Stewarton Woodlands Action Trust

Article for the Review Feb 2014

The weather has certainly taken its toll on everyone and everything this winter, not least the woods and paths in and around Stewarton. Stewarton Woodlands Action Trust has had its work cut out trying to keep the paths clear and safe for users, and at times it has been an uphill struggle!

After the first high winds of the season, there was a large amount of damage done in Lainshaw Woods, along the Fisherman’s path, on Anderson’s Mount (also known as the Wendy Woods), and also along the Plantation Path which runs parallel to the Kilwinning Road. Several trees were blown over, blocking the paths for a while until SWAT members could take action to clear them. Some of the trees proved too large for the equipment available, but several Stewarton residents with the necessary equipment and know-how helped out to ensure that walkers didn’t have to clamber over tree trunks in order to walk a circular route.

As if the winds weren’t bad enough, along came the floods, making conditions underfoot very difficult at times, and doing significant damage to paths and especially the Fisherman’s Steps, where a lot of the hardcore was swept away by the temporary waterfall that cascaded down them! SWAT members did their best to repair the steps, but they may need to be professionally done in the near future to reinstate them to their original condition.

Plans for providing a proper path from Kirkford to the Viaduct (which would complete the circular path route around Stewarton) are still ongoing, due to the miles of “red tape” that SWAT encounters. Despite access to funding, issues with land ownership have proved difficult, but we are ever hopeful that the path will eventually materialise.

As ever, SWAT is looking to recruit new members. Not only do we require practical skills (or enthusiasm) for helping out on workdays, but anyone with marketing, PR or IT skills would be very useful too. For more information see the website or visit our Facebook page for regular updates of what is happening. Enquiries can also be sent to [email protected].