Borderer Eric feeling just champion after landing award

Eric Hastings with his river champion award.
Eric Hastings with his river champion award.

Retired river guardian Eric Hastings has been named as this year’s Tweed Forum river champion.

Eric, 69, of Drygrange, near Earlston, is the third winner of the accolade, introduced in 2016 to reward outstanding commitment to the protection and enhancement of the 97-mile river.

His 41-year career at the River Tweed Commission involved tracking and catching poachers, carrying out surveys of fish stocks and tackling pollution incidents and invasive plant species.

Eric said: “The news of this award came as a bit of a shock, but I’m very honoured to be receiving this accolade.

“I’ve greatly enjoyed my many years working on the river and love every part of it, from the headwaters right to the coast.

“I’m proud that I’ve been able to play a part in the protection of the river for future generations.”

Handing him a glass trophy designed by Edinburgh artist Jane Raven, forum chairman James Hepburne Scott said: “Eric has made an outstanding contribution to the protection of the River Tweed and has helped to further vital scientific and habitat improvement programmes.

“Few can claim a more intimate knowledge of the river and its tributaries, and few have spent such a large part of their lives working for its benefit.

“Eric is a truly worthy Tweed Forum river champion.”

The two previous winners of the award were Frank Turnbull, of Coldstream, and Jim Sinclair, of Galashiels.