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.  ...

First lady joins the Pathminders – August 2017

Gillian Craig is the first lady to join our team of Pathminders, who work tirelessly throughout the year, to maintain and improve the Ayrshire Coastal Path. She had her baptism of fire hacking through a jungle of 5ft high Monks’ Rhubarb and Cow Parsley beside the new bridge over the Ladywell Burn. But her enthusiasm for the job kept the two lads going, and she didn’t let us stop till we had cleared away enough vegetation to let her see the wee waterfall that we could hear tinkling somewhere in the jungle. So ladies, let’s have more of you out to join us. It’s great fun, you are helping the local community and you are out in the fresh air. What could be better? Gillian is a very keen walker and has an excellent website, Gillian’s Walks, listing many walks in Scotland and...

Completion of new stepped path – Smugglers Brae, Dunure

Over the past three months, Pathminder squads have spent 282 man-hours at the Smugglers Brae, Dunure, converting a slippery muddy slope into a fine stepped, surfaced path. This was only made possible by a grant of £1550 from SAWET (South Ayrshire Waste Environmental Trust); the supply of 50 old sleepers from Trump Turnberry Golf Course; and a generous donation of £500 from Hillhouse Quarries Ltd to buy 10 Tonnes of whin chips. All materials had to brought on site by hand, sack and barrow. It’s amazing what a gang of OAPs can do – unpaid but willing! And there’s now a seat at the top, with a spectacular view, for tired...

Smugglers Brae steps started!

Now that Fisherton Gully steps are complete, we have started on Smugglers Brae, near Dunure. A big task for our Pathminders squad, but favourable weather has allowed us to make good progress. Here Ron Ireland, retired civil engineer, surveys the first of a proposed 29 steps. And a satisfactory morning’s work can be...

Fisherton Gully Steps

The Pathminders have completed building work on the new steps for the present, and have installed a welcome bench for weary walkers at the top of the brae, which is already being well used. In April, once his top field dries out, the farmer will dump a load of bottoming on site to surface the step...