AN OLDMELDRUM man has announced the discovery of a possible new stone circle at Forvie Nature Reserve, after stumbling upon the structure while photographing seals.
John Hughes says that there can be no other explanation for the layout of the stones, which form a rough circle in the shifting sands at the mouth of the River Ythan. He adds that the largest stone - the recumbent - can be found 350 metres further to the north where, he believes, it would have been used by salmon fishermen.
Amateur photographer Mr Hughes has submitted a report to county archaeologist Bruce Mann and RCAHM Scotland, detailing his reasons for believing the formation to be of ancient and artificial origin.
Speaking to the Times, Mr Hughes said: “When I saw the layout of the stones uncovered recently at Forvie point, I knew I was looking at a stone circle,” he said. “It’s probably a typical recumbent type. It may well have lain undiscovered for so long because it was under the sand, and it’s only the shifting tides that have unveiled it.”
He stressed that, because the site is closed off until the end of August for the tern breeding season, those wishing to view the site should do so from the Newburgh side of the Ythan.
A spokeswoman for Aberdeenshire Council confirmed that the local authority would be investigating.
“We can confirm that we have received a letter from a member of the public identifying a potential new site bearing a stone circle at Forvie Sands,” she said. “As we are now into the nesting season of the year we are unable to investigate the site without risking disruption to the natural habitat. We will investigate the discovery later in the year.”