St Ninians Bay

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St Ninian's Bay or Straad is located next to St Ninian's tombolo which connects St Ninian's Isle with the south-west Shetland Mainland in Scotland.

St Ninians Bay is a small beach located on west cat of Bute island with a wonderful view of waterfront.

It is the site of the largest geomorphologically active sand tombolo in Britain. The size (c. 500 m long) and almost perfect symmetry of the tombolo is unique. The tombolo, composed of a shelly sand overlying a shingle base, is part of a dynamic and complex nearshore sediment circulation system. Although tombolos are relatively common along submerged coasts such as the Shetland Isles, it is the exceptional scale, composition and dynamism of St Ninian's tombolo that are of particular scientific interest. This interest is enhanced by the flanking windblown deposits of dunes and dune grassland. Conservation of this key site for coastal geomorphology is of the utmost importance; any disturbance of the sediment dynamics of the system may be critical to the tombolo's long-term existence.

St Ninian's tombolo, the largest geomorphologically active sand tombolo in Britain, is a classic geomorphological feature of national importance. The tombolo links the south-west Shetland Mainland to the small off-lying island of St Ninian's Isle (Figure8.23). Although tombolos are by no means rare in an archipelago environment, they are numerically scarce relative to other classic forms of marine deposition (spits and bars). In the Northern Isles, tombolos (ayres) are generally formed of gravel, cobbles or occasionally boulders. St Ninian's tombolo is distinctive among its fellows in being composed mainly of sand. In addition, unlike many other ayres that are relict in terms of their evolution and relationship to contemporary sea level, St Ninian's tombolo is a geomorphologically active feature linked to a nearshore sediment circulatory system (Nature Conservancy Council, 1976; Smith, 1993; Bentley, 1996d). The tombolo is flanked on either end by areas of dunes and hill machair, enhancing the geomorphological interest. This almost perfectly formed feature set in a highly scenic part of the Shetland Isles must be one of the most outstanding tombolos in the world.

Open Water Swimming

St Ninian's Bay will be site of the group swim at the end of the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference that includes the 2014 International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and the 2014 WOWSA Awards.

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