Felling a danger for historic sites

I refer to the letters in last week’s Southern on the subject of timber operations in the Ettrick valley.

Of particular interest was the brief mention of the destruction of archaeological sites. I am not sure how many historic sites were lost during the original planting 40 years ago, but I do have grave concern about further damage while felling takes place.

Just as an example, the forest situated in the vicinity of the Douglas Burn above Blackhouse in Yarrow contains not one but two stone circles. The lower of the two is known as the Douglas Stanes commemorating the deaths of Lady Margaret and her lover, Lord Douglas. The border ballad, The Douglas Tragedy, describes the events poignantly.

The Sitkas at this site were planted so close to this scheduled ancient monument that it is impossible to imagine felling being carried out without damage occurring. Other sites in areas of mature trees in the Borders include Hart Leap, the Tinlee Stane, the Pedlar’s Stane, all in danger when felling operations are carried out.

I would not want to make light of damage to roads, but highways can be repaired, whereas historic sites commemorating our ancestors’ deeds are irreplaceable.

Jennifer Payne

Shawpark Road