Catterline’s custodians

The Aberdeenshire fishing village that inspired artist Joan Eardley's paintings will be protected from coastal erosion, flooding and landslides as part of a GCU-led research project.

Our engineers are devising eco-friendly ways to safeguard Catterline after securing £540,000 from the EU’s Horizon 2020 fund. The historic village is one of seven “open-air labs” being studied across Europe.

Researchers are working with the community to design “nature-based solutions” to secure half of Catterline’s kilometre-long bay, which is deemed to be “failing”. Erosion threatens properties in the village and an access road to the harbour.

The project will see trees, reclaimed timber, debris and biodegradable material used to shore up the bay’s defences, with civil engineers, planners and stakeholder engagement specialists working alongside villagers on long-term solutions.

It’s a very scenic area and we want to protect its natural beauty. We are looking to do something different - using solutions that produce the same goals as conventional engineering but mimic nature.

Professor Rohinton Emmanuel
School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment