Update on Fisherton Gully project

After 10 years, the wooden steps have begun to rot and the gravel dressing has been largely washed away, making this part of the Path difficult and even unsafe in wet conditions. We decided to make this the major task over the winter. We started the project at the end of October 2017, and although progress has been good, we still have a considerable amount of work to do to complete it. The work involves: Diverting field run off water into new ditches Installing French drains to keep water off the path Removing all old risers and steps and installing new ones Laying membrane, topping with one inch whin chips This is a steep gully, and the materials have to be man-handled down to where they are required. Various methods and contraptions have been devised to achieve this. The whin chips arrive in one tonne bulk bags, and are hand-filled into manageable 15kg plastic sacks.  Up to ten of these are then put back into a large bag and a “gravity drop” system using ropes and pulleys is used to lower to the site. Also a huge thanks to Alan and Maureen Currie of Fisherton Farm for helping deliver the chips to the top of the gulley by tractor. The job should be completed by early spring but in the meantime please be careful if you are walking. The route is still passable, but is extremely slippy when wet.      ...

Safety First at Bennane on the A77T

For several years, many walkers have endured (and complained about) the dangers and unpleasantness of walking the narrow northbound downhill verge of the A77T at Bennane – with no barrier protection and huge articulated lorries thundering past just feet away. After two years of correspondence, lobbying, meetings, and firm support from South Ayrshire Council, local councillors, MPs and MSPs, Transport Scotland have addressed their responsibility to ensure the safety and passage of NMUs (non-motorised users) and agreed to re-implement their original agreement with the ACP to maintain a clear path for walkers behind the crash barriers all the way down the northbound side of the road. This past week, a Transerv maintenance team – aided by a wood-chipper – have done a tremendous job, lopping overhanging branches and scrub, and strimming a good path all the way down the hill. From now on, they will keep this path open and maintained several times a year from spring to autumn. Walkers should now feel very much safer – and happier – able to walk unimpeded behind the safety barrier. We are very pleased with this result....

Major winter improvement work

Work has started on our major winter project – upgrading the path at Fisherton Gully, just north of Dunure. With the steps being over 10 years old, some remedial work has kept it serviceable. However with the recent heavy rain, most of the pea gravel has been washed away, and many of the wooden risers have rotted. Time for a complete revamp…. So please be careful if you are walking. The route is still passable, but is extremely slippy when wet. The steps will be levelled, new risers installed, a membrane laid topped with whin chips. Already the Pathminders have cut new ditches to divert the rainwater off the path and installed a French drain along the path side. The first chips were laid on 2 November 2017, and with some 300 metres of path all the way down to the beach, this is a massive undertaking, but one that is necessary to maintain the route in suitable condition for walkers at any time of the year. Given reasonable weather, we hope to be finished by Christmas. Thanks to local farmer Allan and Maureen Currie for helping us transport some of the materials to the site.  ...

Flooded Glenapp Estate Track at top of Turf

        On the Glenapp section at the top of Turf Hill, walkers may find a couple of 20m long dubs (mega-puddles!) filling the full width of the estate track. After heavy rain (and it’s now Autumn), these might be well over boot height and require a detour either side to get past. Until the Estate can free up machinery from other more pressing jobs, to backfill the track, we would suggest perhaps traversing along the fence side, as there is always something to hold on to – and there is a deep area on the west side that might swallow the unwary up to their...

The work never stops…

On 22 August, an impromptu, small party of two (Jimmy and Ron) did some tidying work along the shore between Fisherton and Drumbain Gullies. Main tasks were spraying the weeds on the Fisherton steps down the gully, repainting and clearing the sea radish and marram grass around the nearly invisible waymarker cairn, plastic litter picking (two bagfuls), and stockpiling old fishboxes for later soft path bottoming purposes. Carrying on to Drumbain burn, Jimmy collected plant-head and seed specimens from near the new bridge to allow him to carry out some botanical experiments known only to himself! Victorian plant hunters – eat your hearts...