Plan to upgrade Highland dolphin watching spot

A SCOTTISH vantage point for dolphin watching is set to be upgraded to cope with demand.

A dolphin spotted at Chanonry Point. Picture: Creative Commons

Thousands of people visit Chanonry Point at Fortrose each year in the hope of seeing the cetaceans close up.

But its growing popularity means that the car park at the end of the narrow peninsula can no longer cope with the increased visitors.

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There is regular congestion during the summer and the site has become rundown in recent years.

Now Highland Council plans to make a range of improvements to the area, including the possible creation of a visitor reception point.

An initial sum of £120,000 has been secured for the project, which is being advanced by the Chanonry Point Advisory Group.

It consists of Highland councillors, Fortrose and Rosemarkie Golf Club, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Moray Firth Partnership and the local community council.

Consultant landscape architects Horner Maclennan have been appointed to prepare two alternative sketch proposals for the upgrade of the site and associated visitor reception facilities.

An exhibition of initial sketches will be held in Fortrose’s Black Isle Leisure Centre from Monday, June 9, to Monday, June 16.

A drop-in session will also be held on Thursday, June 12 from 11am - 5pm and between 6pm - 8pm.

Final proposals and cost estimates will be reported to the planning, development and infrastructure committee.

The local Black Isle councillors said they hoped that the draft proposals would improve the overall visitor experience and enhance the appearance of the special site.

They also hope that the proposals are sympathetic to the existing, informal nature of the site.

Elizabeth Brown, Chairwoman of the Fortrose and Rosemarkie Community Council, said today/yesterday [THURS: “The community council are delighted that there will be an exciting new layout at Chanonry Point and would urge people to come and view the proposals.”