5 July 2023

To get on top of the phenomenal growth rate of vegetation resulting from copious rain following our June heatwave, this week our seven volunteers – John W, Jimmy, David McI, David Gy, David Gm, Mike S, and Tim D – split into several groups to try and deal with five-foot Bracken, Sea Radish, and Red Comfrey – from Glenapp to Girvan!

After getting his two pairs organised, John started at Glenapp Kirk, and single-handedly cleared foliage from all signage and several kissing gates on the route down to Currarie Port – NB: where he came across a lot of drainage contractor works, that might inconvenience some walkers using that route till completed. He also cleared foliage around all signage on our Inland route, before going back to join the others.

Meantime, having cut back dense bracken up the steep brae north from Currarie Port, the 2 David’s then began strimming the cliff top path, and joined up with Tim and Mike who were battling through huge bracken clumps to making a clear pathway north to Langdale. At the rate they were going, you might have expected – “at their age” – that they might have cracked up … but it was their machinery that cracked-up first, when two of the three strimmers developed mechanical problems, and they had to stop about 85-90% along the route to where they got to last week from the Langdale end.

Nothing daunted, en route back to Ayr they stopped off at Curragh Cottages, Dipple, and using the big mower, levelled a very heavy re-growth of Sea Radish and Comfrey from there to the bull pens (Which we’d done only 6 weeks ago!).

Not to be outdone, Jimmy and David McI erected a new sign-post and signage at Langdale, to direct walkers via Downan Hill or the lower clifftop route, depending on which section is being strip-grazed by cattle. Then they did some gorse removal and bush-lopping to improve signage and navigation, before heading up to Girvan to correct a mis-aligned sign, and survey sites for new signage.

The two Glenapp squads did not get back to Ayr till after four o’clock. At 43 man-hours – A Rale Day!

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