The aims of the Trust are to promote and support initiatives designed to conserve, enhance and develop our fisheries for the enjoyment of current and future generations and to preserve a valuable part of our natural heritage.
The launch was held in Maybole town hall on Thursday the 15th February 2001. Rob Wainwright the well known rugby celebrity was the Trusts guest speaker. Together with Mr. Peter Kennedy the Trust’s Chairman and Jamie Ribbens from the West Galloway Fisheries Trust, the aims of the Ayrshire Rivers Trust (ART) were explained. A bit of light hearted fun followed with James Tomlinson showing his skills fly casting indoors. Over 200 guests who had applied for tickets attended on the night.
INAUGURAL DINNER AND AUCTION
The dinner was held in Western House Ayr on Friday the 6th of July and was attended by over 130 supporters and guests. The Auction was to raise funds for the Trust, and was the highlight of the evening where 55 Lots were auctioned and were very much in demand. Jim Craig was the auctioneer on the night and kept everyone’s attention going through the wide range of lots which were all donated and included a colour TV, a mountain bike, riding and tennis tuition, work done in the garden to mention a few, plus numerous days for shooting and fishing. Many cash donations were also received.
Colin Roberts, one of the Trustees who initially was a representative from the River Doon has unfortunately had to resign due to pressures from the political and legal fields. His expertise will be much missed by the Trust and the other Trustees.
In order to carry out our aims the Trust’s first priority and a major step forward is to employ a Fishery Biologist. The Trustees consider that adequate funds are now in place and are actively seeking to fill this post. Adverts have been placed and interviews will take place in the near future.
To date the Trust has around 26 life members, 14 corporate members and 140 ordinary members. We are always trying to motivate more people to join. Please tell your friends and associates about the Trust’s aims and encourage them to join. Membership forms are available from the administrator or Trustees.
The Trustees are currently preparing a list of large and small projects for consideration and for the Trusts biologist to tackle. Apart from these projects the Trustees are also looking at other relevant projects where the Trust can be a facilitator and will be happy to receive your suggestions, so, if you have an idea please contact George Steel or speak to one of the Trustees.
It is hoped that a project called ‘salmon in the classroom’ which is intended to educate and inform the younger generation of the ‘modern day miracle the salmon’ will soon become a reality. Ideally when the Trust has it’s own Fishery Biologist this project which will install mini hatcheries in primary schools throughout Ayrshire will be easier to fund, organise and supervise.
The Trust is organising a Xmas Raffle. Tickets will be on sale from Trustees and many other outlets in the near future, it is hoped that this raffle will be well supported. Anyone with ideas to sell raffle tickets or for future fund raising events please contact George Steel.
Dates for your 2002 ART diary. Garden Open Day and Fair at Doonholm on Sunday the 26th of May. Dinner and Auction at Western House on Friday the 28th of June.
Unfortunately the Fisherman’s Supper we have been organising for this year has had to be cancelled. This decision was not taken lightly but reflected the many problems experienced when trying to book the right guest speaker. A valuable lesson has been learned and it is intended that an ART Fisherman’s Supper will be arranged for 2002. Information will follow as soon as it becomes available.
GARDEN OPENING DAY / FAIR
This was held at Doonholm on Sunday the 10th of June after having to rearrange the date due to Foot and Mouth. The gardens were in fine order and a bright sunny day played a major part in contributing to a very successful and enjoyable event. Ayr farmers market attended along with crafts, plant stalls and antique fishing tackle was on display. Home baking and hot food were on sale, teas / coffees were also served in the courtyard and of course it was a perfect ice cream day. Games like beat the goalie, target bowls, target golf and toss the wellie were located on the lawn and in the paddock.
James Tomlinson gave 3 impressive casting demonstrations on the River Doon and in between times organised accuracy and distance fly casting competitions. Bees were displayed and birds of prey which included a much petted snowy owl were also on show most of the day. Unfortunately due to Foot and Mouth restrictions a planned falconry exhibition could not take place. The Fair was supported beyond all the expectations of the Trustees, with some 900 cars passing through the gates on the day.
At the Trusts Launch in February we set ourselves a target to raise £50,000. in the first year. Although at present a little bit short of this target we are of the opinion that the Trust has now raised sufficient funds to proceed with its aims. These funds raised are made up from the many donations, life, corporate and ordinary memberships, and monies gathered at the Launch, Fair and Dinner / Auction. The Trust’s first audit will take place soon and the Trusts accounts will be available for scrutiny in detail when the annual report is published. It must be noted that the unavoidable expenses required to set up the Trust, have been considerable, however, the Trustees are delighted to report that a grand total of around £34,532. is at present on deposit.
It is very difficult to keep everyone informed of all the work that is being undertaken to try and make the Trust a success Some people may feel left out or know of someone who is annoyed because they think they should be on the Trusts mailing list. It is impossible to keep people fully briefed if the Trust does not have an up to date address book. When we started we had to find names of those persons potentially interested in supporting us. In reality we had to start from scratch with a blank sheet of paper and quickly work up a list of contacts from all known sources. It is inevitable that some important names may have been omitted, if this has happened to you we can only apologise. We need everybody’s support, so if you know of anyone who for instance may have changed their address please let the Trusts administrator know. The Trust wants to hear from you. The Trustees know from experience that good communications are vital.
Great thanks must go to all sponsors, donors and all those who gave prizes for raffles etc. Thanks must also go to the many helpers who have given up their spare time to help at the Launch, Fair and Dinner / Auction. We have been delighted with all the help we have received since our Launch in February. Some people deserve a really special vote of thanks and the Trustees would like to single out a few, guest speaker Rob Wainwright, auctioneer Jim Craig, fly caster extraordinaire James Tomlinson, (perhaps we can persuade James to have a try at breaking his World Record Distance Cast at next years Garden Fair) and of course Peter Kennedy for allowing his Garden Open Day to be used in aid of the Ayrshire Rivers Trust. The list of people who have contributed to the Trust is endless.
The Trusts first year is almost over. It is said that the first year is always the easiest, however I am sure that the Trustees would not agree. During the coming year other sources of funding will have to be explored. It is hoped that the full time Fishery Biologist who will be employed directly by the Trust will be in a position to assist with any future fundraising.
The Trusts administrator is George Steel, Malleny Cottage, Alloway Village, Ayr. KA7 4PY.