Nominations Sought for 2019 Tweed Forum River Champion Award

Eric Hastings (69), a recently-retired river guardian who dedicated his life to protecting the river Tweed, won the award in 2018. ('Photo: Phil Wilkinson)
Eric Hastings (69), a recently-retired river guardian who dedicated his life to protecting the river Tweed, won the award in 2018. ('Photo: Phil Wilkinson)

Residents of the Scottish Borders have until September 20 to make their nominations for the 2019 Tweed Forum River Champion award.

Now in its fourth year, the prestigious accolade recognises an individual with an outstanding commitment to the protection, preservation and enhancement of the River Tweed and the natural, built and cultural heritage of its surroundings.

The river has a catchment of 5,000 sq km – 80% in Scotland and 20% in England – and brings significant economic and environmental benefits to the surrounding area.

The Tweed Forum River Champion Award is open to anyone from the Scottish Borders or North Northumberland from any walk of life, from farmers, foresters and anglers to landowners or any member of the community who is dedicated to the welfare of the river. Their championing of the river can include any activity undertaken since 2010 and can be carried out through their employment, through volunteering or any other personal commitment. The deadline for nominations is Friday 20th September with the final winner chosen by a judging panel and announced in October. They will receive a beautiful, specially-commissioned trophy by Scottish artist Jane Raven.

Luke Comins, Director of Tweed Forum, said; “Tweed Forum initiated this award as a way to recognise and thank all of the unsung heroes who dedicate themselves to the welfare of the Tweed – a river that provides important environmental, social and economic benefits to the Scottish Borders and North Northumberland. We want to raise awareness of their vital contribution and to show them that their work is hugely important and greatly valued by all of us.”

Last year’s Tweed Forum River Champion was retired river guardian, Eric Hastings from Drygrange, who spent 41 years protecting the river and its tributaries from poaching and pollution and who carried out regular fish monitoring to help manage and protect the river’s fish stocks. Galashiels farmer Jim Sinclair received the accolade in 2017 in recognition of his efforts to integrate farming, forestry and conservation, and for his enthusiasm for land and water management education. The inaugural Tweed Forum River Champion was Coldstream’s Frank Turnbull, who received the award in 2016 for his work promoting the control of invasive plant species.

The contributions of nominees for the 2019 Tweed Forum River Champion Award should include activity undertaken after 2010 and could feature anything from wildlife preservation initiatives and flood prevention to woodland, wetland and moorland management, listed building preservation or other relevant work.

Nominations close on Friday, September 20.

They should be made in writing by post or email and full details are available at Tweed Forum’s website Tweed Forum’s Website