Importance of our rivers and seas is at the heart of region’s heritage week

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WATER and the importance of the region’s rivers and the sea is the theme of this year’s Borders Heritage Week starting on Saturday, writes Sally Gillespie.

Key events during the eight-day celebration – now in its third year – include the opening of Neidpath Castle in Peebles to the public this weekend and, next Saturday, a guided archaeology walk from Coldingham Priory to St Abb’s Head, and a chance to visit the Haining in Selkirk.

Innerleithen’s special connection with water will be highlighted through a series of events and lectures, including A Tweed Herbarium, an exhibition of the flora along the Innerleithen stretch of the Tweed, the Waterways exhibition at St Ronan’s Wells on the natural and industrial heritage of the Tweed and its tributaries, a papermaking workshop, a ranger-led walk with the theme of Walkerburn’s hydro heritage, a guided walk along the town’s 170-year-old mill lade, and a film. For more information on the Innerleithen events contact Gen Harrison 0844 493 2259.

This year, Doors Open Day will be at Eyemouth, Coldingham and St Abbs next Saturday, with highlights being the restored Gunsgreen House, St Abbs Lifeboat House and a guided harbour walk.

Scottish Borders Council’s economic development spokesperson, Councillor Vicky Davidson, said: “Heritage week is growing year on year.

“This year’s theme of water will allow Borderers and visitors to learn about and enjoy one of our most precious resources.”

SBC’s archaeology officer Chris Bowles commented: “From the Mesolithic hunters and gatherers who navigated the river valleys, to our historic weaving mills, even right down to the tremendous fishing on our rivers and sea today, H2O is at the heart of Borders heritage.”

More information on Borders Heritage Week 2011 can be found at: www.scottishbordersheritage.co.uk