'Don't destroy Kames Bay biodiversity'

Published: 29 Aug 2012 09:306 comments

One of the UK's top marine biological experts has said that the 'wild nature' of Kames Bay on Cumbrae should be protected.

A Millport marine professor has hit out at island critics who want the overgrown look of the island's Kames Bay to be dealt with.

In a letter to the Largs & Millport News Professor Geoff Moor of the Marine Biological Station wrote:

"It is almost unutterably sad both that twenty years after the United Nations' so-called 'Earth' summit in Rio (1992) at which nations were invited to sign-up to the Convention on Biological Diversity there remain adults who advocate the deliberate destruction of natural biodiversity on Millport's Kames Bay, a Site of Special Scientific Interest."

Full statement and page of views in the Largs News of August 29.

Jump to first paragraph.


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  • Frank Hall
    Unregistered User
    Aug 30, 10:58
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    But the grass looks so untidy growing on the beach!

    Then people wonder why the coast is eroding, planks...

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 5

  • june
    Unregistered User
    Sep 3, 10:49
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    No Mr. Hall we are not "planks". Merely concerned residents who hate to see their environment untidy and neglected. This island depends on tourism and that is a fact we have to deal with in our day to day lives. Therefore, all we ask is for a compromise to be reached whereby some of the site can be given over to the SSI and some cleared for use by holiday makers.

    The scientists' attitude is all or nothing - i.e. all their way, but managing to have two connecting brain cells, all we are trying to do is question this.

    Perhaps before you rush into print next time you'll find out what is actually happening.

    Thank you

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 3

  • cpkelly
    1 post
    Sep 3, 18:06
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    What Destruction of Kames Bay?

    While I have every respect for Professor Moore in his environmental credentials, I consider his high handed rant (“Destruction of Kames Bay biodiversity”) against those on Cumbrae and beyond who wish to ensure the island remains attractive to tourists, as arrogant in the extreme.

    To denigrate those who support maintaining Kames Bay as a valuable and attractive tourist location is to entirely miss the most relevant point. The economy of the Island of Great Cumbrae depends almost exclusively on tourism and while the area around Kames Bay may have lost some of its infrastructure (putting, shops and toilets), the area which is now being ‘reclaimed by nature’ was the ideal area for family beach fun, offering dry, clean sand above the high water mark. I can’t think of anytime in the last 26 years since I have been involved on the island that Kames Bay has not been maintained as a tourist attraction, why should this suddenly be a problem now and somehow at odds with its designation as an SSI. The SSI, I am given to believe, only relates to the area below the high water mark anyway.

    The island benefits greatly from having the Marine Station located here and I doubt that anyone objects to having the beach used for research purposes but it would seem that if “native high shore vegetation” is required then the beach is wide enough to accommodate both research and tourist interests. The central area (between the two sloped concrete ramps) could be left to nature with the areas to each side of that being designated for tourists. To put this in perspective the area in question is probably less than 0.5% of the foreshore of the island, the bulk of the remainder is quite rightly left to nature, so this is hardly “…what amounts to a ‘scorched earth policy’” as suggested by Prof Moore.

    I trust that some common sense will prevail and the beach will again be able to offer an attractive aspect for tourists for years to come.

    Charles Kelly

    Marine Parade

    Recommend?   Yes 3     No 5

  • june
    Unregistered User
    Sep 3, 18:55
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    Couldn't agree more Charles. To be accused of a "scorched earth policy" is both ridiculous and insulting. All we want is a reasonable compromise. Maybe Geoff could confirm if this is an offical Marine Station policy as, as far as I am aware, Geoff retired from the Station some years ago. It would be good to know if we should deal with him or the management of the Marine Station?

    Recommend?   Yes 2     No 4

  • local resident
    Unregistered User
    Sep 23, 20:54
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    As the beach is an area designated as an SSI, it has been designated as such for a good reason. Personally I think that a far greater improvement to the island could be made by the litter that adorns ALL the beaches being collected and removed. kames bay is still a beautiful beach and much more natural with the natural flora re-establishing itself.

    As for the concept of having part for tourists and part for the SSI or environmentalists, this concept has obviously no concept of the idea of an ecosystem, as the whole area is a singular entity and if you destroy half you might as well destroy all.

    "Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you

    by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors; we borrow it from our Children" (Ancient Native American Proverb)

    Recommend?   Yes 1     No 1

  • Sphinx
    Unregistered User
    Sep 25, 15:21
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    I was shocked at the state of Kames Bay beach when I last visited the island and passed the beach on my way into town. I remember long, hot days spent at Kames Bay because it was the best beach on the island. Now it's an eyesore and to be frank, I wouldn't go there to sunbathe now because it looks so rank and neglected. It's a disgrace to the town, and unfortunately the first beach visitors see on their way into town. For an island which depends on tourism for a living, something needs to be done to improve the appearance of the beach and make it attractive to tourists again. If the SSSI, or whatever it is, does not extend above the high water mark then the beach should be restored to its former glory, and made attractive to the tourists on whom the island depends.

    Recommend?   Yes 2     No 0