Since opening in August last year, the Mull of Galloway Trail has proved to be popular for local and visitors to the area.
It has already been used for several sponsored walks, one of these being the Macmillan Cancer Support Challenge on April 6 which raised more than £5000. Six Rotarians took part in the walk, raising a total of £1400 which included a donation of £500 from club funds.
Earlier this month the section from New England Bay to the Mull of Galloway was included in this year’s programme of walks for the Newton Stewart Walking Festival. Unfortunately, the weather was very wet and windy on the day and 16 walkers gave up in Drummore, leaving the remaining eight to continue to the Mull.
The walk was led by Robert Clark, who acted as project coordinator, and Tom Stevenson, project manager. A number of walkers expressed the wish that the trail will be included in the walking festival in future years when, hopefully, the weather will be better!
The members of the Rotary Club of Stranraer who created the trail continue to maintain and, where possible, improve the conditions along the route. One of the features of the trail is the 14 information boards which give details of local history and which were designed by Rotarian Archie Bell. To provide further interest for walkers, it was decided to erect signs on the four bridges giving the names of the burns. Tom Stevenson was delighted when agreement was reached with the Stranraer campus of Dumfries and Galloway College whereby students on a construction skills course would make the four signs. These have been donated free of charge and have been placed on the bridges by Scott Signs of Stranraer. The four burns are Culmore, Sandmill, Cairnweil and Balkelzie, the last being near to Logan Mill.
Two further bridges, again manufactured by Bobby McMillan and erected by Donnan Construction on the Loch Ryan Coastal Path, have been located over the Several and Beoch Burns south of Cairnryan. The funding for the new bridges has been provided by Dumfries and Galloway Council and the students of the local college will again make signs with the names of the burns.
A book compiled by Robert Clark, entitled 27 Circular Walks based on the Mull of Galloway Trail, which was launched at the beginning of March, is proving very popular and already in excess of 600 copies have been sold. As well as being available from several outlets in the area, the book can also be purchased through the website www.mullofgallowaytrail.co.uk
The most recent event on the trail was the Mull of Galloway Trail and Sail, which was organised by the Rotary Club of Stranraer and which took place on Saturday, June 1. Eight yachts entered with teams of up to five. Runners started either from the Mull of Galloway or Sandhead and after arriving at the marina at Stranraer sailed round Ailsa Craig before returning to Stranraer. It is hoped that this will become an annual event.