A CLAN chief has been forced to allow access to a beauty spot at the seaside resort of Nairn in the Highlands.
• Alexander Brodie is the 27th Clan Chief of Brodie
• Brodie had sealed off a car park along the Moray Firth coastline
• Highland Council was granted an interim interdict to ensure continued access to the car park
• It was claimed the car park had become a haven for youngsters causing mayhem.
Alexander Brodie of Brodie had erected a gate at Kingsteps, Lochloy, at the weekend after a longstanding dispute over the area attracting anti-social behaviour and “immoral” hunting.
The 27th Clan Chief of Brodie had sealed off a car park and access to the popular East Beach and Culbin Sands along the Moray Firth coastline.
But yesterday, at Inverness Sheriff Court, Highland Council was granted an interim interdict to ensure continued access by vehicle, foot, cycle or horseback to the car park.
A spokeswoman said afterwards: “The Council’s action was in response to a decision by the landowner to erect a locked gate denying access to the car park.
“This means that the gate cannot be closed across the access road and will allow public access, which has been exercised for more than 20 years, to continue.”
It is understood that Mr Brodie will comply with the order but will also exam legal documents before deciding whether to appeal the decision.
Mr Brodie claims that Brodie Estates, which owns the private track, had received continued complaints about people not keeping dogs on leads, not removing dog mess, carrying guns to access the beach for shooting wildfowl, blocking accesses, walking into people’s gardens and remaining in the area after dark.
He also claimed the car park had become a haven for youngsters arriving in cars causing mayhem, drinking and playing loud music, particularly after dark.
Prior to the court case, Mr Brodie, who could not be contacted afterwards, said: “I reside only briefly in the area while over from Paris to do my studying.
“It is the residents I feel sorry for, having to deal with this behaviour. It is also a nature reserve and a protected area. It is not like a public forest walk.
“Shooters have been using the road to access wildfowl on the reserve. It may not be illegal, but I think it is morally wrong.
“I have sympathy for dog walkers with cars, and came up with a compromise in providing a key to the gate. I am not stopping walkers, but want to reduce the number of people using the area.
“I am perfectly happy with people going there to enjoy the natural wild environment but the car park was getting out of hand. It has been quite a disgrace there.
“There is a very delicate balance of wildlife there, includes mosses, marshes and fungi. It is not a public park, but a wild natural area.”
The location is a popular attraction, as its provides access to some of Nairn’s famous award-winning beaches.
The Brodie clan was the centre of a major family dispute in 1978 when Alexander’s grandfather, Ninian, the 25th Clan Chief, signed over Brodie Castle to the National Trust of Scotland, who paid £275,000, because the cost of upkeep was too much.
Alexander lost a bid at the Court of Session to overturn his grandfather’s decision and continues to vow that one day he will return to the clan seat which was in the family for 800 years.