One of the nation’s largest seabird colonies and a top seal-spotting beach are among six natural beauty spots to benefit from a cash boost of more than £320,000.
As part of the devolution settlement after the Scottish independence referendum, revenue generated from the Crown Estate’s marine assets within inshore waters now goes to the Scottish Government, which, in turn, then gives out a proportion to each of the country’s 32 local councils.
In the latest round of funding, Aberdeenshire Council will receive total £328,314.
Among the projects to benefit is the East Grampian Coastal Partnership’s successful Turning the Plastic Tide project to pick litter from the region’s beaches.
It will receive £40,000 to help expand its remit to include the entire Aberdeenshire coastline.
The Ythan Community Trust has been awarded £100,000 to help improve access and parking at the mouth of the Ythan, to support the increasing number of visitors eager to see the area’s popular colony of gray seals.
Meanwhile Scottish Natural Heritage will receive £20,000 to make improvements to parking at St Cyrus Beach, while the council will get £50,000 to research opportunities to link the Moray Coast Way with the Formartine and Buchan Way.
A further £50,000 has been awarded to improve access and parking at the RSPB’s Fowlsheugh reserve south of Stonehaven.
During the spring and summer months, the cliffs at Fowlsheugh are home to more than 130,000 breeding seabirds, including guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes, puffins and fulmars.
Infrastructure services committee chairman Peter Argyle said he is excited to see the difference the new cash will make to the sites.
He said: “Not only is this funding very welcome, these are truly excellent projects and very worthy of our support.
“I look forward to seeing our area committees working closely alongside their communities to help develop new initiatives in the years to come.”
Vice-chairman John Cox added: “A key aspect of many of the projects being funded in the first round is the level of volunteer support they enjoy.
“I would encourage more of our residents and groups to get their heads together and bid for this funding which will make such a dramatic improvement to their coastal communities.”