Bid to save Catterline artist’s house

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A bid to protect the former home of a famous Mearns artist is set to get under-way next month.

A team of scientists are set to launch a study in June to prevent the home of artist Joan Eardley slipping into the sea.

The artist, who made her name with her art depicting the Catterline coastline, lived there in later life but now her cottage is under threat.

Her former home - which has become a destination for art lovers- is currently perched perilously close to the North Sea following a series of landslips in Catterline area caused by the recent bad weather.

Other homes in Catterline are also at risk following the slips, which have also left some roads in the village impassable and closed.

The community has now teamed up with scientists from Glasgow Caledonian University in the hope of saving the artist’s former home 50 years after her death.

Alan Searle, a resident and member of the Catterline Braes action group, said it Ms Eardley’s cottage was important to the village.

He said: “Along the top of the braes, where Joan Eardley’s cottage is, there’s been mass erosion recently. You can’t even park your car outside it now and it’s losing its front garden.

“The cottage is one of the beauties of living here. I think we all appreciate what we have, and it’s something we’d like to think we could pass on to future generations.

“If you talk to anyone outside the village about Catterline, they’ll know of it because they’ve heard of Joan. But it’s not just her house, the erosion has affected the majority of the village.

“We’ve got to face up to the potential doomsday scenario, which is that it will eventually affect people’s houses.

“We want to understand what’s going on and not just turn up with cap-in-hand looking for money.”

Dr Slobodan Mickovski, of the School of Engineering and Built Environment at Glasgow Caledonian University, is leading the project at Catterline, using experience of preventing landslides at nearby Stonehaven.

He said: “We will be characterising the slope by looking at the soils, the vegetation and the climate.

“It’s quite a precarious situation at the moment. The community live in a situation of constant risk.

“It’s a big job, but after being involved in slope stabilisation in Stonehaven, I think we can help.”