A STONE stacking championship which could attract people from as far afield as South Africa and Australia will return to Dunbar this summer.

The European Stone Stacking Championships are now in their fifth year and regularly attract thousands of people to the town.

Last year’s event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic but James Craig Page, creator and director of the festival, was pleased to say plans were being drawn up to see it return in July.

He said: “It will be great if we can go ahead and get something in the physical and get people to meet up again and bring artists from around the world back to Dunbar again.”

The three-day festival, which is scheduled to take place July 9-11, hopes to welcome competitors from Europe and beyond.

The first day will see a family competition and an introduction to some of the artists arriving in the town.

The following day, it is hoped attention will turn to Lauderdale Park, with plans to televise the event.

Mr Page, who lives in Dunbar, said he had participated in a similar event in Llano, Texas, where films showcasing the European Stone Stacking Championships and the organiser were shown.

Finally, on the Sunday, a winner will be crowned, with hopes they can head to Texas the following year for the Llano Earth Art Festival and World Rock Stacking Championships.

The creator of the festival highlighted the benefits of stone stacking and said: “Stone stacking is finding the art of balance in nature, using naturally found material to create sculptures and balances.”

Mr Page felt residents were “blessed” with the variety of stones on offer in the town, which made it an ideal site for the championships.

He said: “I was down at the Eye Cave recently and have to say it was looking stunning.

“From a stone stacker’s point of view, there is such a variety of colour and shape, particularly on the beach.

“Part of that is maybe to do with the buildings and structures that were there before but that rocky part of the coast just seems to provide ideal conditions for the European Championships.

“Wherever I go in the world, it is very rare I can find a beach as good as that for variety and colour of stone.”