Bowhill to crackdown on prowlers and anti-social behaviour

Action is needed to prevent prowling, irresponsible parking and anti-social behaviour at a popular Borders tourist attraction, it has emerged.

By Paul Kelly
Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 11:47 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 3:39 pm
Bowhill House near Selkirk.
Bowhill House near Selkirk.

Bowhill House, which dates back to 1812, is located 5k west of Selkirk within the Borders Estate, which forms part of the wider Buccleuch Estate.

In addition to being an important tourism draw it is also the family home of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry.

In recent years, the estate has undergone significant development to provide a range of outdoor activities aimed at walkers, horse-riders, hikers and fishing enthusiasts.

There is also an adventure playground, cafe, theatre and the garden and house – containing key pieces of artwork – are open during the holiday season to paying visitors.

Over the last two years of the pandemic there has been a significant increase in the number of visitors to the estate and the pattern of usage has changed, as people look to find green spaces for recreation and exercise.

Although this is testament to the beauty of the estate, and Buccleuch still welcome visitors, bosses say action is now needed to address those who are misusing its facilities and attractions.

This is due particularly to prowling activity, irresponsible parking and ant-social behaviour.

As a result an application has been submitted to Scottish Borders Council for the construction of a ticket booth, new access gates and an overflow car park.

A report submitted with the application says: “The rise in the number of cars parking outwith designated/designed parking areas is not only damaging the ground on which they choose to park but it is also disruptive and jeopardises the safety of others visiting the estate, and those who live and work there. At times, too, this can block access to emergency vehicle routes.

“Buccleuch places a paramount importance on the health, safety and security of those visiting.

“There has been a significant rise in the instances of anti-social behaviour on the estate with cars racing around the roads and prowling being a particular problem.

“Following a full review of operations and security one of the key recommendations was the installation of gates, which can be controlled as appropriate at key access points across the estate.”

A gate to be installed at Duchess’s Drive and an attached redesigned ticket booth will allow Buccleuch to secure the immediate area around Bowhill House, where the majority of visitors start their visit.

The report adds: “Being better able to monitor access will, in turn, lead to increased security and a more enjoyable experience for those visiting, working and living within such a key environmental and historic destination.”