I spend quite a bit of time in Garmouth and Kingston with its amazing spits of shingle beaches, most excellent adhocist beach structures and constantly moving landforms that create a marvellous other worldly environment which at times can seem barren of plants and life. However look a little closer with the right person guiding you and you will find this is not the case. I found this out when I spent time with Leòdhas Massie who is a humanities masters student at the University of Strathclyde and Garmouth local.
Leòdhas is pursuing a career in politics and is very passionate about environmentalism. Growing up in Moray he has always been deeply interested in the local ecology of Speyside. Over lockdown he became very interested in costal foraging and identifying rare and endangered plant species along the Moray coast. He is 27 old (2022) and he ran for the Greens for the North East list in May of 2020. He became involved with the Greens in June 2019 after leaving the SNP. We had a great conversation which involved plants, geology, politics and social structures as he helped me identify the winter plants which were present on the Lein ( the spit of shingle beach on the Kingston side of the mouth of the Spey). It left me feeling there was hope for our ecological future in Scotland if this is the quality of the candidates and future political figures and their personal awareness of what it means to be caretakers of the planet and each others’ well being.
What follows are just some of the amazing plants that grow among the stony shingles of these fascinating stretches of coastline. Please excuse any mis-labelled plants. That would be my responsibility and poor note taking while multi tasking with camera, notebook and much blethering. Lets see what summer brings.