A run to the hills for search and rescue team

MORE THAN 100 hikers and runners are expected to tackle the Cheviot hills in aid of a search and rescue team later this month.

The Borders Search and Rescue Unit have organised four routes to and from Morebattle for fundraisers to enjoy on Sunday September 30.

The unit’s Damon Rodwell said: “We’re expecting between 100 and 150 participants and we’re hoping it will raise £5,000, but the tricky economic times may dent this a bit.”

The team provides mountain rescue, helps at events such as local common ridings, and is called out to police searches and other incidents. The trained local volunteers are on call 24/7 throughout the year and cover the Lammermuirs and Cheviots, from the A68 east to the coast.

Mr Rodwell said: “The sponsored walk is the team’s big fund-raising push each year. We have annual operating costs of around £25,000, including equipment and vehicle replacement, and the replacement of one of our specially-equipped Landrovers in the spring set us back £31,000, financed entirely from team coffers.”

New to the annual event this year is a 34km (21 miles) runners’ route in addition to three walking routes, one of which doubles as a run.

Mr Rodwell said: “Designed to attract demented souls and super-heroes, it will take runners all the way over the hills to the Pennine Way and The Curr, returning over Hownam Law. With a total climb of around 5,000 feet, it has been adopted immediately into the Scottish Hill Runners ‘Long Classics’ series.”

The longest walking route, and the shorter of the two runs, covers 25km (15 mile) following St Cuthbert’s Way up to and over Wideopen Hill into the Bowmont Valley. Hikers climb a couple of hills before taking on Hownam Law on the way back to Morebattle.

The nine-mile route starts out along St Cuthbert’s Way, on to Grubbit Law, then Hownam Law before returning down the Kale Valley, over Morebattle Hill, back to the village.

The family walk of 4.5km (2.8 miles) takes ramblers along the River Kale and up Morebattle Hill.

All the routes are marked and have marshalls, and there are refreshments along the way and at the finish.

Since 2004 the team has received small annual grants from the Scottish Government.

For more information visit www.bordersar.org.uk