News

Danger! Pipe bridge impassable due to flood damage

Please be aware that the recent heavy rain has undermined a section of the Coastal Path near Turrnberry and this section of the Path is dangerous and should be avoided until further notice.

The area in question is on the section of the Path between Miton Burn and the steps over the dunes – just North of the old pump house. As you can see from the attached photographs, there are 2 culverts (pipes) below the path, but the flow of water has been diverted by a blockage and the adjacent soil has been swept away. There is a very deep hole (at least 3 feet deep) close to the culverts and the edge of this hole is simply turf, floating in mid air and it will not be able to bear any weight. The hole is fairly obvious when heading South – but less so when heading North.

The landowner is aware of this issue and further updates will be issued in due course. Notices are being made up and will be strategically placed to alert walkers and advise on alternative routes. 

Southbound Walkers at low tide should use the shore; and at high tide take the path up to the A719 and find a way along the south side of the Milton Burn back to the shore

ACP Builders beat Storm Gareth

Nae damage done!

Jimmy Begg and Harry Peters went down to Turnberry yesterday and were very happy to see that the recently completed reinforcement of the step revetment has resisted twenty-four hours of Storm Gareth (and the sting in his tail!). This despite a short section of dune being washed away immediately to the south of our handiwork.

The main purpose of the trip was to see at first hand the high-water levels at Balkenna Hut where we will soon be building a bridge over the burn which is frequently unfordable. Watch this space!

ACP Social Evening a Great Success

Well, thanks to Alistair and Bob, we all had a great time last Friday evening with around 40 Pathminders and friends turning out for the party. The warm atmosphere inside the Bracken Bar was a great antidote to the gale and lashing rain outside on the windswept Heads of Ayr.

Greeted with a free glass of fizzy (for the lucky ones who weren’t driving) the evening got off to a cracking start as folk chatted about all sorts of things, not necessarily to do with walking and pathminding. In the background, thanks to Charlie Steele, a superb rolling show of ACP scenery and wild life pictures illustrated the many natural attractions of the ACP.

Hungry stomachs were then amply satisfied by a lavish finger buffet of warm foods prepared by the Bracken Bar staff, and for which we must thank David and Una Semple who both participated in and contributed to the social side of the evening.

Then it was time for the Alistair Tyre show (well quiz actually).

Seven teams of 5 or 6 struggled to retrieve bits of useless information from the depths of their now-relaxed minds. Questions were as varied as the quizzers themselves and the final sheet of questions was compiled from the official ACP Guidebook. The answer to the question of the length of the ACP (including detours) was hotly debated afterwards with some folk resorting to mobile phones for measurements to check. However the answer was 100 miles and who are we to argue with the path’s creator, Jimmy Begg? Guess whose team won the quiz!!!!

Gillian delivered a well-deserved vote of thanks to everyone who had contributed to the undoubted success of the evening and to all who had participated.

Here’s to the next time and maybe see you on the path sometime soon.

Dog Walkers – READ AND OBEY livestock Warning Notices!

In 2016, following recurring problems with walkers and dogs, eight bright yellow warning notices were erected in sensitive livestock farming areas from Glenapp to Heads of Ayr. Walkers with dogs are expected to be responsible and keep their animals on the lead when passing through this land – or risk their dogs being shot if they get out of control and chase or worry sheep or cattle.

Recurrently over the past years, in local and national Press, BBC News, Countryfile, and Landward programmes, there have been numerous harrowing reports of sheep being killed by dogs, or worried and aborting their lambs, or chased into rivers and drowned. Just how much information do some mindless individuals need to get it into their skulls that their pet dogs, sheep and cattle do not mix!

Lambing is now in full swing along the Ayrshire coast, and we have already received reports of two incidents in the Dunure area of thoughtless, irresponsible, walkers ignoring Warning Notices and letting their dogs run uncontrolled in lambing fields.
The first was a man with an uncontrolled collie cutting right through a flock of pregnant ewes, which scattered frantically. This was witnessed by the angry farmer who said that few weeks later and he would have had 300 panicking ewes separated from their lambs – leading to loss of vital mother and lamb bonding.
The second was a woman with two loose collies running through a similar field, who – when approached by the landowner and asked to put them on a lead – said she didn’t have one!! How irresponsible can you get?

