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.
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.
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.
IRRESPONSIBLE WALKERS WITH DOGS FORCE PERMANENT CLOSURE OF CLIFFTOP SECTION OF AYRSHIRE COASTAL PATH FROM CURRARIE PORT TO LANGDALE FARM.
Since 2008, we have repeatedly emphasised on the Website, the Guide Book, and our Farming and Outdoor Access panels at either end of this section, about the necessity of keeping all dogs at home – or on their leads when passing through fields of livestock – and that failure of walkers to act responsibly could easily result in closure of a part of the Coastal Path.
In January 2016,, two young people with local accents ignored the “temporary closure” notices at Currarie Port road-end, read more…
The generous gift of a large number of old sleepers from Turnberry Golf Course, together with a mild early winter, has allowed our Pathminder Squad to push ahead with an ambitious maintenance and improvement programme. Having recently completed vital dune protection work at Pow Burn, Prestwick, we are now well advanced with step reconstruction on the upper part of the Fisherton Gully; and hope to start to build 20-25 new steps up the slippery slopes of Smugglers Brae, Dunure, early in the New Year. With “Work in Progress” we would ask walkers to take extra care when negotiating these areas. Any new Pathminder volunteers very welcome!
Between Christmas and New Year, the decent winter weather allowed further work to be done at Fisherton Gully, Ron Ireland, Jimmy Begg and new Pathminder Bob Gibson started by salvaging heavy 3 metre-long byre slats from the old farm dump, hauling them down the gully, and recycling them as concrete path edgings for the new upgraded steps – and deepening the course of the wee burn to stop it flowing down the path. Work still in progress – so walkers please watch your steps!
From 18-22 July we were humbled and honoured by the courageous presence of Natalia Spencer walking the ACP during her 6000-mile journey round the coast of Great Britain in memory of her five year old daughter Elizabeth who died in December 2015 – and raising £100,000 for Bristol Children’s Hospital. “Down to her uppers” after tramping 2400 miles from Dorset in the past four months, the members of Ayr Rotary – as well as walking from Lendalfoot to Ayr with Natalia – bought her a pair of new boots to see her good for the next 1000 miles. We wish her God-speed for the rest of her journey. See www.elizabethsfootprint.com Click image to enlarge
A second electrified Bullpen has now been built on foreshore land just north of the wrack road from Burnside farm – with a 100m open gap between it and the larger one to the south, which has had a new electrified fence corridor installed to herd bulls from pen to adjacent field. When empty, walkers can pass through both pens.
When occupied by bulls, walkers should bypass both pens by following a black marker post and steps down to the beach at its south end, and walking 350m along the shore to a white-topped wooden post re-joining the path at its north end – or vice-versa. Keep controlled dogs well out of sight and range of these big beasts!
Helped by good weather today, a crowd of 246 volunteers organised by the Rotary Clubs of Ayr, Alloway, Girvan, Prestwick, and Troon, removed 624 bags of rubbish from 19 miles of beach between Girvan and Troon. This was a bit more than last year due to the severe winter storms, but walkers should now be able to enjoy and appreciate pristine beaches – and beautiful panoramas – for yet another year. In the past ten years we have removed over 7400 bags of sea-borne rubbish from this coastline.