Basin Notes - March 2005

The Angus Coastline

For the visitor and local residents alike the approximately 39 miles of the Angus coast line offers a wealth of riches and variety for the botanist, ornithologist, and all natural history lovers.

Beginning at the Monifieth Sea View Caravan Park, the new board walk path - laid recently by Angus council - runs parallel with the caravan park and leads to the sentry box of the MOD Barry Buddon at the Monifieth end.

From this point the high tide wader/gull roost is immediately below the observer affording an ideal vantage point to view at close range, best time being high tide. If the red flags on Barry Buddon are not flying you can proceed and walk to Buddon Ness a distance of 4.5 Km

This area is rich in both flora and fauna - look out for Grass of Parnassus, (Parnassia palustris) Red Bartsia (Odontites verna) Gipsywort (Lycopus europaeus) and Wild Basil (Clinopodium vulgare) to name a few.

Carnoustie to Hatton Waste Water Works: This three mile stretch of the coast is all things to all people especially if your interests are natural history and outdoor pursuits.

Carnoustie Bay provides all round interest to the birdwatcher with a great variety of summer and winter visitors, which include all four species of Tern, Ringed Plover, and in autumn and winter, Divers, Grebes, and Scoter flocks.

Also look for the rare Sea Pea (Lathyrus japonicus) Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum) plus many species of common and rare orchids.

Arbroath To Auchmithie Cliffs marks the beginning of a more rugged coastline, where the cliff top walk from Victoria Park eventually leads you to the old fishing village of Auchmithie.

The Arbroath cliff nature trail walk ablaze with the blooming colours of Thrift (Armeria maritime) and Sea Campion (Silene maritime) in the spring. It starts at the eastern end of the town at Victoria Park. The nature trail - Seaton Cliffs Wildlife reserve - is managed by The Scottish Wildlife Trust. The cliffs are composed of old red sandstone, between 350 and 400 million years old.

Along the way look out for "Dickmonts Den" the "Needle Eye" a superb example of a sandstone archway, and the "Deils Head" stack (or Pint Stump) as it is known locally.

Beyond the reserve lies Auchmithie, 2.5 Kms. of rough track further north. For centuries it was Auchmithie not Arbroath which was the thriving fishing port.

Lunan Bay-Montrose: The beautiful secluded Lunan Bay provides all year round birdwatching and botanising and visitors can take advantage of the strategically positioned birdwatching hide overlooking the bay, provided by the Angus and Dundee Bird Club.

Overlooking the bay are the ruins of Redcastle. Tradition says that King William 1st (William the Lion) was the builder, and he may well have used Redcastle as residence and hunting lodge while the great Abbey he founded at Arbroath was being built. It would therefore be 12th Century in origin.

Our Angus coastal journey ends at Montrose Basin - a mecca for birdwatchers both local and from much further afield.