Every winter local residents in the Carrick area start to worry how rain will affect water levels around the town and whether roads will be passable or properties will see flooding again. We all remember what the winter of 2015/2016 looked like - pictures below show the view towards Crosshill at the end of 12/2015.
Why not turn a surplus of water to an advantage for the area?
What if it could be channelled to create a tourist attraction?
These are just the questions that a committee from the "Scottish Water Exploration & Attractions Team" (SWEAT), based on Vacsay Island (Outer Hebrides) has been exploring.
First draft plans look promising. A quick analysis of local maps confirmed what the team has suspected: only a short additional waterway would have to be created to connect Heart Loch to the Abbeymill Burn. Local burns can then be widened and with their banks stabilised, an attractive local canal network will be available. The network will be able to accommodate canal boats similar to those used in Venice, allowing unique views of the hills around Maybole. Selection of the exact type of appropriate craft will be overseen by Italian expert Capitano Giacomo de la Barca from Venice.
De la Barca could hardly contain his excitement when he commented on the possibilities of what could be set up en route: "Trattorias, pizzerias, sacchetti di lettiera, grandi magazzini - you name it, it's going to be stupefacente! Mamma Mia!"
After completion, the new canal will lead from the River Doon just SE of Minishant, into Chapelton Brook, branching off near Myremill Farm and on to Heart Loch. The new waterway would then lead to Abbeymill Burn, Kilhenzie Burn, Capenoch Burn. From here alternative branches will run either north along Blanefield Burn and Milton Burn towards Turnberry or south along Burncrooks Burn towards Dowhill.
Geological anomalies mean that a slight amendment to the direct route (shown in red) may be required, so the final connecting waterway would more likely run along the B7023 for a short stretch before connecting with Abbeymill Burn just north of the cemetery (shown in green).
Since last summer exploration works have been taking place on the B7023 (Crosshill Road). SWEAT have apologised for temporary traffic lights near the cemetery that were required last summer. SWEAT would also like to confirm that any ongoing temporary traffic lights around town have been set up to enable further exploratory work to secure that sufficient back-up water supply can be guaranteed once the canal is operating.