Clicking a picture will bring up all the posts pictures in a slideshow. To view an individual picture in full screen, right click and select 'Open link in new tab'

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Wigtownshire Ramblers - Barr September 2012

Saturday the 8th of September.
Today's walk starts in the South Ayrshire Conservation village of Barr
The Teacher is our leader, and Slew is his backup.
More pictures of the walk on the Ayrshire Blogger's page

Report to follow
We're a group of seventeen today. There's also an event in the village hall today, so it's a busy little place.

Heading south west out of the village, this couple were enjoying the day outside their back door

We saw an abundance of insect and plant life today.

Today's walk is an amalgamation of four Barr Trails of the Ayrshire Paths Network
It's a steady climb out of the village.

Information boards, stiles and well walked paths make this great walking country for walkers of all abilities

There's also an abundance of fungi today. I've never seen so many 'shrooms

Now the route takes us through the magical mystical and misty Changue Plantation

Beautiful but deadly Redcaps

Moss and lichens thrive in the damp environment.
This walk is called 'Fairies and Devils'

Now we're out into open country with views over to some of the higher hills of the Carrick region.
Ayrshire Scotland has some wonderful pictures of the area and hills.

There are some great new bridges built to accommodate walkers. This one takes us over the Water of Gregg which is the main burn flowing through Barr on it's way to the River Stinchar.

Water tumbles everywhere

Fairy Knowe descent

Seventy three year old Spike has gone on ahead

Another selection of wonderful fungi

The bridge over the Laggan Burn, a tributary of the Water of Gregg

Sitting on the bridge was this Forest Shieldbug (Pentatoma rufipes)
Handsome looking chap, isn't he (or she)

Lunchtime at Kirstie's Cairn.
Here's the story of how it came to be built.
Christopher McTaggart (Kirstie to his friends and family) a nineteen year old shepherd lad set out on January 11th 1913 in a raging blizzard to care for his sheep. Later that day he was found dying by his twin brother David and two friends. Their efforts to restore heat to his frozen body were in vain. He died fifteen minutes later. With such weather they were unable to carry his body back. Kirstie's faithful dog "Wag" refused to leave his master. The following day between twenty and thirty men set out for the Howe of Laggan to bring back the body of their friend. At Kirstie's funeral the Reverend John Angus charged the young men of the village to raise a memorial to the young shepherd and this they did by building a cairn a few yards from the spot where he died.

We spent a little while studying this Wild Angelica plant, on closer inspection there was a myriad of tiny insect life feeding on it. My macro attempts failed me this time.

Back on the move.

Now we take a short cut across down a steep slippery slope to High Changue.
Our Paisley member looks ready for action. 
More fungi.....looks good enough for a closer look

It's some form of 'Shelf' or 'Bracket' fungi. Probably a dying 'Many Zoned Polypore' 

Billy and Nanny at High Changue

We didn't get a look at the Devil's Footprint. It's above the cows.
From Ayrshire Paths comes this story.
Legend has it that near High Changue, there is the site of a famous battle between the Laird of Changue and the Devil. The story goes that Changue was getting short of money and he decided to make a bargain with the Devil. He would sell his soul in return for great wealth. The Laird's fortunes changed and he prospered for many years. When the time came to deliver his soul the Laird reneged on his bargain and refused to go. The Devil proceeded to lay hold of him, but Changue placing his Bible on the turf and drawing a circle with his sword around him, sturdily and, as it turned out, successfully defied his opponent. The story must be true because to this day on the hill above High Changue you can still see the Devil's footprints, the circle drawn by the sword and the mark of the Bible clearly visible on the grass.

Tree lined avenue down to Craigmalloch

The black sheep of the family

It was available for hire where you could be the Lady or Laird of the mansion, but it seems to be closed now.
It's rumoured that Rabbie Burns once courted the Laird of Changue's daughter.

More plant and insect life, and a map of where we've just been.

I tried to match the top and bottom images here, I think I only got one right lol

A colourful border outside Lockston

A memorial tree planted only three weeks after the Dunblane tragedy.

Back in Barr, and the King's Arms looks inviting...........

...............and so it is.
Tea, coffee, scones, carrot cake and other delicacies were brought out.
A great finish to a lovely walk. 

Here's the walk leaders report.
WIGTOWNSHIRE RAMBLERS – 8 Sept 2012 – Barr Circular

On a pleasant morning, with the sun not quite succeeding in breaking through the clouds, seventeen ramblers met outside Barr village hall to commence a seven mile circular walk.
As in some other South Ayrshire villages and towns, a colourful leaflet has been produced, detailing several trails in the countryside around the village, and our walk was an amalgam of four of these trails.
The group greeted a young newcomer before crossing the Changue burn by the bridge in the centre of the village and heading up through the fields towards the forest. A forest trail was followed for about a mile before we made a sharp turn onto the Fairy Knowe trail. The walk leader had unsuccessfully attempted to persuade the group that “Knowe” was pronounced “nuff”. Fair enough, I suppose. The grassy path through the forest proved enchanting, with hundreds of red toadstools and lichen, displaying every shade of green imaginable, hanging from the branches.
Suddenly the trail opened out, with gorgeous views, myriad waterfalls and narrow wooden bridges as the track plunged and soared alongside, and across, several burns.
After a steep descent down about a hundred narrow wooden framed steps, a wider forest track was encountered leading up to our lunch spot at Kirstie's cairn. This was the signal for the sun to come out for a while. The cairn was erected to commemorate a young 19 year old shepherd who had died in a January blizzard in 1913.
After lunch we headed up the Devil's trail, a reasonably steep grassy track again lined with mushrooms and toadstools, mainly pink and red.
A sharp turn to the left took us down a long a steep and slippy path into another enchanting glen at the bottom of which we crossed a wee wooden bridge over the Changue burn. A short sharp uphill path took us back onto a forest track.
The group had to forego the opportunity to look for the Devil's footprints, and the marks of a Bible and a sword-drawn circle on the hill on the right. These marks were made during an altercation between the Devil and the Laird of Changue. One of the perils of living in the countryside, I suppose.
We headed down the trail back to the village, enjoying the spectacular views across the glen to forest and hills beyond.
Back at Barr, most of the group enjoyed the hospitality of the local hostelry, the King's Arms, before heading home.
A thoroughly enjoyable day out!

The next walk on Saturday the 15th of September is a 7 mile circular walk to the Fell of Barhullion.
Meet for car sharing at the Breastworks, Stranraer 9.15am, the Riverside, Newton Stewart 9.15am or the walk start at St Medan’s Beach Car Park (NX 366 394) at 10am. For further details or if going to the start please phone walk leader 01988 840268. New members are always welcome


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The devils footprint sounds interesting. My surfing skills don't seem to be up to scratch today, and partially due to the large amount of other devils footprints about the country (the devil seems to have turned up to do his wicked way in almost as many places as Oor Rabbie), I could't find any picture on the net of that particular petrosomatoglyph.

  3. Hi Sandy, It does seem to be an elusive one.
    The only picture I know of the site, is on
    Gordon's Blog , my fellow rambler and blogger, and they look quite perplexed too.

  4. Love all the fungi Jim, redcaps remind me of something out of a story-book. This sounds like my kind of walk (not tooo hilly) and why oh why stiles have not caught on in a big way over here really beats me. They are the greatest invention.
    Lovely walk and pics - as always!

  5. Some great photos Jim.The shieldbug one is amazing.I,ve been to Barr once with Alex and remember the Devil,s hoof print.He seems to have gone off the boil hillwise recently.I might have to join a club for company and experience raindrops again.Damn!

  6. Hi Rose, Stiles go back to Saxon times I believe. A few have been found in archaeological digs. We have them built into drystone walls built back in the 17th century. Our more modern wooden stiles have come because of 'Rights of Way' legislation. (Landowners have a duty to ensure that any authorised stiles and gates on their land are kept in good condition. Our duty is to ensure that the landowner complies with this obligation and may provide a grant to maintain/improve such structures (Highways Act 1980 Section 146).)
    Maybe you should start a campaign ?

    Hi Bob, I've a feeling I'll be getting the mindset of Alex in a couple of years, I'm about ready to slow down now.
    I was pleased about the Shieldbug picture, but quite disappointed that I haven't quite cracked the macro settings on my new camera. I ended up deleting half of the macros I took on Saturday.
    Join a club Bob, we have a two walkers from Paisley, one from Stirling and three or four from Ayrshire all members of the Wigtownshire Ramblers.

  7. Jim, how fascinating about the stiles - history and the present day!
    Oh I did mean to comment on the photo of the valley with the huge power poles just seeking recognition and acknowledgement. I was going to say it had an incongruous feel about it, but on second thought the view and poles met in a strange compatibility.

  8. I love power pole pictures Rose, but I'm not quite as obsessed as
    Steve Barstow

  9. I followed Steves link and oh my! I see what you mean.
    I think our power company pole workers might thoroughly enjoy it though!


Thanks for all your comments. I may not get to reply to them all, but you may be sure they'll be appreciated.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.

Morning deer

Morning deer
is someone watching me