Following the early experience of one of the first of Gillian’s Walks planned monthly group excursions wading through waist-deep vegetation at Bennane (a few days before it was mowed by Amey), we have since been under great pressure from Gillian to have everything “tickedy-boo” for their Royal Progress up the whole of the Ayrshire Coastal Path this summer.

Therefore, not one, but two, separate work parties this week. After loading up with sleepers on Wednesday, a very heavy-laden Freelander and trailer, with Jimmy, David and Steve, went down to Ardwell on Thursday morning. After clearing out a jungle of bracken, brambles, and nettles from beneath the old up-and-over badly-rotting steps, they partially demolished the structure, and managed to set out and lay one-half of the new sleeper steps to take their place. Unfortunately, due to the large amount of boulder rubble revealed beneath the old steps, a longer bridge span will be required than originally planned, and a further three, full-length, sleepers will need to be carted down next week to complete the job.

And while all this was going on, Angus has been busy at Dunure Mains and Drumshang, and has cut back the whole of the clifftop field-edge path with his quad bike and flail mower – and reported back – “That’s the stretch 95% ready for Gillian’s ramblers! The bridge worked a treat, a tight fit but solid! We need more foot fall to keep the path under control.”

So it’s great to know that our recent hard work building the new sleeper bridge at Drumshang has been successful and worthwhile. And hopefully the tramping feet of Gillian’s Battalion – and many hundreds of other summer walkers enjoying our coastline, will keep the grass path well trodden down

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