Carrick community gardens are wall-away

A JOB WELL DONE: Girvan volunteers (left-right) John Johnstone, Margery McNichol, Audrey Riddell, Heather Fyfe, Julie Secord, Linda McFadzean,Paul Secord, and instructor Alex Sharpe.
A JOB WELL DONE: Girvan volunteers (left-right) John Johnstone, Margery McNichol, Audrey Riddell, Heather Fyfe, Julie Secord, Linda McFadzean,Paul Secord, and instructor Alex Sharpe.

DRYSTONE dyking is in demand as community gardeners at Girvan and Ballantrae improve the outlook of their green spaces.

On October 13 and 14 Girvan gardeners and a full course of volunteers worked together to construct a small wall to improve the strawberry raised bed at their plot on Knockcushan Street.

The course was able to happen through funding from the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Reserve and Ayrshire Leader.

Alex Sharpe was the course tutor and everyone who took part had a great time learning the tricks of this specialist trade.

One participant said: “In such a a short space of time I met a lot of lovely people and learnt a lot. Alex was an excellent teacher and I throughly enjoyed the whole experience.”

Mr Sharpe commended the volunteers on the quality of their work.

“The wall was good at the end. It was really tidy and they all did a really good job,” he said.

Volunteer coordinator Julie Campbell wished to thank everyone who took part. “You have left us with a beautiful wall that will be there for years to come,” she said. “We are absolutely delighted the with result.”

And with the success of Girvan’s project, Ballantrae has decided to adopt drystone dyking in plans to upgrade the village’s public garden.

Supported by Beautiful Ballantrae and Girvan Community Garden, the re-vamped space will include stone paving to replace the current red chippings, the erection of stone planters, and a timber fence incorporating the Olympic rings – in recognition of Ballantrae’s status as the Olympic torch’s first “kissing point” in Ayrshire.

With a dozen volunteers already working on the Main Street garden’s new look, Ballantrae Development Group (a sub committee of the community council) is looking for additional folk eager to learn a new skill and have their work permanently installed in the new village landmark.

Course participants will be tutored by a professional instructor in how to build a drystone dyke over a free two-day workshop, with refreshments provided.

Project leader and Development Group member Colin McNally said: “While we are hoping that young adults from Ballantrae will want to take part anyone who can lift stones will be welcome!

“The event will be well supervised and those who attend will not only learn the skills and have some fun, but they will leave the weekend with the knowledge that they have made a contribution to a lasting legacy for the village.”

The course will take place on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 November. Booking is essential as places are limited.

To book, or to find out more about becoming a Community Garden volunteer, contact Julie Campbell on 01465 713439 or email Julie@girvancommunitygarden.com.

In addition to the Girvan Community Garden, the Ballantrae Public Garden Project has the support of South Ayrshire Council, The Big Lottery Fund, and the UNESCO Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere.