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the volunteers for all their hard work this year; it is much appreciated and without you the project would not be able to continue-thank you!

Beach Officer

This year, EGCP employed a seasonal member of staff, Ruth as a beach officer down at Aberdeen Beach. Ruth helped the beach keep its seaside award by ensuring all of the award criteria were met and providing a point of contact for beach users.

Aberdeen Beach

Photograph of the Month Competition

If you love taking snaps whilst at the coast why not send your best into EGCP? Each month we will be selecting the best images sent in (via e-mail if possible please) and posting them on this website in a new gallery. So not only do you (and the rest of the world) get to see to your pictures online, it also gives us the chance to showcase what a lovely place the East Grampian coast is!

Dolphin Volunteers Ready to Set Sail

Our coastal waters are some of the best in Britain for spotting whales and dolphins but scientists know surprisingly little about what lives close to our shores. In order to help improve our knowledge, a partnership has been set up between the East Grampian Coastal Partnership, Sea Watch Foundation, AberPuffin at Sumburgh Head, Shetlanddeen University and NorthLink ferries. The partnership is looking for new volunteers to help monitor whales and dolphins on surveys between Aberdeen and the Northern Isles.

The surveys take place on board the NorthLink vessel Hascosay which transports cargo and vehicles to the Northern Isles. Two volunteers watch and record marine life en-route.

Ian Hay, Project Officer with the East Grampian Coastal Partnership said, ‘this is a real opportunity for anyone with an interest in the marine environment to help increase our understanding on these enjoyable trips’. You do not need to have good knowledge about whales and dolphins but you do need to have a keen interest and be willing to learn.

Volunteers will be given training on 19th April with new recruits accompanied by existing volunteers for the first few trips.

Kevin Hepworth added, ‘volunteers should see at least four species of cetacean and there is a real chance of seeing such creatures as Minke Whales, Orca and even Humpback Whales in our waters’.

In order to register for the training event or for more information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01224 498251.

Marine Habitat Action Plan Consultation - 04/03/08

This month sees the launch of the consultation for the Marine Habitat Action Plan for the north east, which covers the sea off of the Moray, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City coasts. This plan, written as part of the UK's obligation to conserve biodiversity looks at the marine environment from the low water mark out to 12 nautical miles and considers 48 individual species and the habitats which they rely upon. As part of the process, the group set up to write this (including EGCP, SNH, the Fisheries Research Service and many others) have identified these species, where they are found along our coast and any threats to their existance. The plan is now in a draft form but we would like the wider public to have their say.

Anyone with an interest in the marine environment is invited to comment on the plan, including the species included (do you agree with the ones on there or are there others which are missing and you think should be included, do we have the correct information for where each of the species are found) and the actions detailing how we can help to conserve and enhance our local marine environment.

You do not need to be an expert to comment-some of the most valuable information has come from members of the public who have local knowledge on where particular species can be seen. Please send in any comments via post, e-mail, phone or e-forum.

North East of Scotland Biodiversity Seminar, 3rd March 2008, The Macaulay Institute, Aberdeen

Marine biodiversity consultation launched

Next month sees the launch of the consultation for the North East of Scotland Marine Habitats Action Plan. The month long consultation will include a seminar held in the Macaulay Institute, Aberdeen.

Lead Author of the report Emily Hastings, Project Assistant with the East Grampian Coastal Partnership said ‘This area has a range of marine wildlife that we should be proud off, however most of people don’t get to see it’.

Emily, a keen snorkeler who regularly ventures out all year round, adds, ‘with this action plan we have the opportunity to help conserve and enhance this asset with the co-operation of all those with an interest in the sea.

Most people in the north east know about the areas wonderful wildlife and landscapes however, what is happening off our coast is largely a mystery. In terms of landscapes beneath the waves we have large sand areas, rocky seabed’s, huge mudflats and even two canyons.