Having said this, very few genuine walkers on the Ayrshire Coastal Path ever take dogs with them. The problem seems to arise from local residents, or urban people in cars letting their dogs out for a run.

Since 2008, we have repeatedly emphasised on the ACP Website, the Guide Book, and our Farming and Outdoor Access panels at either end of this section, about the necessity of keeping all dogs at home – or on their leads when passing through fields of livestock – and that failure of walkers to act responsibly could easily result in closure of a part of the Coastal Path.

It would be helpful for walkers to identify such individuals, and where possible notify the local farmer to let him deal with the problem immediately.

                                                                   Dr. Jimmy Begg, Trail Manager, Ayrshire Coastal Path

 

Great news! Footbridge has re-opened

The footbridge across the River Irvine at Low Green, which closed last summer, has now been re-opened. This is well ahead of schedule, so thanks to those responsible.

Beach Clean Information

Sat 30 March 2019 is the Big Annual Beach Clean, organised by the Rotary Club of Ayr in association with other Ayrshire Rotary clubs. This event has grown year by year and now makes a substantial difference to the quality of our local beaches. Please come along and help – everyome welcome.

Download a full list of beaches:
List of Beaches, Meeting Instructions and contact phone numbers

 

 

RIP Willie Watters 1935 – 2019

The Ayrshire Coastal Path is sorry to announce the passing of one of its founding members, Ayr Rotarian Willie Watters, who died recently at the age of 83.

A keen, life-long walker, following his retirement as Chief Works Analyst at ICI Explosives, Ardeer, Willie became a weel kent figure as an OIR Walk Leader for many years.
From a farming background, he was also a very practical man with the tools, not only on the Coastal Path, but also as a Kirk elder and Fabric Convenor at Newton Wallacetown Church. He was also instrumental in setting up our first Ayr Rotary Website. For this work, he was elected Rotarian of the Year by our Club.

His walking experience, practical skills, and companionship were a huge help to Jimmy Begg when setting up the Coastal Path from 2005-2008, when they tramped its whole length together, identifying the route, and meticulously recording the locations for all the signage, kissing gates, and small bridges.

Subsequently, Willie served on the ACP Management Board till 2018 and was a stalwart on our work parties – and his annual Beach Clean patch at Bracken Bay – till about 2015, when his health started to deteriorate. But he still kept a keen interest in what we were doing – even when in hospital recently. He enjoyed Rotary, but over the past year poor health greatly limited his opportunity to attend.

All those who enjoy the Coastal Path, have profited from Willie’s great contribution to its success.

RIP Willie and many thanks from us all.

 

Recent Pathminders’ Potter on an Ayrshire Beach

Whotter Day! You otter been there! Guess what we saw? Notter too difficult!
About an hour after we started work, a big dog otter swam ashore from an offshore reef, and trottered up the beach (into the sun) towards us. With the wind behind him, the sun’s glare, and his natural poor eyesight, we asked everyone to stay still and quiet.

As a result, he didn’t see the crowd of folk gawping at him and taking photos, till he was about 25 yards away, when he sensed our presence, turned left and ambled along the beach and into the dunes.
Made our day!

Pictures by ACP Staff Photographer Euan Nicol

Sign Up for the 2019 Big Beach Clean

It’s that time again! The Big Beach Clean is a great profile raiser for Rotary and the ACP, and we all want to build on its success as a great annual community effort. The 2019 Ayrshire Rotary Beach Clean is to take place on Saturday 30 March 2019 between 9.00 and 12.00 hours. Many beaches between Girvan and Troon will see parties of willing volunteers participate in this event which is open to all organisations and individuals..

For the past 13 years now, our activities have been well ahead of the environmental curve, and it is good to see the UK and Scottish Governments – and members of the public – now beginning to take positive action. Our 2019 Beach Clean is an ideal opportunity to further this momentum to promote public awareness – and action – in tackling plastic pollution.

Join in the fun and do your bit for the local coastal environment. All equipment will be provided and you will be guided by a team leader on the day.Register your interest by emailing us on the feeback form on the contact page.

 

 

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 help.

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