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25/Jan/2013

WW2 railway tracks revealed at Tentsmuir


Storm erosion causes nature reserve to give up more secrets

An old narrow gauge railway line used during World War Two has been exposed at Tentsmuir Nature Reserve through erosion of the coastline by storms.

Sections of corrugated iorn which were used as moulds to create the costal sea defenses and concrete anti-tank traps have also been exposed.

The storms also swept all kinds of creatures and shells on to Tentsmuir's beach, including a dead octopus, sea anemones and some unusual sealife, which was eventually identified as dead man's finger sponge.

Tom Cunningham, Tentsmuir's reserve manager, said: "Not only is Tentsmuir's wildlife teriffic, but its involvement in World War Two is also facinating.

"The landscape here is constantly shifting, pushing out the northern coastline by up to five meters a year in some spots, while the sea is eroding the dune edge at the south end of the reserve.

"So, every now and then, we see amazing remnants from World War Two emerging from the sands. All the shells and creatures from the storms were wonderful to see as well - a great reminder of all that we can't see below the waves."

At Tentsmuir, a line of concrete anti-tank blocks and pillboxes was installed along the shores in 1941.

The defences were dual purpose - to counter invasion and to protect Leuchars airfield, where crews were engaged in anti-shipping and mine laying operations along the coast of northern Europe.

Anti-glider posts were also installed on the foreshore, but many are now buried.

The area is listed as a scheduled monument, called Tentsmuir Coastal Defenses, because of its historical importance.

Tentsmuir Nature Reserve is recognised internationally for its special habitats and for a rich variety of plants, birds, insects and other animals.

Tentsmuir Point is a haven for seals and wildfowl, including up to 12,000 eider ducks, as well as pink-footed geese, bat tailed godwits, grey plovers and scouters. It is also one of the few places on the east coast of Scotland where both grey and common seals can be seen together.

Both types gather by the hundreds on the sandbanks along Tentsmuir Point.

Source: Fife Herald, Friday, January 25, 2013


tags: Tentsmuir


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About Leuchars
Leuchars is located on the east coast of Scotland in Fife, near St Andrews.

St Andrews University is just 6 miles from Leuchars.

Leuchars has good bus and rail links. The railway car park has recently been upgraded and accommodates more parking spaces. A covered walkway is also in situ. There are busses every 15 minutes to Dundee and St Andrews.

A ten-minute drive leads to Tentsmuir Forest and Kinshaldy Beach beyond. Enjoy miles of clean, sandy beaches.

Dundee and St Andrews are within easy commuting distance.

Dundee, Scotlands 4th largest city offers Cinemas, a leisure centre, Ice rink, Repertory Theatre, and for the ladies shops galore.

Nearby St Andrews has a leisure centre, Byre Theatre and Cinema.

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