Monday, 24 May 2021

 On 15th May 7 members of Biggar Ramblers started out from Eddleston to climb Dundriech. The climb went up through Portmore estate with views overlooking the house and gardens. Entering the woodland the group took the track to Northshield Rings which none of the walkers visited before. After a coffee break overlooking the Pentlands to the north and Peebles hills to the south they continued to Portmore Loch to start the ascent of Dundriech. It was on this part of the walk that a locked gate was found and each had to climb over; a stile would have overcome this difficulty. Lunch was called just before the summit to avoid cooling too much on the exposed top; it also kept the summit clear should other walkers happen by. At the summit there was time to take in the views picking out the Lomond Hills and Tinto, Broad Law and other Border hills. The ascent was straightforward passing Boreland, Skiprig and Grove Bank.

 On Wednesday, 12th May eleven walkers took part in a circular walk from the Lower Green in West Linton to Dolphinton. The walkers headed up Medwyn Road towards Baddingsgill and on to a newish road which took them out opposite the pond at North Slipperfield. This road has spectacular views of the village and Golf Course. The party then headed on the Drove Road to Ferniehaugh and Garvald with a picturesque coffee stop on the way with birds and wildlife in abundance. Lunchstop  was in a shelter in the woods near Garvald. The walkers continued their walk to Dolphinton, skirting Karecole Stables and on to the Drove Road passing Ingraston Farm, bottom of Mendick Hill and South Slipperfield before crossing the Roman Bridge and walking alongside a small forest to the Golf Club where some of the party enjoyed a well earned refreshment and treat. Following a rest the walkers headed back down Medwyn Road and into the village. Apart from a few showers the weather was kind on this c.10 mile walk.

Sunday, 9 May 2021

 Biggar Ramblers members had a very enjoyable walk in the spring sunshine on Wednesday the 28th of April.

Included in the 14 participants, the Ramblers were happy to welcome back members from the Borders now that Covid19 regulations allow.This was a 2 part walk, the main walk being 5 1/2 mile circuit from Garrion Bridge to the ruin of Cambunesthan Priory. The first part of the walk took the group past woodlands which abounded with bluebells.Whilst admiring these a pair of deer were spotted grazing not far from the path. On reaching the Priory they were given some historical background information before examining the remains of the WW2 Nisan Hut which is quite well hidden nearby.

A tea break beside the ruin allowed time to appreciate the old building, then the walkers proceeded through farmland, down towards the Clyde for the return path back to Garrion Bridges garden centre for refreshments.

The second part of the walk was a short but challenging climb up from Sandiholms garden centre to the Threepwood caves. The stone excavated from the caves are reputed to have been used to build Hamilton Palace. Five Ramblers scrambled and climbed over and under the many fallen trees to visit the caves which all agreed were well worth it.

 On Saturday 24th April Broughton Coomb and the Glenlood hills were the destination for nine members of the Biggar ramblers. They started at the end of Glenholm.

Release from lockdown and glorious weather made this a most memorable walk reminding all those present of the splendours of the Southern Uplands. Although at first sight barren they were rewarded with several sightings of newly returned migrant Wheatears, an abundance of Meadow pipits and occasional Skylarks.

The highlights though were Common Lizards sighted on three separate occasions sunning themselves in the heather! Who would have thought such an abundance of wildlife was supported by our ' barren landscape'.

Encroaching wind farms detracted from the stunning views and an extensive planting of Spruce is also planned in this remote valley.

 Biggar Ramblers walk on 8th April was Coulter Mast Circular, an easy track of 5 miles. The start from the metal bridge at Coulter follows a gradual slope up to the Mast with good views over Tinto. It then heads downhill via Unthank Farm to the main road, where it goes along to Nether Hangingshaw. From there the route is level along estate tracks towards Coulter Mains, following good grass tracks along the back estate of the  fields towards Coulter. These tracks are lined with trees, old and new. Some only remain as stumps next to new planting. At the end of the tracks the route meets the old road along the back of Coulter village and comes out at Coulter Mill. Fortunately, the weather forecast for 'strong winds and rain' turned out to be less severe than expected! Ramblers completed the circle via the Mill Lade path, offering a gentle meander along Coulter Water back to the cars.