20 July 2023 – PROGRESS WITH TEMPORARY REMEDIAL WORK AT POW BURN
Pow Burn is located on the Prestwick to Troon section of the Ayrshire Coastal Path. If planning to walk this route please be aware that it may currently be impassable for one hour either side of very high tides. At such times please refer to onsite signage to follow the golf course de-tour.
As many walkers will have experienced over the past four months, after last winter’s storms diverted the course of the Pow burn inshore, causing severe erosion of the dunes at the south end of Royal Troon Golf Course – it has been very difficult to pass this point safely at the top of a high tide, since the only narrow route was along the uneven top of exposed wire gabions – a potent trip hazard, with a steep drop into deep water.
The ACP reported to, and consulted with, Royal Troon Golf Club, South Ayrshire Council Access Officer, and Nature Scot – and we are most appreciative that they have all taken positive, concerted action to remedy this situation, by providing a temporary, signed, by-pass route over the golf course, if necessary, at high tide; plus South Ayrshire Council shifting thousands of tonnes of sand and gravel to cover the gabions and build up a wide, high shoulder of sand along 150 metres of shoreline.
Work now completed, hopefully this should allow temporary safe passage for walkers between Prestwick and Troon for the rest of the summer, while Royal Troon’s appointed consultant engineers are considering plans for a more permanent solution over the next few months.
But we are under no illusions as to the power of mother nature to shift hundreds of thousands of tonnes of sand in one big single storm – and we will just keep our fingers crossed that the present sand and gravel bank will remain in place long enough – and largely undamaged – until it can be confined permanently behind a high protective bund of heavy ballast rocks that would withstand the natural wave-wash and undercutting which can rapidly demolish large sand banks.
The accompanying photos from our archives show dramatically just how the course of the Pow Burn has changed in recent years, the most recent problem, and the remedial work being done.