Walking route nears completion

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Work on a new walking route, which runs from the Mull of Galloway to Stranraer, is now well under way.

The Mull of Galloway Trail, which extends to 24 miles, is being formed by the Rotary Club of Stranraer and will connect with the Loch Ryan Coastal Path, also created by the club, and which was officially opened in August 2009.

From the Mull, the path follows close to the cliffs overlooking Luce Bay until it reaches Maryport. It then continues northwards to Drummore, Terally Bay, Logan Mill, Ardwell and Sandhead. From Sandhead, it continues along the coast of Luce Bay to Clayshant, after which it strikes inland, passing near to West Freugh airfield. It crosses over farmland before entering Culhorn Wood and arrives in Stranraer via the Approach, Westwood Avenue, Ladies’ Walk and Cairnryan Road.

Most of the ground work has already been completed, including more than 1300 metres of fencing. In addition, 12 kissing gates, five bridle gates and a Bristol gate have been erected. Some 70 waymarkers have been placed along the route and directional signs and logos are to be added. Other work completed includes four pedestrian bridges.

Over the next two months various signs will be put in place and 14 information boards erected. The boards have been designed by Rotarian Archie Bell, who also designed the 10 information boards situated along the Loch Ryan Coastal Path. They will again give interesting details of local history and are being funded by Stranraer and District Local History Trust.

The total cost of the trail has been estimated at around £100,000, with funding of £50,000 agreed through Dumfries and Galloway LEADER programme. Matched funding has been received from Awards for All Scotland, the Robertson Trust as and the History Trust. An in-kind contribution of £15,000 has been made by Dumfries & Galloway Council and the Rotary Club’s in-kind contribution of £10,000 has already been exceeded.

The council has been very supportive of the project and has assisted with ground clearance work. Similar work has been carried out by community service workers through the Criminal Justice Department. A number of Rotarians have also worked on the path.

The trail links up with the Southern Upland Way in the Culhorn Wood and from the northern end of the Loch Ryan Coastal Path at Glenapp walkers can continue on the Ayrshire Coastal Path to Skelmorlie and then via the Erskine Bridge to Milngavie. From there using the West Highland Way, the Great Glen Way and the Cape Wrath Trail the north-west point of the mainland of Scotland is reached.

It is expected that the work will be completed next month and that the official opening will be held in Sandhead in July. Most of the route can now be walked and it is hoped that the opportunity will be taken to go out and view the varied and attractive scenery along the trail as well as enjoying the flora and fauna.