Protecting our sand dunes

Members of the St Andrews Links greenkeeping team recently helped Fife Coast and Countryside Trust (FCCT) with a little project stabilising one of the sand dunes on West Sands which had become eroded by the scouring action of the wind.

FCCT had put out a press release in late December asking local residents to leave their old Christmas trees in an area adjacent the Jubilee Greenkeeping Centre which received a very positive response with over 100 trees being left.


Around 10 volunteers who work regularly with FCCT turned up on Saturday morning to move the trees into position. It was close to where the “blowout” in the dunes had occurred which saved a lot handling.

Like a lot of ideas on coastal protection, this was taken from a practice used in the Netherlands called ‘Dutch basketing’ where the trees are laid in the base of the hollow preventing any further erosion. Equally importantly, this method also traps any sand blown into the area. As the trees break down naturally the indigenous marram grass and fescues will spread over the surface and stabilise the blowout.


In early February we plan to carry out further work on the West Sands by repairing some larger blowouts with sand scraped from the beach at low tide. FCCT and Scottish National Heritage have secured a license from Marine Scotland to carry out these essential repairs and our greenkeepers will again be lending a helping hand.

Words by Gordon Moir, Director of Greenkeeping

Related Posts