Scottish Borders, September 2017

One of my slow-burning projects involves taking a picture to represent each of the 85 Ordnance Survey Landranger maps that are needed to cover Scotland.

This weekend I decided to risk a somewhat dodgy weather forecast and head just north of the England-Scotland border to pick off a few sheets from that part of the world.

Sheet 73: Peebles, Galashiels & Selkirk

Selkirk is a picturesque little border town that spreads up the hills mostly on the east side of Ettrick Water.  My picture is of the original church that gave the town its name - the ‘church in the forest’, and I have it on good authority that William Wallace was proclaimed guardian of Scotland here in 1298.

Sheet 73 Kirk of the Forest, Selkirk NT 470 285 DSC_8128

Sheet 74: Kelso & Coldstream

Just a few miles east of Selkirk (and just on Sheet 74) is Jedburgh. As you come into Jedburgh from the south the skyline is dominated by the remains of Jedburgh Abbey, built in the 12th Century and mostly abandoned in the 16th.

Sheet 74 Jeburgh Abbey NT 655 205 DSC_8161

Sheet 79: Hawick & Eskdale Area

This is one of the three Landranger sheets where I’ve spent most time over the years.  My maternal grand-parents lived in Hawick and I spent many childhood holidays there (the other frequented sheets are 36: Grantown & Aviemore) and 4: Shetland - South Mainland).

On this visit I decided to spend time in a valley on the eastern edge of the sheet - Carrifran.  On my old Landranger sheet (dated 1994) the valley is shown as a steep, rugged and completely barren. On 1st January 2000 the valley was acquired by the Borders Forest Trust and became Carrifran Wildwood.  Over the last 17 years local volunteers have been restoring the valley to how it might have been 6000 years ago - before it was cleared and munched into submission by sheep and goats.  The results are inspiring, and if you look at the most recent Landranger sheet you’ll see the valley is now filled with mixed woodland.

Sheet 79 Carrifran Wildwood NT 159 115 DSC_0147

Sheet 80: Cheviot Hills & Kielder Water

One of the historic routes between Scotland and England was over the Carter Bar - a pass through the Cheviot Hills.  This was also the site, in 1575, of the last major battle between Scotland and England - the rather inappropriately named “Raid of the Redeswire” (it wasn’t a raid and didn’t happen in Redeswire).  The skirmish was won by the Scots.

Sheet 80 Looking North from Carter Bar NT 698 068 DSC_0318

As you might have spotted from the pictures I was rather misled by the weather forecasters.  The woolly hat and over-trousers remain packed away, and the sun-hat I didn’t pack would have come in very useful.  

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