Open-air Laboratory

Scotland UK

The OAL-Scotland is located at Catterline Bay, a dramatic beauty spot (Aberdeenshire; WGS84 Long: -2.21 Lat: 56.90;) that featured in the work of acclaimed Scottish artist Joan Eardley is a bay off the North Sea, part of which is failing due to shallow landslides and is affected by coastal erosion. The site belongs to the temperate humid climate region, with a mean annual temperature of 8º C and mean annual rainfall of ca. 600 mm. It boasts of places of tourist interest as well as a strong local community, farmlands, recreational activities as well as fishing.

Scotland UK

The instability of the slope, together with shallow landslides and coastal erosion threatens the stability of buildings and livelihoods at the top of the bay and has the potential to diminish the beauty of the place as well as poses threats to lives and livelihoods. Catterline Bay hosts a small residential community (ca. 150 inhabitants) settled atop the cliffs and slopes. Catterline’s residents are actively involved in the implementation of Nature-based Solutions (NbSs) against landslides and coastal erosion hazards through the Catterline Braes Action Group –i.e. CBAG.

Motivation for choice according to hazard exposure and asset value

  Coastal erosion, storm surge, flooding and landslides
  Culturally important area, adjacent to the Fowlsheugh coastal nature reserve (tourism)
  Economically important agriculture/fishery area

Possible nature-based and hybrid solutions

  Eco-engineering solutions to reduce erosion
  Enhance stability of earthworks and natural slopes

To learn more about the OAL-Scotland please visit the interactive page with detailed information regarding the hazards they face and how NBS is providing solutions.

Our partners


Across the world, we are facing challenges like disaster risk everyday. Some of us are living in areas where disasters are very likely. Which challenges are you facing in your area? Flood, landslides, coastal erosion, drought, something else?



Landslides are caused by disturbances in the natural stability of a slope and defined as the movement of a mass of rock, debris, or earth. To deal with the risk of landsliding, OPERANDUM has implemented multiple Nature-based Solutions (NbS).


Coastal Erosion & Storm Surge

Coastal erosion is the loss of land along the shoreline due to the natural removal of sediments or bedrock from the shoreline. It is often associated with extreme weather events such as coastal storms, storm surge and flooding.


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