The MERCAT (Mearns Coastal Trail) Group are excited to announce the completion of the first section of the Johnshaven to St. Cyrus Trail. We are very grateful the Tullo & Twinshiels Community Benefit Fund for the funding which made this possible. The section south of Johnshaven from The Narrows to the Lime Kilns was becoming dangerous to walkers, especially after heavy rain.
We used local contractors to make the path more user-friendly by levelling and resurfacing it. New drains were installed from the field above and under the new Path, and a natural pond has been created to help reduce erosion in future. Volunteers helped to sow coastal wild flowers on the exposed soil and planted willow trees to stabilise the banks, to attract wild life and to make it a beautiful path too. And the old road leading up to Cove Hill has been exposed once more by clearing away the mud and vegetation.
We plan to install a shed for safe storage of tools so that volunteers can help to maintain the path. And improve access to the Lime Kilns, which are of great historical interest.
We are now planning the next section of the path, which is at risk of being completely lost due to a combination of neglect, natural coastal erosion and storm damage. We have identified several priority areas which require urgent attention, and will be making further grant applications to improve them. Where we can, we will improve the existing path by working with the land, as we have already demonstrated. Where we can’t, we may need to consider detours to avoid the most dangerous stretches.
The overall goal is to develop and promote the Trail by linking existing stretches and points of interest, while providing opportunities to develop new attractions and services. We want to preserve and promote the wide and varied heritage and natural history of the area for both local communities and visitors along the Mearns coast. Ultimately, we hope to provide a missing link in the Trail that will go all the way round Scotland.
If you would like to be part of this project by helping us with volunteer work on the path from time to time, then we would love to hear from you. And if you would like to find out more about us and our work then please contact us via the Visit Mearns website: www.visitmearns.com/
We hope that what we are doing will encourage more people to use the path again, and enjoy our wonderful landscape and heritage. Just as people used to do years ago when families walked or drove horses and carts from Johnshaven to Miltonhaven for a day out at the beach.