Strategy Paper for River Nairn and Harbour

Following the meeting in the sailing club and other discussions, the importance to Nairnshire of its river, the harbour and beaches is more fully understood and is in need of thoughtful actions.

If we consider the area as a T with the river as the leg and the beaches as the cross we can start to understand how closely they are inter twinned. The beaches are supporting the Parkdean Caravan site, the 2 golf courses with walks to Culbin forest to the east and Fort George to the west. All are essential components of our tourist industry. It is also some of the best wetland /bird watching areas in Britain if not in all Europe

If we start with the River Nairn, it is virtually unspoiled by development on its banks. The trees and flood plain are like a Canadian wilderness. We must protect this wonderful ecology and quietness.

The gravel extraction for McDermott’s and some of the river stone placements have not helped.

Action points

No more gravel extraction from river bed.

Careful thought and restrictions on more pool engineering with SNH and SEPA input as well as Fisheries Board.

Walking path to Firhall with new Firhall Bridge.

Flood risk alleviation by extracting gravel at mouth of river /harbour basin

No extra pollution/storm water to be directed into River Nairn from future developments.



Massive tourist and leisure potential.

Sailing club, Kayak club both see great benefits from development of harbour area.

Harbour in urgent need of repair /rebuild.

If nothing is done it will disappear.

Action points

New harbour design with deep water outer harbour to allow for bigger marina/touring Scandinavian / German boats.

Extended east harbour wall to stop sand build up

Dredging of gravel sand at river’s mouth

Facility for sailing club/kayak club in new harbour design

Tourist attraction/restaurant/bar


Flooding of Fishertown

Action points

Urgent action is needed to protect Fishertown conservation site from River and sea flooding



Action points

Sewage flooding in Fishertown /urgent action required

Sewage work malfunction/risk of bacterial pollution to bathing water quality

Smell risk to both caravan site and Nairn Dunbar golf club

New pipes to take sewage to sewage works

Other suggestions

Maggot boating pond/Kayak /sailing beginner’s training

Links potential/parking/transport to and from town centre

Putting green/children’s play area

Route from town centre to harbour along links and back up through Viewfield to town centre


HIE/Coastal/Fishing /Harbour money to buy capacity to get this done.

Professional engineering and architect input.

Dr Alastair L Noble

Chairman NICE

One thought on “Strategy Paper for River Nairn and Harbour

  1. As a member of NICE and fully supportive of its ‘Objectives, I would like to comment on the Sewage ‘Action Point’ ‘Smell Risk’.

    Believe me when I say there is no risk, in fact there has been a disgusting foul ‘STENCH’ present every day for about twenty years. The effect of this stench can be experienced up to a radius of at least half a mile from the East Beach WWTP.

    Highland Council (HC) as the regulator of ‘Scottish Water’ (SW) are legally bound to ensure SW comply with the ‘LAW’ which requires them to make every effort to confine any ‘ODOURS’ to within the parameters of their WWTP.

    No effort is apparent that either party is seeking to meet these legal obligations. I have correspondence from both parties ‘claiming’ no STENCH exists. Meanwhile some members of NDGC are being physically sick when they play, visitors are leaving after congratulating the club officials on the wonderful course. Many of them may never return and they will probably tell their friends about ‘STENCH’.

    If NICE really want to improve the reputation of our ‘ONCE’ beautiful town, I would suggest fighting this cause would be a good place to start.

    I intend to continue my personal attempt to resolve this issue. Should NICE wish to do likewise, I have a collection of correspondence I could share (subject to approval of the authors).

    There is no need to withhold my email address as my thoughts on this subject are no secret.

    Roderick Ralph

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