News from the Way

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BBC Radio Scotland - Out of Doors

BBC Out of Doors Logo Mark Stephen from BBC Radio Scotland met up in December 2013 with Walking Support to walk a section of the Sir Walter Scott Way, and whilst walking an interview took place with John Henderson. This piece will be aired in January and hopefully it will encourage several more walkers to consider walking this route in 2014.
John explained the very strong connections between the 92 / 94 mile walking route and the famous author and poet. Not only are there literary connections in the forms of novels and poems for ever part of this south east of Scotland route, Sir Walter also lived and frequently walked in many parts of the Way.
With the recently re-furbished Abbotsford House now open and the Way passing directly past the House and Visitor centre this must be worth a visit and could possibly be a highlight in what is a varied and beautiful 6 or 7 day walk.
For more information on the "Out of Doors" programme and the updated Abbotsford house and visitor centre the following links should be used:
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0074hjr www.scottsabbotsford.co.uk/visiting-abbotsford

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Gore-Tex Scottish National Trail

Gore-Tex Scottish National Trail Logo The National Trail was launched at the end of 2012 at the Water of Leith visitor centre in Edinburgh by the First Minister.
The route is a 470 mile trail starting from the SE of Scotland at Kirk Yetholm and ending at the NW corner at Cape Wrath.
Within this 470 mile walk the route picks up on several of Scotland's Great Trails, one being the Sir Walter Scott Way (SWSW) / Southern Upland Way. The first point is at Melrose where it follows the Sir Walter Scott Way west until it enters Traquair. From here the new trail heads north to Edinburgh before heading west to Glasgow then again north using the West Highland and Rob Roy Ways. It reaches Kingussie then west to the Great Glen Way and then up the west coast to Achnashellach, Kylesku and finally to Cape Wrath.
For more information and a book titled "Scotland End to End" on this Cameron McNeish trail visit www.mountain-media.co.uk.

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Firsts Walkers to Complete the Way

Minch Moor Cairn Finishing on Saturday the 14th June, Brian and Sue Kendrick from Leicester were the first known walkers to have completed the Way in one continuous walk. Starting from Moffat on Monday 9th June they undertook the Way in six stages. On the Wednesday they were joined by John Henderson of Walking Support and two other walkers on the SUW for the section between Traquair and Galashiels.

Sue runs Writelink, a website dedicated to the interests of literary people and she has been very keen to promote the Sir Walter Scott Way to her membership.

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Website Endorsements and Support

We are pleased that we have received either endorsement or support from a number of organisations or groups. We have the endorsement of the Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club from a historical and literary perspective.

We recognise that walking as a leisure pursuit is a health promotion activity and Healthy Living has been pleased to endorse this walking website and others managed by I-Net Support. We additionally have the support of Paths for Health, an organisation that is encouraging individuals to take up walking, however short in distance on a regular basis, as a means of developing a healthier lifestyle.
Click on either of the logos to link to their specific websites and gain additional data on their aims and objectives.

HL Logo PTHlogo

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Winning Paintings from the Official Launch

To view these painting a the launch day event click here

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Wind Farms on the line of the Way.

Black Hill Wind Turbine This walking route continues to be subject to ongoing applications for wind farm developments on or very close to the Way.
Recently (August 10) one of the two new wind farms proposed for the route was rejected by the Planning Authoity. This is welcome news although it is very likely that this decision will be challenged by the developer.
In the meantime there still remains another planning application for 13 turbines in the Broadmeadows area this adding to the one already existing windfarm at Black Hill (22 turbines) and at least four others already visible but in the more distant horizon.

Both the two proposed wind farms on the Traquair to Yair section of the Way have been subject to applications over a long period of time. In this period there have been some revisions to their format. In the case of the turned down application (8th August 2010) this was under a new developer. The still undecided planning request is for the Broadmeadows development of 13 turbines proposed by Green Power, however in response to concerns raised they are now in August 2010 submitting a revised and reduced application for 8 turbines.

