I live in Girvan, a small town on the South West coast of Scotland. Girvan has a population of approximately 6,600 people.
Most houses are built either detached, semi-detached or terraced. There are flats above the shops on the ‘Main Street’ and 5 blocks of flats about 4 or 5 storeys high. As the population is not dense, there is no major need for high blocks of flats. There is a street of shops, but increasingly more and more of these are shutting down, leading this part of town to look rundown.
There is a large park in the centre of the town, with a football pitch, rugby pitch, play park and a community garden. The park is situated right next to Girvan Academy, meaning in good weather the pupils can take PE outdoors and make use of the park to play sports such as rounders or football.
As well as this, all surrounding the town there are plenty of hills and greenery. On a nice day, many people enjoy walking up the nearby Byne Hill which makes for a fun day out and there is a beautiful view of the town and Ailsa Craig.
Girvan is situated on the coast, and has a beautiful beach that stretches the entire length of the town. Ailsa Craig is clearly visible and boat trips are offered from the harbour to visit Ailsa Craig.
Most people travel within the town by either car or on foot, as it does not take long to walk from one side of the town to the other.
There is a bus service which connects Girvan to the relatively nearby larger towns of Ayr and Stranraer, and all the towns and villages in between. It runs quite frequently, making it easy for people who don’t have access to a car able to travel with ease between these towns and villages.
Girvan also has a train station and trains run to Stranraer, Ayr and Kilmarnock as a relatively frequent pace. This is another way of allowing people to travel from one area of the county to another.
The problem with Girvan being so small is that there are not many opportunities for jobs or things to do nearby. For example, I work in a restaurant in a village nearby called Maidens-which means I have a 10 minute drive to work. At my work, almost everyone lives in either Maybole or Girvan and drives to takes a bus to work. This means that there are more emissions given off in order for people to travel to their work, than there would be if it was in a city setting-where there are plenty more job opportunities in a much denser area.
Girvan has three primary schools- Girvan Primary, Sacred Heart and Invergarven. Many pupils who attend these schools go on to Girvan Academy-although some go on to Queen Margaret Academy in Ayr.
There is a local library and community centre that both hold events frequently for people in the community to attend.
There are two community gardens in Girvan that are both beautiful in the summer when the flowers are all in bloom.
Industry and Work
There are lots of factories outside of Girvan, and this is where many of the locals work.
The biggest company and employer of locals is William Grant & Sons, making the area famous for Hendricks Gin and Grants Scotch whisky. The company offers a number of apprenticeships which helps to boost the economy and also helps a number of young people get jobs.
Another major company, Nestle, have a factory in Grangestone Industrial Estate, just outside of Girvan. This has created many jobs for the locals and continues to do so.
The Alginate used to employ lots of Girvan locals, but in 2009 is was bought over and most of the production was moved to Haugesund, Norway. It was a devastating blow as it affected the lives of lots of locals. Despite this, many people still have jobs in the factory here, but it is a substantially smaller number.
As there are a number of farms surrounding Girvan, jobs can be found involving agriculture.
Girvan itself does not have many recreation spaces. There is a theatre in Girvan Academy, which also hosts a number of different events-for example, the local Musical Society puts on performances every year there. Girvan used to have a swimming pool, but it was closed down in 2009 due to safety concerns. There is a currently construction on a new building for a pool/leisure centre, due to open in Spring 2017.
There are also tennis courts, a golf club and clubs for children such as karate and dancing.
As Girvan is a rural town, there is a lot of farmland surrounding the town.
Using the Neighbourhood Statistics page, I found out there are 92 people per sq km in South Ayrshire, meaning my area is not dense.
Scottish Air Quality page shows that South Ayrshire has an air quality of index 1.