Situated in the North East of Scotland, the East Grampian coast runs from Kinnaird Head in Fraserburgh to the mouth of the River North Esk by St. Cyrus- a total length of 100 miles (160km).This stretch of coast is very diverse with cliffs, rocky shores, long sandy beaches, estuaries, salt marsh and some of the largest sand dunes in the UK. The area has many, quiet and undisturbed beaches and great wildlife from rare birds, to cetaceans and coastal flora. Much of the coast is protected for its nature conservation value including the nature reserves at Forvie, Loch of Strathbeg and St Cyrus as well as smaller less well known sites such as the Buchan Ness to Collieston Special Area of Conservation, designated for its abundance of coastal vegetation.
The North East coastline has a distinctive coastal scenery with many unique landforms which were created by the successive advances of ice sheets during the last iceage and further transformed by the erosional forces of the sea. The coastal geology changes as you travel North to South from the granites, shists and gneisses of Fraserburgh to the younger sedimentary rocks which dominate the South of the region. Near to stonehaven the Highland Boundary Fault can be viewed from the cliff tops. Sections of the cliffs in the south are made up of conglomerates, locally known as pudding stones, for example the areas surrounding Fowlsheugh and Dunnottar Castle.
The main land use in the North East coastal zone is agriculture with arable farming and the grazing of cattle and sheep. The dune areas are utilised for conservation as well as recreation, predominatley golf, with approximatley 20% of the dunes between Fraserburgh and Aberdeen being occupied by golf courses. Industry, with the exception of St Fergus Gas Terminal is centered around the main settlement areas of Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Aberdeen.
Recreation is widespread along the coast but is often centered around villages and towns where the infrastructure and network of paths enables easy access to the coast.
This site is hosted by The James Hutton Institute