A Moray golf course that has been repeatedly hit by flooding in recent years has been ordered to stop attempts to stay above the surface of the River Spey.
Garmouth and Kingston Golf Club has been submerged by water pouring downstream with debris including trees and rubble also making their way onto the land.
At its worst, the course and nearby village flooded 11 times in a 12-month period.
Encroachment from the Spey has also resulted in parts of the course falling into the river, with one hole shrinking from 547 yards to just 117 over the last 20 years.
It is understood members at Garmouth and Kingston Golf Club have now taken action to try and protect their course from flooding by creating new barriers.
However, Moray Council has now ordered the club to stop until the full impact on the work can be investigated.
What work has Garmouth Golf Club done to stop flooding?
Flooding in recent years at Garmouth and Kingston Golf Club has come from water from the Spey pouring across fields before rushing through two archways in the historic railway viaduct before reaching the course.
After creating torrents and leaving debris across the 18 holes, the water has then reached streets in the village and put homes and the local village hall at risk.
Under one of the archways is a rock armour dam-like structure, which was commissioned and authorised by Moray Council.
However, under the other is a large wooden beam that has been fixed across the width of the archway and appears to be fixed to the ground in concrete.
Moray Council has ordered all further works to stop until an investigation can be done.
One local said: “Words cannot describe feelings. The club is a major community asset.
“Play has to stop for between one and two weeks after every flood incident while volunteers clean up the mess and make the course playable again.
“When the course is closed not only do members not get to play but it stops visitors, who are a source of income to a community asset.”
A council spokeswoman said: “We’re investigating unauthorised works that have taken place on land jointly own by Moray Council around Garmouth Golf Club and have asked for these to be stopped until we receive further details and explore the wider risks associated with what has been done so far.
“Council officers will meet with those involved at the earliest possible opportunity to resolve the matter.”
Garmouth and Kingston Golf Club has been contacted for comment.
Flooding concerns from Spey in Garmouth
There have been heightened concerns about flooding from the River Spey in Garmouth after the village was inundated 11 times in 2021.
Those fears led to calls for action from Moray Council and the Crown Estate, which has responsibility for the river, to take action to protect the village.
They included commissioning the £125,000 small rock armour dam underneath the railway viaduct next to the golf course and planting willow and burying fallen trees to create natural barriers.
However, a larger 6ft wall at the railway embankment, a rock and earth wall on the banks of the river and a low wall next to the village hall were all ruled out.
A larger region-wide flooding plan is currently under development with funding due to be targeted where it is needed most. The first works are not expected until 2028 at the earliest.