Both these developments would if constructed be exceedingly close to the line of the Way and we beleive from documents that for a period of over a year the route would have to be closed to allow for the construction work. Once complete some of the turbines would be very close to the path.
Our understanding is that although the Planning Authority has turned down the Minch Moor application the developer many very well lodge an appeal and this would then be subject to a Reporter's Enquiry.
The Braodmeadows revised application will be subject to further public exhibition and we assume consultation prior to a Planning Authority decision. We therefore encourage all walkers who have any view on the impact of windfarms either positive or negative to take a few minutes to express thier views via an open survey being conducted by Walking Support. This consolidated data has already been used at a Reporter's Enquiry relating to another proposed development on the Borders Abbeys Way and could if added to with new responses be beneficial to the outcome reached on these two application. So if you have any view we would ask you to click here and take a few minutes to complete an on-line survey. You can also express your views on these two particular application by e-mailing you view via this link.

Interested walkers many want to access details on :- Vattenfall website.

It is also possible to make direct representation to the Planning Authority both for or against the developments. This is done via the following links.

wind turbine The graphic is to illustrate the size of the wind turbines that are planned for this ridge walk. The size of the rotor sweep being as large as a Jumbo Jet.

We as the webmasters for the Sir Walter Scott Way have received comments from a range of walkers and have determined a position on these developments as detailed in a letter to the Planning Authority. The visual impact of these developments will be significant, while we also recognise the benefits of move to renewable energy. However we take the stance that there must be many other locations of a less sensitive nature where the tourism economy will not be adversely effected by such developments.

We would welcome receiving your comments and this would help us to further develop a position to contribute to the consultation process. We invite you to therefore e-mail us with your observations and/or questions.

View other contributors comments by clicking here.

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On-site walk with the politicians

Images from the Minchmoor Walk Walkerburn Action Group organised and ran a walk over the Minch Moor taking in the site of the planned windfarm on the 31st August. This started from Traquair Village Hall at 12.30pm following the showing of a video on the noise and other difficulties being experienced by residents close to other windfarms in Cumbria and the North of England. Over 40 people attended in addition to an earlier group from the central belt who came down by bus to walk the stretch from Traquair to Broadmeadows.

The local M.P. and M.S.P's and all SBC Councillors were invited to attend however there was only token presence from one MSP and two local councillors. These politicians who attended were very helpful and supportive of the campaign to have this Minchmoor application turned down, but it was unfortunate that others did not take the time to see the impact of the windmills on the Way, the local community & the tourism economy.

We would be strongly encouraging all walkers who are concerned about this development but were unable to attend to still write to your local councillor and MSP regarding this application.

Time is now running short so please make your voice know now prior to the planning committee meeting.

If you want to be added to the list of concerned walkers and become part of an e-mail group receiving updates on planning developments, please place you name and contact details (address, telephone number) on the e-mail by clicking here.

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Completion Certificate

Certificate We are pleased to announce that through Walking Support's sponsorship we are now able to present completion certificates to all walkers who complete the 92 mile route in one continuous walk.
This is a card based certificate of A4 size with your personal name and date of completion inscribed.

To obtain one of these certificates all you need to presently do is e-mail us with the following details:

  • Name (as you want it on the certificate)
  • Address (where the certificate is to be sent to)
  • Dates of the walk (start and end)
  • Name & address of overnight locations
  • Number in the walking group
We will be introducing a log sheet and signing procedure in the longer term but until then we are happy to accept this form of verification.

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Land's End to John O'Groats

Bill & Nedra Orme above Traquair Bill & Nedra Orme are completing their walk from south to north in April and May 2003. This Australian couple are very experienced walkers having covered over 35,000 kms on long-distance walks in varying parts of the world.
Bill & Nedra made contact with John Henderson of Walking Support, who is also the webmaster for this website, having identified certain parts of the St Cuthbert's Way, the Sir Walter Scott Way and the Rob Roy Way as elements of their journey north.
The result is that John has recently join them on stretches of this routes, between Melrose, Abbotsford and Traquair. Later they will again meet up between Aberfeldy and Pitlochry on the Rob Roy Way.

