Sand artist Jamie Wardley and volunteers drew giant pictures on Irvine beach in a protest against the £3billion power plant which will produce enough electricity for three million homes.
They mapped out the face of a child surrounded by crumbling earth and others of wading birds amid fears that their feeding grounds on mud flats will be destroyed.
The drawings were carved out in sand over half a mile and could be clearly seen from the air and the local pier before the tide came in and swept them away. Jamie, a world renowned sand and ice artist, said: “I wanted to create something that would help people sit up and take notice of the issues surrounding Hunterston power station.
“The birds that we made on the beach had an incredible presence on this day as some were up to 100 metres across, yet their rapid disappearance by the incoming tide holds poignant significance in terms of the environmental impact a new coal-fired power station would have.
“The second image of the girl’s face in the dry river bed questions our responsibility to future generations.
“It’s somehow oddly satisfying to watch as all your hard work disappears under the water.”
Among the protesters taking part were climate change campaigners, wildlife campaigners with WWF Scotland and officials from leading charity Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Scotland.
Jenny Tweedie of RSPB Scotland warned that mud flats used by wading birds would be threatened by the new power station.
She claimed: “Just a quarter of the emissions would be retained by a carbon capture system.”
Anne McCall, a regional director with the charity, said the facility will, “permanently damage the best remaining intertidal mudflat on the outer Clyde,” used by tens of thousands of birds.
The row centres on plans by Ayrshire Power to build a revolutionary power station between the Clydeport coal handling facility at the Hunterston Terminal and the Hunterston B nuclear power plant. The facility would be the first of its kind in the UK by incorporating experimental carbon capture and CCS storage technology.
Ayrshire Power claims it will have the ability to capture and store the plant’s carbon emissions and turn harmful emissions into liquid to be stored underground.
RSPB Scotland want the Scottish Government to reject the facility and argue that environmentally safe renewable energies should be used.
Ayrshire Power -- owned by Peel Energy Ltd -- denies accusations that local wildlife and the environment will be damaged and says up to 1600 jobs will be created during the construction phase while the plant will also generate 160 permanent jobs.
Ayrshire Power also says the proposed facility supports a commitment by the UK and Scottish governments to develop CCS technology.