This evening we started some essential repair work on the coast path above Starney Bay (the first bay along from St Abbs village). Over the last couple of years were have had a series of small landslips that have been nibbling away at our land and threatening the coast path. This has been of great concern to us and we have been having many discussions behind the scenes with engineers, rope access contractors, footpath experts, drainage experts and our neighbours at Northfield Farm. Today, at last, we have been able to start work to try and solve this issue and safeguard the coast path.
What we are doing is installing new, deep, drains in Northfield Farm's field to pick up the old land drains that don't seem to be able to be up to the job any more, and take the water underneath the coast path and off the cliff. We didn't want to have to close the path as its so popular, so we decided to do the work in the evening when less people use it. Our plan worked, we only had to down tools once to escort people through, and by 8pm we had the stretch under the coast path laid and backfilled. Work will carry on in the field for the next day or so, which means there will be a bit of noise, but the path is free for you to use again.
We have cordoned off the area nearest the cliff edge, just to give the ground time to settle and with the hope that we might have time for it to grass up a little before the autumn. Which leads to a question I bet is on many people's lips - why do the work in August, one of the busiest times of year? The answer is simple - we had to wait until the field was harvested - not a time we would have chosen I assure you.
I really hope that this has solved the issue. We will keep a close eye on things over the winter, and if we have no further landslips, we will be able to open up the path down to Starney Beach again (we have had to close it as it passes directly beneath the area of landslips). Fingers crossed! Liza.