Metal-detectorist vandalism of footpath at Drumshang

A few days ago, the landowner of the Drumshang to Dunure section of the Coastal Path, who kindly mows the cliff-edge path for us with his motor mower, was angry to find over a dozen holes dug in the cropped path surface by someone with a metal detector. With the dry weather the sods were shrivelled and loose. It is irresponsible behaviour of this type that risks us losing the goodwill of our landowner partners. The metal detector operators’ code is that they should always seek permission from the landowner before they use their apparatus, and cause no damage. Here, this was not done, and a footpath was damaged. A man carrying a metal detector was seen on 27 July around 4.30pm, walking north along the road near Drumshang. If anyone saw him, or any previous incidents, and can provide more information, please contact us via the website or...

South Ayrshire Council employees turn out in force!

Many thanks to the helpers from South Ayrshire Council who arrived at Turnberry and worked their socks off, and the pink wellies! These enthusiastic “beach cleaners” were well prepared, with their picnic hamper, tea and coffee and goodness knows what else, as part of their equipment. Someone even brought a drone to film our efforts – or was that to make sure everyone pulled their weight? And they even made a short video for us. Prepare for 2019 Beach Clean guys!  ...

Our rubbish is on its way to BBC One Show in London!

What a great success the 12th Annual Beach Clean was! And to cap it all, we were invited to send a load of plastic rubbish to London for the BBC One show. Over 800 bags of rubbish were collected by volunteers organised by Girvan, Alloway, Ayr, Prestwick, and Troon Rotary Clubs between Ballantrae and Troon – with 636 bags collected by Ayr Rotary Club from 7 beaches. Thanks to around 30 willing volunteers, 330 bags were removed from 2km of Dowhill to Turnberry Beach which had never been cleaned before, and a further 75 bags from the adjacent 1km long Dunnymuck beach. This staggering combined total of 405 bags was loaded into 40 large bulk bags, which are now heading for London by lorry, to to be dumped outside the BBC as the main exhibit in The One Show special on Ocean Plastic Pollution on Monday 16 April. NB. Plastic rubbish formed 93% of the total stuff gathered on these 3km of beach. In contrast to these wild beaches, after 12 years of Rotary Beach Cleans, much less litter is now being collected from the town beaches of Girvan/Ballantrae (92), Doonfoot (34), Ayr (90), Prestwick, and Troon (14), thanks to an increased public awareness – and the sterling work of local resident groups, who now patrol and clean these beaches on a regular basis. Our grateful thanks to both them – and all the volunteers who ventured south to the remote beaches – for making our beaches beautiful...

Who says the older generation cannot pull their weight!

With some heavy lifting required, a team of strong Pathminders were assembled on 29 March 2018 to move sleepers down the very steep gully at Fisherton. These timbers will be used for bridges and support. Over 100 steps are now installed, and we are almost at the bottom. There will be a celebration when the last whin chips are laid!    ...

Safety First at Bennane on the A77T

For several years, many walkers have endured (and complained about) the dangers and unpleasantness of walking the narrow northbound downhill verge of the A77T at Bennane – with no barrier protection and huge articulated lorries thundering past just feet away. After two years of correspondence, lobbying, meetings, and firm support from South Ayrshire Council, local councillors, MPs and MSPs, Transport Scotland have addressed their responsibility to ensure the safety and passage of NMUs (non-motorised users) and agreed to re-implement their original agreement with the ACP to maintain a clear path for walkers behind the crash barriers all the way down the northbound side of the road. This past week, a Transerv maintenance team – aided by a wood-chipper – have done a tremendous job, lopping overhanging branches and scrub, and strimming a good path all the way down the hill. From now on, they will keep this path open and maintained several times a year from spring to autumn. Walkers should now feel very much safer – and happier – able to walk unimpeded behind the safety barrier. We are very pleased with this result....

Major winter improvement work

Work has started on our major winter project – upgrading the path at Fisherton Gully, just north of Dunure. With the steps being over 10 years old, some remedial work has kept it serviceable. However with the recent heavy rain, most of the pea gravel has been washed away, and many of the wooden risers have rotted. Time for a complete revamp…. So please be careful if you are walking. The route is still passable, but is extremely slippy when wet. The steps will be levelled, new risers installed, a membrane laid topped with whin chips. Already the Pathminders have cut new ditches to divert the rainwater off the path and installed a French drain along the path side. The first chips were laid on 2 November 2017, and with some 300 metres of path all the way down to the beach, this is a massive undertaking, but one that is necessary to maintain the route in suitable condition for walkers at any time of the year. Given reasonable weather, we hope to be finished by Christmas. Thanks to local farmer Allan and Maureen Currie for helping us transport some of the materials to the site.  ...

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