Joy as Ballantrae’s community garden is officially re-opened

South Ayrshire provost Helen Moonie with locals and councillors at the official opening
South Ayrshire provost Helen Moonie with locals and councillors at the official opening

Ballantrae was proud to welcome Councillor Helen Moonie, Provost of South Ayrshire recently as she visited Ballantrae to perform the official opening ceremony to mark the completion of the redevelopment of the Ballantrae Community Garden by the members of the Ballantrae Development Group (a sub group of the Community Council).

As a result of the work carried out – mostly by volunteers - during the autumn and winter, the upper level of the garden, which is at the south end of the main street, has now been fully re-developed with sponsorship from a number organisations including South Ayrshire Council, Barr Ltd, Travis Perkins, Carrick Futures, Ballantrae Community Association and the Girvan Community Garden.

Dr Mhairi McKenna, Chair of the Ballantrae Community Council welcomed Provost Moonie on behalf of the Community Council and Ballantrae Development Group,

Before formally opening the Public Garden Provost Moonie said: “The re-vamped Public Garden is more than just an improved local amenity and an addition to the local landscape.

“It’s an inspirational space. It’s also a project “by the people for the people” and an educational project with further development opportunities. The Garden provides something for everyone – that is at the heart of what Community Councils are about.”

Colin McNally, a member of the Ballantrae Development Group who managed the project said: “This was a 12-14 month project which has transformed the original garden by really opening up the view across the Stinchar towards Ireland.

“It has also provided improved accessibility for people with a disability.“

Thanking Provost Moonie, the Rev Stephen Ogston, Chairman of the Ballantrae Development Group thanked the project sponsors, and paid tribute to the local tradesmen, and the many volunteers – including the novice dry stane dykers - for all of their efforts in transforming the garden.

A new gate and interpretation panel, shortly to be installed in the public garden will be one element of Ballantrae’s contribution to the “Carrick Character and Heritage Hub project” initiated by the Carrick Community Councils Forum. It will depict “Ballantrae – the Gateway to Carrick”.

After opening the Public Garden, Provost Moonie’s next stop was to visit the highly successful Ballantrae Rural Initiative Care in the Community Ltd.

BRICC was established in 1999 with the aim of providing a Care at Home service to frail and vulnerable people living in the South Carrick area thereby enabling them to maintain their independence and remain in their own homes for as long as possible.

At BRICC House the Provost was introduced to the work of the BRICC Agency by Care Manager Lynn McIlwraith and the BRICC Thrift Shop by founder Rosemary Stevenson.

Lunch was provided to the party by BRICC volunteers.