Forest festival’s popularity just keeps on growing

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“WE really made Peebles buzz for three days.” So said Tweed Valley Forest Festival co-ordinator Chris Sawers talking of the concurrent running of the woodlands celebrations with the Peebles Food Festival and the new International Chutney Festival, writes Sally Gillespie.

“The festival highlight was probably the weather and the successful joint marketing with the other two festivals. Visitor information centre staff said the combination of the three festivals resulted in lots of visitors and a very busy High Street, ” she said.

The forest celebrations started with the Wood Market weekend.

Ms Sawers said: “It’s a great event for the family, a chance to meet the people who make these beautiful objects and there are lots of things for young people to do. This year was incredibly busy with more than 2,000 people visiting, many of whom were shopping for Christmas and we were delighted with the sales.”

Other events in the nine-day festival included a Heritage Tree excursion organised by Royal Scottish Forestry Society, guided walks and cycling, discovering forestry, bushcraft, presentations and exhibitions.

The forest festival drew to a close at the weekend with successful Halloween events at Wooplaw community woodland, Bowhill near Selkirk and Traquair House, near Innerleithen said Ms Sawers.

The Borders Forest Trust’s conker championships were won by Jordan McMinn (junior), Charlie Griggs (youth), Andrew Wilson (rogue) and Maurice Hurrell (adult).

BFT’s Louisa Finch said: “We were delighted to get such a good turnout for the championships and it’s great to see there is so much enthusiasm for keeping traditional games like conkers going.”