Home   News   Eglinton Park seeks volunteers for Path Stewardship Programme

Eglinton Park seeks volunteers for Path Stewardship Programme

Posted on 24 Jan 2023

Now as the last of the leaves fall and pathways become wetter and slippery during the cold winter months, the need for promptly tackling walkways is more important than ever.

While North Ayrshire Council’s Streetscene and Roads crews are continuing to do a fantastic job of keeping roads and paths safe across North Ayrshire, all hands are also now on deck at Eglinton Country Park as the Ranger Service has launched a new path maintenance group.

Called the Path Stewardship Programme, the path maintenance group officially launched last month and are currently in urgent need of more volunteers to help them take action across the park over the coming months.

Group leader and North Ayrshire Countryside Ranger, Stuart Bell has set up the group to make paths safer and keep them accessible for visitors to Eglinton Country Park all year round.

Stuart commented: “We are delighted to now have the Path Stewardship Programme up and running. Made up of 20 volunteers and counting (so far), the work we are doing is a collaborative effort between the Ranger Service, the Trinity Active Travel Hub and Eglinton Country Park.

“The aim of the group is to regularly patrol pathways around the park – especially on the wetter, dreicher days, to help highlight any issues so that the park can be proactively maintained, and any problems can be tackled in a timely manner.

“Although many people think there’s not a lot going on at this time of year from a conservation and maintenance point of view, the start of the year provides a great window of opportunity to make improvements. This is because the ground is soft and when the winter weather strikes, we are able to see the problems first-hand as they unfold.”

Stuart has been leading the group over the last few weeks and volunteers have been enjoying getting involved. But with over 400 hectares to cover, the team are in urgent need of more volunteers on the ground to help keep on top of any problem pathways and deal with the challenges that will come with the harsher, cold and wet winter weather.

Councillor Alan Hill, Cabinet Member for Communities and Islands commented: “I would urge anyone looking for a worthwhile, outdoor volunteering opportunity to get in touch with Stuart and be a part of the exciting new Path Stewardship Project.

“Eglinton Country Park is a fine example of one of North Ayrshire’s most welcoming and vibrant green spaces, enjoyed and appreciated by residents and visitors all year round. But as you can imagine, there is a lot of work going on across the grounds and pathways to keep it this way, especially during the autumn and winter months.

“So, if you are looking for a great reason to get your wellies on, stomp through nature and enjoy the fresh air health and wellbeing benefits of spending time outdoors, volunteering with this rewarding project is a great way of doing this.”

Sessions are currently being held on Mondays from 9:30am. The sessions last until 12:30pm however volunteers can stay for just one or two hours depending on their availability. The sessions are also completely flexible and can be held on most days of the week (excluding Fridays) for those who are looking to take part at other times.

During the sessions, planned breaks are incorporated where volunteers can enjoy a hot drink and biscuit (provided).

Anyone interested in joining the group should email Stuart at: stuartbell@north-ayrshire.gov.uk

Keep up to date on social media by following Eglinton Country Park: https://www.facebook.com/EglintonCountryPark and the North Ayrshire Ranger Service: https://www.facebook.com/NorthAyrshireRangerService