As part of the walk on the Sir Walter Scott Way, Bill and Nedra were part of the group walking into Abbotsford for the Official Launch of the Sir Walter Scott Way. Bill also spoke to the guests and school children who were present. For more pictures of this event click here.

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The Official Launch Of The Sir Walter Scott Way.

After months of development and behind-the-scenes planning I-Net/Walking Support is pleased to announce that there was an official opening of the newest and most varied long distance walk in the Scottish Borders, the 'Sir Walter Scott Way'.

It took place on Wednesday 30th April 2003 when there were a number of events at the ancestral home of Sir Walter Scott, namely Abbotsford.

Our thanks go to Alastair Henderson and marketing lecturers from Northumbria University Business School for all the Marketing Consultancy support.

For images of the launch day click here.

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Press release for The Sir Walter Scott Way.

For release. 30th April 2003 or closest date thereafter - (Melrose, Scottish Borders)

The memory of Sir Walter Scott lives on.

On the 30th April the Sir Waiter Scott Way will be officially launched amidst gathered guests and a local school at Abbottsford. The walk is the innovation of John Henderson of SCSupport, Melrose. NU Henderson has already successfully developed and marketed the Rob Roy Way in Perthshire whilst also in his portfolio of walking websites is St Cuthbert's Way and Great Glen Way.

The new walk is welcomed by the Scottish Borders Tourist Board whose Chief Executive Riddell Graham said "Given the high importance visitors place on access to the countryside and the success of other long distance routes in the area we are delighted to be associated with this new initiative. It is clear from feedback we have had from walkers using the St Cuthbert's Way, that linking an established route to a person or character works well and attracts first time visitors. We hope that this route will do much to stimulate renewed interest in the life and works or our best known literacy figure Sir Walter Scott."

Dame Jean Maxwell-Scott a direct ancestor of Sir Walter Scott has been supportive throughout the development. She said, "I am delighted that the Sir Walter Scott Way is to be launched here at Abbotsford on Wednesday 30th April. I send my best wishes to all who take part in the Walk this year and in future years".

The Sir Walter Scott Way is based on a part of the already existing Southern Upland Way, but the product is marketed on the accessibility of the Way and the abundance of literacy links to the life and works of Sir Waiter Scott. The walk starts from Moffat in Southern Central Scotland ending at Cockburnspath on the South East Scottish Coastline it covers 148 Km / 92 miles of some of Scotland's most inspiring scenery.

From the remote hills and valleys of Southern Scotland the way travels by river, loch side and drove road into the central borders and takes in beautiful Abbotsford, Sir Waiter Scott's home, where he penned many of his novels, including the Waverley novels.

Asked what the walk would bring to the area Mr Henderson indicated that it would provide a welcome boost to tourism and bring revenue to the area. He also elaborated on the opportunity the web site provides for local accommodation and service providers to put their service out to a wider and more diverse consumer market in a cost elective and hassle free manner.

Over the last couple of months in partnership with Northumbria University Business School in Newcastle, SCSupport and a post graduate marketing consultant have been developing awareness, databases, links, partnerships, sponsorship and direct marketing strategies as well as making the site as user friendly and informative as possible. Through the development of awareness and linkages of the walk and web site can already boast hit rates that were unexpected pre launch. Mr Henderson concluded, "We appear to be getting the correct communication mix to stimulate peoples interest."

The launch is further hoped to raise awareness of the walk and SCSupport have enlisted the assistance of various groups to help make the day a success. Two walkers from Australia who are walking the length of Britain will be using the section past Abbotsford on this day and will assist in the launch event. They along with around 40 school children from Wilton will walk from the Melrose area to Abbottsford before Mr & Mrs Orme will progress to Traquair. Wilton Primary School will then stay for an activity day at Abbottsford, which will consist of tour of the house and grounds, chronology on Sir Walter Scott's life and an art competition.

