Coastline watch at Stonehaven

Projects manager Gavin Penman at the CoastSnap viewpoint at Stonehaven. Picture: Aberdeenshire Council
Projects manager Gavin Penman at the CoastSnap viewpoint at Stonehaven. Picture: Aberdeenshire Council

A new initiative which monitors how coastlines evolve has been launched at Stonehaven.

In the first scheme of its kind in Scotland, the global CoastSnap process lets the public become involved in collecting vital data for beach monitoring.

In 2019, Aberdeenshire Council completed a study into the coastal flood and erosion risk in Stonehaven Bay.

CoastSnap has since been developed in partnership with JBA Consulting with the aim of supporting future coastal management decisions.

Images of Stonehaven’s coastline can be taken from the same fixed spot using a purpose-built camera frame located at the ‘Crow’s Nest’ looking south.

They can then be uploaded to a dedicated Facebook page or sent via email with a date and time to eventually produce a time-lapse video of how the coastline is evolving.

Dr Douglas Pender, of JBA Consulting, said: “Beach environments are under a variety of pressures such as climate change and rising sea levels.

“By using this simple approach, it is hoped a vast amount of information can be gained which ultimately provides knowledge for coastal planners and managers.

“We understand this is the first of these coastal monitoring fixings in Scotland and if the Stonehaven scheme is a successful in evaluating beach movement over time, we may consider other locations.”

Gavin Penman, Aberdeenshire Council’s projects manager for flood management, coastal and harbours, added: “Natural beaches form the first line of defence against high tides and stormy seas in many coastal towns all over the world.

“As sea levels are predicted to rise and storms get worse, understanding the behaviour of these natural systems has never been more important and I would encourage residents and visitors alike to take photographs for CoastSnap to help us collect monitoring data.”

The initiative can be accessed via social media at or on Twitter @StonehavenSnap using the following hashtags #coastsnap #citizenscience #stonehaven #fcerm.

Pictures can also be emailed, including time and date, to