We also have a huge range of wildlife and to help people understand the range and beauty of the marine environment one of the UK’s leading underwater photographers, Paul Nayor will be displaying his images and sharing his views with the group.

For more information please see the event programme and the Draft Marine Habitats Action Plan

The presentaions from the seminar are now available:

  • Paul Naylor-Beneath the Waves
  • Fiona Manson-The Marine Wildlife Watching Code
  • Peter Evans-Using Volunteers to Monitor Biodiversity
  • Estelle Gill-Introducing LBAP
  • Emily Hastings-Introducing the Marine Habitat Action Plan

State of the Coast Report - 07/11/07

EGCP are starting work on writing a State of the Coast Report for the East Grampian coastline. The aim of the work is to collect of a wide range of coastal data held on the local area by individuals, agencies and organisations, in order to effectively manage the East Grampian coastline. However, we feel this can only be effectively achieved if information is brought together into one document to help inform future developments, decison making and for measuring change. The report will cover a number of social, economic and environmental issues, so if you have any data which you feel may be of use to this work, please contact us.

New EGCP Website Launched - 28/09/07

As some of you may have noticed we have re-designed the EGCP website. This work aimed to improve our promotion of both the natural and cultural heritage of the East Grampian coast; engage with stakeholders through improved communication networks and to act as a forum to discuss multi-agency issues. We would like the website to be a useful and informative tool for both visitors and locals alike, whether you want to join a new recreational club, go for a walk, visit a beach or just see what the weather is doing via the webcams we hope you find our new site useful. As part of this we would really appreciate feedback-what do you think, is it good, bad, or are we missing something you think we should include? Please get in touch and let us know, your help is much appreciated.

Building Coastal Communities Seminar update-17/09/07

The Building Coastal Communities Seminar was held at the Palace Hotel, Peterhead last week and has been deemed a great success. The aim of the seminar was to examine ways in which local communities have improved the coast in their area. Excellent presentations were given from all of the presenters on a variety of topics including:

  • The Small Town Projects – Arthur Gill (Aberdeenshire Council)
  • The Da Voar Redd Up – A report from Sarah Gosden (Aberdeenshire Coastal Ranger)
  • Improving Stonehaven - Mary Jackson, Rosemary Clark (Stonehaven Horizon Project)
  • Harbours for the Community - Cllr Storr
  • Saving Small Harbours - Duncan Bell (University of Aberdeen)
  • EGCP e-forum – Ian Hay (EGCP)
  • Community Grant Scheme - Emily Hastings (EGCP)
  • Chairman's Report - Captin Robbie Middleton

If you wish to ask the presenters any questions about their projects please post them on the e-forum.

"Just to say congratulations and well done to all at EGCP for a most informative and worthwhile seminar last week in Peterhead. The information disseminated at the seminar was very helpful and it was useful to meet people involved in community activity from other coastal towns and villages at the same time." Councillor Stephen Smith via the e-forum

A Great Big Thank You 15/09/07

EGCP would like to say thank you to all those who took part in this years NORCET surveys which involves volunteers carrying out whale and dolphin surveys on the MV Hascosay en route to the Northern Isles. The surveys can be hard work and take up a lot of time but nevertheless our volunteers worked hard and had some interesting sightings, including Risso's dolphins, Minke whales, White BeakedBottlenose Dolphin dolphins and Bottlenose dolphins.

Such research is very important to determine cetacean numbers in our waters and how the species present are affected by factors such as food availability and climate change which is fundamental in ensuring their long term protection. Without such data and the work of the volunteers this work would be extremely difficult, so thank you to all of you who gave up your time to help.

Community Grant Scheme open for applications 15/09/07

The Community Grant Scheme, now in its third year offers small grants of up to £1000, which are available to non profit making groups such as community groups and schools for projects which benefit the natural environment of the coast, the local area, the community and its visitors. The scheme is now open to applications. For more information on the scheme and details of how to apply, please click here. If you would like to discuss a potential project, please do not hesitate to get in touch.