Access to a section of Aberdeen beach to be closed due to coastal erosion

Access to a 500m section of Aberdeen beach is being closed to the public from Friday 12 July due to considerable erosion of sand caused by recent storms.

An estimated 140,000 tonnes has been displaced by the wind and tides leaving a deficit of up to 2m in some places.

Unfortunately, this means it poses a risk of potential accidents due to the huge drops created at the bottom of the lower promenade steps down onto the beach by the loss of the sand, and it would also be a risk for emergency services if they had to try to reach people from the promenade.

Aberdeen City Council is taking emergency action to close access to the area of the beach affected, approximately from The Range to  just north of the toilet block at Fittie.

Signs will be erected warning beach users that there is no safe access or egress from the beach within the above area. Some of these temporary signs may be replaced over the coming weeks with more permanent signs.

It should be emphasised beach levels fluctuate almost on a daily basis and big changes can occur overnight as the result of storm action. Aberdeen City Council staff check sand levels on a monthly basis which will now be checked bi-weekly until such time as sand levels begin to recover.

Aberdeen City Council operational delivery convener Councillor John Wheeler said: “We’re very aware how popular the beach is, especially now the school summer holidays have just started.

“We cannot place residents and visitors in danger where they may have an accident trying to get down onto the beach where large amounts of sand have been washed away, or where the emergency services might not be able to get to people easily.

“We hope the sand will return naturally as the sand levels fluctuate almost on a daily basis and our staff will check them twice a week to monitor the situation.”

Although the sand levels do recover over time, Aberdeen beach is subject to a net loss of sand with the prevailing drift from south to north and may require periodical recharging.

Should further erosion occur, Aberdeen City Council may have to consider:

  • Replenishing the beach with further sand;
  • Moving sand from the north end (if feasible);
  • Placing rock armour in front of the wall;
  • Extending the access ramps;
  • Or a combination of the above.

Work is on-going with Aberdeen City Council structural, coastal and flooding engineers and consultants to develop a long-term strategy for the beach and associated sea defences.