Robert Burns' engagement spot being restored

Robert Burns’ fabled engagement spot is being upgraded in South Ayrshire by a volunteer-led community improvement project.

South Ayrshire Paths Initiative, a group of local volunteers dedicated to promoting the development, upkeep and public awareness of paths in the area, received a Community Paths grant of £1,500 from us last year.

The organisation aims to improve existing infrastructure along an ancient path, in the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Ayr Gorge Woodlands reserve, which is rumoured to be the location of Robert Burns’ engagement to Highland Mary.

Working in partnership with the Scottish Wildlife Trust and South Ayrshire Council’s Outdoor Access Officer, the group will be repairing wooden steps along the current path.

Colin Clark, the chairman of South Ayrshire Paths Initiative, said

We’re all eager to restore a significant part of Ayrshire’s history, so we were delighted to be awarded the grant from Paths for All to help us do this.
The route is incredibly scenic and can be enjoyed in all seasons. It’s our hope that restoring features like the deteriorated wooden steps and installing new way-markers will make the path accessible to more walkers.
We’ll be carrying out the work alongside volunteers from the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

Between September and October 2018, we awarded £90,000 worth of grants to 48 groups across Scotland who will transform neglected parts of their local path networks in the coming months.
As part of a Know Your Routes campaign, money will be used for wide-ranging work including structural improvements, installing signage, hiring tools or contractors, promoting hidden routes and improving biodiversity along path networks.

The 2018 grant schemes have been funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government.

We award thousands of pounds worth of grants to worthwhile projects that improve health, promote walking and improve environments for people to be active in.