Fifers send a clear climate message at Line in the Sand events

At the end of September, nearly 900 Fifers stood together on beaches across the Kingdom to highlight the need for urgent climate action. At four Line in the Sand events, people gathered along the hide-tide line to form a visual representation of rising sea-levels and to sound the alarm in the run up to the COP26 climate summit.

This piece of participatory climate art sent a clear message to world leaders arriving in Glasgow for COP26 in November – we will no longer accept the status-quo, we are drawing a line in the sand for climate change. The events at Buckhaven, Dalgety Bay, Kirkcaldy and St Andrews were a call for government action, a time for reflection and aimed to create a wave of personal action.

The events saw the launch of Climate Action Fife’s campaign the Big Five For Fife.  These are 5 high-impact personal actions that will help Fifers tackle the climate emergency. By taking  action, individuals can make a big difference in Fife, add to the legacy of COP26 and help make Scotland a more climate friendly nation.  Find out about the Big Five for Fife here.


Around forty turned up at the Old Harbour shore and since the tide was fairly high, and the shore is rocky, relocated their line to the crumbling pier. The people of Buckhaven and  Levenmouth came together to send a simple message – the climate emergency affects us all, our community is concerned and demands action.

The group spent the next two hours heroically clearing litter from the shore as part of the national Marine Conservation Society UK-wide beach clean campaign and survey. Thanks to Buckhaven & Denbeath Community Council and Levenmouth Academy for completing the MCS survey.

Dalgety Bay

The Dalgety Bay Line in the Sand kicked off with fun family activities on the beach, followed by speeches at the Anchor. Cllr. Barratt reminded attendees why climate change matters to communities in Fife and Kim from Plastic-Free Dalgety Bay explained how industry in our local area is  contributing to the environmental and social damage caused by fracking for oil, despite the moratorium on fracking in Scotland. The attendees were introduced to the Big Five for Fife and were asked to “pledge with their feet” by gathering around the posters for the pledges they wanted to commit to. And then it was time for their Line in the Sand, formed of adults, children, toddlers and very well behaved dogs! Around sixty people attended. Thank you to Richard Newton Photography for these brilliant images.


Lang Touners were invited to gather on Seafield Beach to make their voices heard. Attendees shared their personal climate messages by making placards before heading onto the beach to create a line of around eighty people. There was a fantastic mix, including concern members of the public, elected representatives, council employees, local school children and members of Fife College student association to name a few. We heard speeches from Greener Kirkcaldy’s Chair, Christine May, who told us why it is so important to make our voices heard now with COP26 taking place in Scotland, before Andrea Elder, also of  Greener Kirkcaldy, gave a young person’s perspective on taking climate action. The event finished with a challenge to participants to commit to one of the Big Five For Fife. Thanks to MidgieBite Media and Ginger Man with a Cam for documenting the event.

St Andrews

The largest Line in the Sand took place in St Andrews and saw over 600 people amassed on West Sands beach. This event had a real flavour of Fridays for Future, with mostly young people taking part. The attendees stopped traffic as they marched through the town centre, with placards held high and chants of “climate justice and “keep it in the soil”.  Line in the Sand allowed  St Andrews’ youth voice to be heard and highlighted the urgent need for action and solidarity to stem climate change. This is especially important in the run up to COP26. You can read interviews with some young participants here. Thanks to University of St Andrews Sustainability for the photos and video.

A huge thank you to all the organisers, volunteers and media teams who made these events possible.

Find out more about COP26 and how to get involved here. Do your bit by taking a Big Five for Fife pledge here.

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