Restored sand dunes on Troon South beach
South Ayrshire Council manages 15 beaches, many of which are major tourist attractions. Over the years the dunes network at Troon South beach had become badly eroded and posed a potential flood risk.
A Council project to restore badly eroded sand dunes using natural waste at a South Ayrshire beach has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award. The Troon Sand Dune Restoration Project has been chosen as a finalist for the COSLA Excellence Awards 2016, which celebrate the best in local government.
The Council identified the opportunity to apply to the Environmental watchdog SEPA to exempt the waste from being sent to landfill. The Waste Management team now recycles seaweed washed up on the shoreline to stabilise, restore and fertilise the sand dunes. This prevents 1,000 tonnes of waste from being sent to landfill annually, in a move which saves more than £80,000* a year in associated costs.
The restoration work, which began in April 2013, has reinstated a natural barrier, providing the local area with greater protection from storm damage, while also nurturing natural habitats, encouraging wildlife to return. The system has proved to be so successful it is now being used at Girvan beach and has the potential to be rolled out to other locations.
Councillor John McDowall, Sustainability and Environment portfolio holder for South Ayrshire Council, said, "We've worked hard to restore the dunes at Troon and we're proud to have been recognised in the shortlist for this prestigious national award.
"By recycling waste for this ongoing project we're safeguarding the environment, cutting down on landfill, while also saving tax payers' money.
"Our beaches are among our finest natural assets and our continuing efforts to maintain these precious resources, means that they'll be enjoyed by generations to come."
The winners will be announced in October.