For further details on the Sir Walter Scott Way including accommodation and services and general information visit www.sirwalterscottway.com

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SWSW Leaflet

Promotional Leaflet

As a key part of the promotion and awareness raising of the Way a 10x21cm folded leaflet has been produced and is already widely distributed throughout the length of the Way. This leaflet contains photos from along the route, a map of the Way (not for use as a navigation map) and some description of the route interest and scenery.
The distribution will now be focused on the walking community and should anyone be interested in receiving a copy they should e-mail us with their postal address and contact telephone number.

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SCSupport develops close links with Northumbria University

As part of an initiative between Northumbria University Business School and localised businesses, John Henderson director of SCSupport, has enlisted the expertise of a Marketing Master student to assist with strategic planning of the 'Sir Walter Scott Way' both in the short and long term. This work will also provide support for the official launch of the walk of 30th April 2003. The student will be carrying out the consultancy work over a 10 week period and it is hoped to benefit all parties involved. John Henderson in particular is delighted to have the benefit of the University and student to pass on their acquired knowledge in what is a very competitive field of marketing.

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www.sirwalterscottway.com to expand.

After detailed analysis of the customers' needs, the www.sirwalterscottway.com is going to undertake a few alterations. Understanding that the consumers' needs are key, SCSupport are going to provide three new pages to assist with information-gathering and enjoyment of the walk.

  • Walkers Comments - To enable walkers to post comments on the web site regarding the walk and related subjects.
  • Frequently Asked Questions - Provides walkers and businesses with an opportunity to access information about the walk and web site without having to make contact with SCSupport.
  • Sir Walter Scott Links Page - Will allow keen walkers and Scott enthusiasts the ability to view other pages SCSupport decree as informative and beneficial to those seeking to develop the Scott experience.

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Poetry inspired by a part of the Way

This poem was inspired by the Traquair to Yair section of the Way. The poet has given her kind permission to reproduce the poem on the website but all copyright conditions must still apply.


Hills are piled like dunes:
climbing to their sandcastle cairns
coats skin with brine.
Wind's high tide crashes on a conifer shore,
its constant roar eroding silence;
in the lee are pools of birdsong.

Grasses ripple in the air:
seaspray that glistens silver in sunshine,
while shoals of speedwell and tormentil
swim in heather shallows.
Every plant is spattered
with cuckoo spit spume.

As a cricket starts its outboard motor,
foxgloves explode in bursts of flares
for fallen trees lying shipwrecked
at forest's edge.
Elsewhere, felling's storm
has left a pile of driftwood,
part of nature's ebb and flow.

By Rowena M Love 2002

Winner of Local Prize (adults) in 6th Annual Ottakar's and Faber Poetry Competition October 2002

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Walkers' Newsletter

Walking Support and I-Net Support have combined together to produce an e-mail circulated Walkers' Newsletter. This newsletter will be sent to only those on our Newsletter Database, and it will be absolutely free.

The newsletter will be made up of useful information on Long Distance Walking, include any new routes or revisions to existing one and will provide offers and competitions for individuals walking the routes that we support.

We will not pass your name or e-mail address on to any other party so you will only receive our newsletter through registration. You can also at any time remove you registration by simply click on the un-subscribe button at teh bottom of all newsletters.

To register simply click here and send the blank e-mail. You will then be added to the database.

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This page will publish news details as well as providing general information that does not easily fall under other page headings.

We hope that the walkers on the route will want to contribute to this page. If this is the case then please e-mail the webmaster and submit your item of news. (The webmaster reserves the right to withhold items submitted that are felt to be inappropriate)

We would also like to encourage charities who are using the Way as a source of fundraising to contact the webmaster and we will endeavour to promote the event and the charity on the website. This has been a successful formula used on other Long Distance Walking Websites managed by this organisation.

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