Bulls on the loose! But docile!

Yesterday afternoon, while walking the Coastal Path between Girvan Mains and Curragh cottages, two walkers encounter the potentially ‘fiercesome’ sight of several large Charolais bulls lounging on the foreshore path..  Using commonsense, and aware that these huge beasts are usually fairly docile, they took avoiding action by sensibly moving down along the beach to.bypass them.   Not sure whether the bulls were there to graze naturally, they took some photos, and continued north to Maidens, before notifying the ACP by email (with photos) about 10pm . Knowing that the bulls must have escaped from their winter pens on the foreshore, we immediately contacted the farmer at Girvan Mains – since there was a danger of the huge animals wandering up on to the main A77T road – or being encountered in the morning by weekend walkers.He received the email about 11pm – too late and too dangerous to do any more than check that all roadside gates were secure.The bulls were returned to their foreshore pens this morning, but the farmer said that it’s always much better to get an immediate warning of the strayed animals, to let him deal with the situation straight away. As this policy may be vital in securing the safety of fellow walkers as well as animals, we fully support this plea and would ask all walkers, anywhere along the ACP, to play their part in reporting strayed or injured animals to the landowner – even if it means retracing their route for a mile or so to get...

Work Party at Bracken Bay

The main job on the Coastal Path this week was on the path down to Bracken Bay from the caravan park, where there had been a small landslide, which needed to be repaired. The good-sized party of nine scraped off the re-usable whin chips from the path, we barrowed stones up from the beach, we built a small retaining wall, we then cut and filled from the high side of the path to the low side and finally spread the re-usable whin chips to form a level walking surface. As if that wasn’t enough, we erected 2 new direction signs, pruned and trimmed the overgrowing vegetation and repaired a couple of kissing gates – and of course we managed to grab a “piece” and have a “cuppa” looking out towards Arran on one of these blue-sky...

ROTARY BEACH CLEAN – 2019 – Sat 30 March

It’s that time again! The Big Beach Clean is now an established and hugely successful annual event and we all want to build on its success as a great annual community effort. The Thirteenth Ayrshire Rotary Beach Clean is to take place on Saturday 30 March 2019 and all local organisations businesses and individuals are invited to help. For the past 13 years, South Ayrshire Rotary Clubs (Ayr, Prestwick, Alloway, Troon and Girvan) have been well ahead of the environmental curve, and it is good to see the UK and Scottish Governments, as well as members of the public, now beginning to take positive action. Our 2019 Beach Clean is an ideal opportunity for everyone interested in the marine and coastal environment to make their own contributions to this amazing exercise – only 3 hours light work and it is fun too ! More information to follow...

BBC Scotland Out-of-Doors Broadcast

The ACP feature on the BBC Scotland, Out-of-Doors programme was broadcast on Saturday 19 January. Catch up on Radio iPlayer or BBC Sounds and listen to the interviews with the pathminders and a super selling of the delights of the path. Well done all. (Link to https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m00022c8 and the feature starts 01h:01m:39s into...

Ayrshire Coastal Path gets more Publicity

The Ayrshire Coastal Path was targeted by BBC Radio Scotland’s “Out-of-Doors” programme makers for a feature to be broadcast shortly. Mark Stephen, the show’s presenter, was accompanied by six of the regular “pathminders” who, every week, work hard to maintain and improve the path to make it an even more enjoyable experience. This is not the first time the ACP has been the subject of an Out-of-Doors broadcast. Four years ago, Mark Stephen walked the path from Dunure to Culzean with Rotary members Jimmy Begg, Gus Iannotti and Harry Peters. This time Jimmy and Gus were back again along with Ron Ireland, Paul Williams, and two non-Rotarian pathminders, Bob Gibson and Chris Swaine. This time they proudly showed Mark the fruits of their recent labours by walking the Smugglers Brae and the Fisherton Gully where a combined total of around 200 helpful steps had been built, some with timber sleepers and some with local rocks, to facilitate the arduous climbs and descents. These were completed only recently, after three winters of hard graft by the...

Pathminders Report for 2018

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...

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