Here is the Report from Trail Manager, Jimmy Begg

Hi all, This is my end of year message to thank everyone for the fantastic amount of work done in 2018 and to sign you all up again for 2019 – which hopefully will not be so strenuous, but just as interesting and enjoyable. 

2018 was the busiest and most successful and productive year we’ve had since the Ayrshire Coastal Path opened in 2008, thanks totally to the magnificent efforts of a hugely increased volunteer workforce. In 2009, with a dozen Rotarian volunteers and little or no equipment apart from a scythe and loppers, we managed 160 man-hours (123 hours Maintenance and 27 hours of Improvements). In 2018, ten years on, with a workforce of 51 (comprising 17 Rotarians and 34 non-Rotarian volunteers), we managed a total of 1021 man-hours (351 hours Maintenance and 670 hours on Improvements).

The great engineering and logistical feat of Fisherton Gully now stands as testament to all your skills and hard work, and is hugely appreciated by the walkers who use the path. Be proud of what you’ve done here. Also be proud of the routine maintenance work we continue to do, from strimming and lopping to replacement of signage and minor repairs – all of which keep the ACP in good trim and fettle for the thousands who use it each year.

In 2019, we hope to finish off the last few steps at the Gully, and then proceed to some Path restoration and signage at Bracken Bay. Following this we hope to construct a new bridge down at Balkenna Hut (the Black Hut south of Turnberry). Then there will be the Beach Clean at end of March/beginning of April – the date for which will be announced shortly.

From May onwards we will be concentrating on maintenance, grass and scrub cutting, and painting of markers and posts, plus whatever small improvement projects come to light.

Retention and Recruitment for 2019:

We hope that the vast majority of our Pathminders will be eager and willing to carry on where they left off – and work their butts off for the same rates of zero pay as last year – compensated by the great fun, banter, and camaraderie enjoyed while sitting on a log for their tea break and gazing across the Firth to Arran and Ailsa Craig. While many have been extremely enthusiastic and regular attenders, we have also appreciated the input of casual attenders – whose presence is equally valuable as it can build a squad up from a useful four to a powerful five or six, able to get a lot more done in a morning.

However, we recognise that a few Pathminders have been unable to participate at all during the last year due family, health, or work commitments, and that some may feel that the time has come to step back and retire from their commitment.

New H&S and Data/Volunteer Safety Statement and Data Protection Regulations:

To comply with modern practices, an ACP sub-committee has prepared a new Volunteer Registration and Information Form, which we will put out at the start of each year.

Best Wishes for a Guid New Year tae yin an aa.

Jimmy

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