FHG Land Investigation


Findhorn Hinterland Group News

Ground Investigations on the Land.


You may be aware from national press and news reports that there are two parallel investigations going on on the dunes next to the army base at Kinloss this week.  The first is one by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency looking at possible radium contamination from aircraft dials buried after WW2 as a result of the dismantling of over a thousand planes at Kinloss.  The second is headed by the Moray Council Contaminated Land Section and is investigating areas where there is a faint possibility that there may be chemical ordnance that could have been buried around WW2.  The investigations involve digging around fifty trial pits in specific locations.    


Months before this work started there had been a long correspondence with the Moray Council about the need for these investigations and if they were to take place, how the necessary work could minimise the impact on a nationally valuable habitat especially the lichen beds with over 130 species present with some of them rare.  I am pleased to say that the consultation was excellent and only hand digging in the most sensitive areas has been permitted.  As Convener of the Findhorn Hinterland Group whose remit includes land management in the area, I took on the role of co-ordinating correspondence and making sure that the value and significance of the land was known and other parties such as SNH and the Findhorn Dunes Trust had been properly consulted.  The only unfortunate thing was that the Moray Council asked us not to put out publicity about the work until they had sent out their press release and this has left us getting this information to you almost after the event!


It will be interesting to see what the results from these excavations will be.  As I said, it will be unlikely that any chemical ordnance will be found but it will be good to know conclusively that it is not there.  As for the radioactivity, we do know that it is there but will get some idea as to the depth it is buried at and whether they will look at doing anything with the hot spots.  We have been assured that there is no potential harm to humans or other living things unless the material is actually ingested.  To start digging up the material may pose much more of a danger than letting it remain buried.  I will make sure information is passed on when the results of this week’s work has been published.


Jonathan Caddy  FHG Convener

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Findhorn Hinterland Trust, Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) SC045806
228 Pineridge, Findhorn, Forres, Moray IV36 3TB