11 August 2023West Pier Gate
Following on from the overcrowding and antisocial behaviour witnessed last year, access to the outer harbour was restricted in June and since then it has been partially reopened - from 6.30pm to 9.30 pm. We continue to look for opportunities to safely manage more open access and continue to monitor activities on and around the harbour. We now believe it is possible to move further and will therefore open the gate and provide full and continual access from today.
It is worth stating that our recent experiences have not been perfect. Consequently, we have installed additional temporary fencing to direct fishing traffic away from our high-risk areas. This isn’t impenetrable but should be sufficient to guide users and ensure safe usage of the harbour for all if obeyed. More signage has also been posted on the fences.
The onus is on all users, whether pedestrians, boat users or fishing people to ensure that fishing is not causing issues for other users. Please report any issues by emailing email@example.com.
The harbour is now approaching its busiest period due to increased tourism and more commercial traffic. It is therefore very important that these protocols are observed. There will still be a need to inspect and clean up the outer pier, especially in preparation for the ferry coming in at night. If you feel able to help, please do let us know as the volunteer base is very thin.
Once we feel confident that the mackerel have started their migration south, then access will return to as it was before, i.e. unrestricted. Lastly, we will continue to monitor usage of our harbour in order to manage our risks and obligations to users.
Chair, Cromarty Harbour Trust
03 July 2023Statement on Harbour gate
Proving that we volunteers at the Harbour aren’t tin-eared, access to the outer harbour area has been reviewed and in the coming days, the gate will open every evening between 6.30pm until 9.30 pm. This coincides with cessation on daily commercial activities within the harbour. Prior to closure each evening, a volunteer will inspect and ensure that the harbour is good for the following day. Clearly, this is another burden on the small volunteer force, so please do not hesitate in assisting us with this chore. The more people help us navigate our way through this, the better it will be for everyone. As I intimated in the Newsletter, we will continue to review the situation as it develops through the mackerel season.
We do make a request that if you are out on the outer pier, please observe safety notices and actively tell people you see within the fenced off area on the north side, to get out. From the top, you can’t see what’s underneath, that’s because there isn’t much vertical support left, it’s not safe there, hence the signage. Further signage will also appear to prohibit fishing within the harbour basin. Again, please support us in enforcing.
On a personal matter, I do wish to point out that I only arrived back in Cromarty late Saturday night from a family holiday (previous comments, including the piece in the Cromarty Newsletter were all done remotely), met the Harbourmaster at 10.00am on Sunday to discuss and agree a way forward. We then reconfirmed later in the day, coincidentally just as there was an unauthorised entry onto the outer pier. Out of courtesy, I then informed the chair of the Community Council and my fellow Trustees of what was proposed whilst giving them some grace to come back to me with any questions. All told, this shows that we listen and move to respond where we can. We will move again when circumstances permit. I make that commitment.
Chair, Cromarty Harbour Trust