|Loch Bradan dam.|
|On top of the dam.|
|A grey cloudy loch.|
|Lunch on the track.|
|The two groups meet for the second time.|
Walk leaders report.
31st August 2013
Sixteen ramblers and two visitors journeyed into Ayrshire on Saturday for an eight mile walk around Loch Bradan. As there were car parks at both ends of the loch, ten walkers started clockwise at the south end and eight parked by the big dam and walked anticlockwise, both parties to meet twice on the way round.
The day was dull but only one shower of rain dampened the proceedings and the views over the water and to the surrounding hills were spectacular.
The area of Loch Bradan was increased at the beginning of the last century by a dam built for Troon Water Works. This joined Loch Lure and Loch Bradan. Again in the 1970s the reservoir was raised when a new dam was built to provide more water for the increasing population of Ayrshire. The Lure dam can be walked along, giving a view to the south across placid water on this day, but the Bradan dam was closed off and its height and strength only revealed as the parties walked the path below the structure.
As the Bradan dam was passed, the Water of Girvan was crossed at a ford. This river rises on the slopes of Shalloch on Minnoch before passing through a series of lochs - Loch Girvan Eye, Cornish Loch, and then Loch Skelloch, which the walkers viewed from the forest road on the west side of Loch Lure, before passing through Loch Lure itself and Loch Bradan. When the river emerges from under the big dam it continues on its way through Straiton to the sea at Girvan.
The walker’s day was brightened by seeing so much fungi growing below the trees alongside the lochs. Red fly agaric and orange fries were dotted about in the shade and great patches of ground were enlivened by a fairyland of small white toadstools spotting the soil. This area is popular for wild camping, a beautiful place to stay awhile, but the campers have left such a lot of debris behind that they are in danger of spoiling their outdoor holidays.
The east side of Loch Bradan is open moorland, a cycle path, which gave a good walking surface. A ditch alongside was the playground for pond skaters whilst tiny toadlets hopped away from the heavy boots of the passers-by. There were mercifully no midges to annoy the ramblers on this walk.
The cars were once more reached by both parties and the company adjourned some miles up the road, to House on the Hill for welcome refreshments. This had been an easy and pleasant outing, good views, good company and good weather for walking.