Completion of new stepped path – Smugglers Brae, Dunure


Over the past two months, Pathminder squads have spent 252 man-hours at the Smugglers Brae, Dunure, converting a muddy, slippery muddy slope into a fine stepped, surfaced path. This was only made possible by the donation of 50 old sleepers from Trump Turnberry Golf Course, and £500 from Hillhouse Quarries Ltd to buy 10 Tonnes of whin chips – all of which had to brought on site by hand, sack and barrow. It’s amazing what a gang of OAPs can do – unpaid but willing!


Eleventh Annual Rotary Beach Clean 1 April 2017

Five Rotary Clubs, Girvan, Alloway, Ayr, Prestwick and Troon, with a total of 240 volunteers, cleared 565 bags of rubbish over a 19-mile coastline from Girvan to Troon. Working with the Marine Conservation Society, we counted 2,800 plastic bottles of all shapes and sizes. Calculating we must have lifted 33,000 bottles over 11 years, this info has been sent to MSPs at Holyrood to support a current cross-party call for a Plastic Bottle Deposit scheme – something sorely needed. Read the full report The Plastic Peril Report 2017

Annual Beach Clean Saturday 1st April 2017

Organised by Ayrshire Rotary Clubs

It’s “No Joke!” – the amount of winter-storm litter on our beaches again this year, which is why – on Saturday, April 1st – the Rotary Clubs of Girvan, Alloway, Ayr, Prestwick, and Troon are once again holding their very popular Annual Spring Clean – in conjunction with South Ayrshire Council, who uplift all the litter we collect.

This year we are helping with the Marine Conservation Society’s “Wild Bottle Sighting” nationwide survey. So instead of an April First “Hunt the Gowk” we will be doing “Hunt the Plastic Bottle” – over the nineteen miles of beaches to be cleaned between Girvan and Troon!

Plastic bottles are the scourge of our beaches and probably make up about 60-70% of all our beach clean rubbish. Some governments abroad now have a return bottle charge on all plastic bottles – with great success – and pressure is mounting for our own UK and Scottish governments to do likewise. read more…

Our work is appreciated!

The next work on Smugglers Brae near Dunure was to top dress the steps with some stone chips, to give it a good walking surface. A hardy bunch of Pathminders braved the bitter weather on Saturday 11 February 2017, and bagged up and delivered 5 tonnes of chips to the bottom of the steps, some distance away.

By chance a group of ramblers were heading north and came down the newly completed steps just as we were finishing. Hope you enjoyed the scenery (and the steps!) The Travelling Dangleburys Walking Group. More work will be done on the Brae on the next few weeks to complete the job. And a  special thanks to Angus Craig, the local farmer, for helping out with his quad bike.

Natalie completes her marathon walk

You will remember when Natalie attended the Rotary Club of Ayr meeting in July last year. She was attempting a 6000-mile journey round the coast of Great Britain in memory of her five year old daughter Elizabeth who died in December 2015 – and hoping to raise £100,000 for Bristol Children’s Hospital. In fact she topped this target with a fantastic £115,000!

The Club presented Natalie with a new pair of boots, to help her on her way and a few members walked alongside her on part of the Ayrshire Coastal Path.

Congratulations Natalie on competing your walk!

Check out the Wildlife!

One of our Pathminders, Ron Ireland, took this photo of a stranded seal on 8 February 2017, at Bracken Bay. Apart from that, Ron spotted a couple of Roe deer, nesting ravens in the Fisherton Gulley and various other species.

If you are able to snap any interesting wildlife, please post them on our Facebook page or send to

Smugglers Brae steps started!

“Five guys, five steps – in two and a half hours – great job!”

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 seen.

Outlanders on the Coastal Path!

Literally on the Coastal Path – filming location scenes at Dunure Harbour. So our apologies to any walkers who stumbled back into the 18th Century today on reaching Dunure. An unexpected encounter – but an interesting one. Here today and gone tomorrow – which will conveniently let us begin work on the Smugglers’ Brae steps the next day. New “Pathminders” are always welcome to join our volunteers.

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 treads.

Curragh Bullpens

Both bullpens on the foreshore opposite Burnside and Curragh Farms are currently occupied by a number of hefty Charolais bulls. So, until they are eventually vacated, walkers in either direction should bypass both pens by walking quietly along the adjacent foreshore till clear of this area.