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Pop-In to our Ailsa Craig Centre Pop-Up

As part of our community consultation with a view to building an Ailsa Craig Centre in Girvan, we have designed a pop-up exhibition outlining our vision along with some fascinating Ailsa Craig facts.

The pop-up opened on the 12th March 2024 and is being held at The McKechnie Institute for the next few weeks – please check their website for opening times

We are very grateful to the volunteers who helped us shape and create the content of the exhibition including Selina L Hill who wrote about the different attributes that make Ailsa Craig so special. Her research, knowledge and words make up the themed exhibition banners and you may be surprised at some of the facts about Ailsa Craig she has shared.

We asked her what having an Ailsa Craig Centre in Girvan would mean to her –

“Ailsa Craig is well known for its granite curling stones but the South Ayrshire coast around Girvan is less well known despite having world-renowned geology and internationally important habitats.  As an undergraduate geology student I mapped the hills I can see from my house and as a government ecologist I recorded the incredible diversity of habitats and plants found there. Today I enjoy watching the barrage of Gannets that now nest on Ailsa Craig plunging into the sea off the shore to feed.  Ever since I was a child Girvan has been called the Gateway to Ailsa Craig and if the visitor centre can go ahead we will finally have the chance as a community and town to showcase our wonderful natural area for the benefit of everyone.”

We are also delighted that Roderick Leitch permitted us to use some of his fabulous photographs from his many visits to Ailsa Craig. We think they complement Selina’s words wonderfully and really help to capture everything that makes the island so atmospheric and iconic.

We asked him what having an Ailsa Craig Centre would mean to him –

“This project on the world famous Ailsa Craig will highlight the diverse beauty & unique geology of the island as never before. Although I have taken many people from all over the world to Ailsa Craig, most will never have that opportunity. An Ailsa Craig visitor centre will bring this iconic island as close as possible to all who gaze on her from afar & would want to know more about the island”.

We are also very thankful to visual artist Phoebe Craig for allowing us to play her brilliant film called ‘Which Way to Ailsa Craig’ made in collaboration with Keir Richardson. The film project is set in Girvan and follows a failed attempt to visit the island of Ailsa Craig, in turn documenting a playful journey of personal discovery. Girvan locals might even spot a few weel-kent faces in the film sharing their own stories and memories of ‘The Craig’!

The film will be played on repeat from Friday 15th March.

You can read our full proposal and Ailsa Craig Centre Report here

We are also very grateful to Ayrshire and Rural Islands Ambition (ARIA) Fund for supporting this initiative