A £5,000 DONATION has ensured that an international competition which was under threat will once again take place in Dunbar.

The European Stone Stacking Championships brought 3,500 people to the town’s coastline last April but it was feared that the competition might be cancelled this year due to a lack of funding.

But James Craig Page, who co-organises the event, which is now celebrating its third year, was pleased to say the event would now be going ahead.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted, it is amazing.

“Of course, it was a worrying time just down to a lack of finance and whether it would go forward, but now it is going ahead.

“Someone has come in and sponsored the event.”

Mr Page had previously told the Courier that cancelling the event, which offers a place at the World Stone Stacking Championships in America to the champion, was the “worst-case scenario”.

However, thanks to a £5,000 donation from “a private individual, who wishes to remain anonymous”, the event will once again take place on Dunbar’s shoreline.

Further donations have also been received, with the event expected to cost about £7,000 to put on.

Competitors from throughout Europe are expected to travel to East Lothian ahead of the two-day competition, which takes place on April 20 and 21.

Stone stacking is an increasingly popular pastime which sees practitioners spending hours meticulously balancing rocks and stones, in sometimes unbelievable and unlikely ways, on top of one another.

The competition brings together a community of stackers from across Europe.

Mr Page added: “It is the most ancient art form that there is.”

There will be four individual competitions at the event: the most stones balanced, the most artistic stone stack, the junior championship and the overall stone stacking champion.

The first competition on April 20, from 11am to 4pm, is at rocky Eye Cave Beach, below Dunbar Sea Cadet hall.

Competitors face the challenge of balancing as many stones as possible vertically, with last year’s winner managing to balance 29 stones.

This is followed by the balance against the clock adult competition at 2pm, where competitors have to balance the most stones in a three-minute challenge.

The following day, adults are given three hours to create anything from stone or found objects in the artistic competition, which starts at noon.

There are further competitions for youngsters, with more information at stonestacking.co.uk