A new path network has been created on the Dalquharran estate in Dailly, South Ayrshire, making the area more welcoming for walkers and outdoor enthusiasts.

The Cairnhill Group, which operates the butchery brand 'We hae meat', has cleared overgrown vegetation, surfaced paths and put in user-friendly signage and way-finders within the estate, to make an 11km path network that is accessible for all, including disabled visitors.

The path network was officially opened on Friday, November 17, with a celebration event and ribbon cutting ceremony attended by pupils and teachers from Dailly Primary School and Early Years Centre and members of the local community. In advance of the opening pupils of the school were offered the opportunity to take on the role of cutting the opening ribbon.

The Scottish Farmer: Carlyn Paton thanking Grace Barr after cutting the ribonCarlyn Paton thanking Grace Barr after cutting the ribon

Pupils were asked to write a few words on how they felt about the new path network and why they would like to be the one to open it. Grace Barr from P6 was chosen from the responses, because of her comments about how important it was to have the paths accessible. Grace said: “This has allowed me to go on walks with my papa, who needs a wheelchair, and my aunties who have prams, to see wildlife, wildflowers and nature at its best.”

After the ribbon cutting, pupils walked and ran the ‘Yellow Walk’, a 3.5km circular path featuring breathtaking views across the estate.

The Scottish Farmer: One of the new wayfinders signs added by the Paton family One of the new wayfinders signs added by the Paton family

Dalquharran Estate is located a few miles inland from the Firth of Clyde between Girvan and Turnberry, about 16 miles southwest of Ayr. Its focal point for visitors is Dalquharran Castle, a substantial roofless mansion house originally designed and built by Robert Adam in around 1790. The estate includes two "castles", the old one abandoned around 1800 and the new one, actually a mansion, which was habitable until the 1960s. The Cairnhill Group purchased the estate in 2019 and since then have invested heavily in bringing it back to life and this new path network will allow the public to enjoy the estate in a safe way. It is accessible directly from the village of Dailly.

Gillian Bone on behalf of The Cairnhill Group said: “It was clear that the estate was held very dear in the hearts of locals when we bought it and was a favoured destination for walkers. The work we’ve done and the improvements we’ve implemented will make it much more enjoyable for them, but also crucially it has made it a lot more accessible for everyone including children in pushchairs and wheelchair users. The Paton family, owners of The Cairnhill Group, are proud to have lived and worked in the Dailly community for five generations and wanted to improve the estate and create something for everyone to enjoy.”

The Scottish Farmer: The sun shining on Dalquharran castle during the walk The sun shining on Dalquharran castle during the walk

Local resident Jim Galbraith commented: “Being able to explore Dalquharran on this new path network is wonderful. The improvements are remarkable and I know so many people will benefit from it. Thank you to the Paton family”

Louise Morrison, Head Teacher of Dailly Primary School & Early Years Centre added: “We are very keen to be part of any local initiative which encourages our families and local people to be more active and to explore the great outdoors. The new path network looks amazing and our School and Early Years Centre plan to make great use of it. We are very lucky to have local businesses, like The Cairnhill Group, who are willing to invest in community initiatives, which will benefit all of our young people, their families and future generations.”