No more ‘walk on the wild side’ for Thirlestane visitors

Visitors will no longer need to take a walk on the wild side to avoid oncoming livestock at a Borders castle.

By Kevin Janiak
Friday, 21st January 2022, 2:35 pm
Thirlestane Castle on the outskirts of Lauder.
Thirlestane Castle on the outskirts of Lauder.

The green light has been given to the formation of new footpaths and fencing at Thirlestane Castle in Lauder.

A planning application was submitted to Scottish Borders Council by the Hon. Gerald Maitland-Carew, for the measures designed to create separation between grazing cattle and walkers, runners and dog walkers.

There has been concern that visitors to the area had been dicing with danger after opting to walk down the B6362, which has no pavement, just to avoid the cattle in the field.

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In her report, Julie Hayward, Scottish Borders Council’s lead planning officer, says: “The site is situated to the south east of Thirlestane Castle, a category A Listed building, and relates to the Southern Upland Way that runs from a bridge over the Leader Water around the perimeter of a field at Eagles Haugh North, used for grazing by livestock.

“The proposal is required due to safety concerns for path users and to improve the condition of the path.

“The existing path is currently underutilised by the public due to accessibility issues and the proposal is to create a safer path and remove the need to take the alternative route along the public road, the B6362.

“The use of the path is severely constrained due to the year-round presence of livestock in the field, churning up the ground and forcing users to detour further into the field, closer to the livestock, which presents a safety issue which is putting off families, walkers with dogs and horse riders.

“The proposed solution is fencing, protecting the route from livestock, and laying an unbound, smoother surface pathway.”