The clampdown on anti-social campers around the St Mary’s Loch area begins this weekend.
Ettrick and Yarrow Community Council has commissioned the new warden service as a response to so-called wild campers acting in an anti-social manner.
The new post, in partnership with Scottish Borders Council and Police Scotland, has been filled by Chris Amy, a self-employed country ranger from Tushielaw, Upper Ettrick.
The 52-year-old, who moved here from North Yorkshire two years ago, said: “At the moment, I think it’s really a case of just getting down there and talking to people, finding out what’s happening and taking it from there.”
Chris’s appointment, out of more than half a dozen applicants for the job, follows complaints that the behaviour of some visitors had become intolerable, with some chopping down fences for firewood and leaving piles of rubbish dumped at the roadside.
Gordon Harrison, chairman of the community council, said: “Chris is a highly qualified guy.
“He is a very calm and professional, the perfect person, we thought, to look after the area.
“He is not the sort of chap that is going to upset people and has a very non-confrontational attitude, which makes him perfect for the job as we’re not going out to be confrontational.”
“We had a lot of interest. There were several applicants, and we interviewed a couple of people and got the right person.” A project launch event, coinciding with Chris’s first night on duty, takes place tomorrow, between 6pm and 8pm, in Cappercleuch Hall, and there will be a meet-and-greet session with locals.
The trial post will operate mainly on Friday and Saturday evenings until September.
Almost £4,000 has been set aside to pay for Chris’s services during that time, using grant money from the Langhope Rig Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund.