FRESH from taking part in the Hawick Reivers Festival, new walk leaders Ian Shields and Jude Coles are looking forward to their first Philiphaugh Battlefield excursion next month.
The pair of re-enactors are taking over from military historian Ols Hofer who offered similar walks last year.
Mr Shields will dress as a 17th-century soldier, and his partner Ms Coles, will be in camp follower attire, as they tell walkers about the English Civil War – or more correctly Three Nations – battle which took place on the outskirts of Selkirk in 1645.
Mr Shields said: “We’ll have some weaponry and talk about that, the life of the soldiers, the lives of civilians and I’ll explain what happened during the battle as we move along through various sections, where the Royalists were, where the flanking attack took place, what they would be seeing and what types of troops were fighting.”
Mr Shields, a landscape artist, loves history and has been involved in re-enactments since 1986.
He said: “I like trying to get people involved: a lot of people aren’t really aware of this period (17th century) in Scotland’s history.
“Also, you are telling amazing stories. We talk about the ordinary people who took part in history – it’s not dates and kings and queens, it’s ordinary people getting caught up in extraordinary events, how they thought and how they reacted.”
Ms Coles is particularly interested in social history, the food people were eating and their clothing, for example, which she has researched extensively.
The next walk, on April 18, will leave the Waterwheel Cafe at 1pm. Walks are also planned for May 9, June 8, July 4 and August 1.
Meanwhile, wildlife walk leader Mr Phillips takes out hour-long walks on the estate and up the Ettrick Water, always including a visit to the salmon viewing centre, every Wednesday.
A lifelong nature lover and member of the Worldwide Fund for Nature, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Hare Preservation Trust, Mr Phillips said: “The walk lasts about an hour and I talk about what we see. We have goosanders up the river at the moment – though of course the anglers don’t like them because they take fish.”
His Wednesday walks leaves the Waterwheel Cafe at 1pm.