Clashach Cove Project

It's hard to believe that it was 44 years ago when I was first introduced to Clashach Cove. Two school friends and I had left school 'early', if you follow my meaning, and had driven down from Elgin on a warm early summer afternoon. The year was 1970 and we huddled precariously beneath a sandstone overhang high up on the cliff which forms the western edge of the cove and there read extracts from J R R Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings. A magical book in a magical location.

44 years may seem like a long time ago, but it's not until one realises that the Old Red Sandstone found in the area was formed around 360 to 415 million years ago and that the New Red Sandstone in this area was formed a mere 200 to 300 million years ago that the human notion of a 'long time' pales into insignificance!

Over the years I visited the cove on countless occasions but it wasn't until around eight years ago, when I first looked at it and the surrounding area with photography in mind, that the idea for the project was formed. I would like to thank George G Meldrum BSc, MSc, Honorary Fellow of the School Of Geosciences, The University of Edinburgh, not only for his knowledgeable input but also for his encouragement of the project.

Landscape photographers are drawn to the cove and nearby areas and I've had the pleasure of meeting some of them. Neil Gove, Douglas Griffin and Grant Willoughby spring to mind and of course Ian Cameron who, certainly in my opinion, has made some of his best photographs in and around the area. I've never had the pleasure of meeting them but Joe Cornish has also made photographs in the area which he included in ‘Scotland’s Coast – A Photographer’s Journey’ (Pages 138 – 141) and Paul Wakefield tells me that it is a place he really likes visiting.

The project was featured in On Landscape - April 2013 and again in August - 2016. It's an ongoing project and I update the set regularly.