Nature watch in the beautiful Borders

The Borders – Northumberland and the Scottish Borders – is beautiful as well as brilliant.

History tells us this region, covering 3,800 sq miles of spectacular countryside, has been the most fought over in the UK, the frontline line for wars, battles and reiver raiding from Roman times onwards.

But for all its turbulent times, when push comes to shove it’s Mother Nature that rules supreme in the Borders.

The number of people living in the region, a little over 420,000, makes Northumberland and the Scottish Borders is one of the most sparsley populated areas in Britain.

Remote moorlands, rolling hills and valleys, Europe’s most extensive man made forest, a coastline of outstanding national beauty and a National Park make the region a natural haven for wildlife.

Ospreys are now regular nesting visitors to Kielder and the Tweed Valley and are a draw for thousands of nature lovers.

Bird watching bring rich rewards in the Borders. In the hills red grouse, ring ouzel, curlew, redshank, skylark, whinchat and meadow pipits are all part of the scenery. Woodlands are home to crossbill, lesser redpoll, treecreeper, woodpecker, marsh tit, spotted flycatcher, and Britain’s smallest bird the goldcrest, among others. The list goes on and on along the rivers and stream making their to wetland and the coast.

The borders branch of the Scottish Ornithologists Club has produced an excellent ‘Birdwatching in the Scottish Borders’ booklet with a list of birdwatching sites and sightings. More information from www.the-soc.org.uk

The region remains a stronghold, in part, for red squirrels – there’s a special sanctuary in the grounds of Paxton House near Berwick-on-Tweed – and has a growing wild deer population that is often visible to walkers and drivers!

Whatever interest you have in nature the Borders will indulge it. Explore the Borders’ Nature Watch will be doing its best to keep readers informed of activities and news.