Carrifran valley (image by David Geddes)

Boundary wardens

Each month since 2001 one or more members of a team of volunteer Boundary Wardens have walked around the 12 km perimeter of Carrifran to check that the fence is in good condition. This cooperative effort is an important way of ensuring that the barrier between livestock and the young saplings is maintained, as the trees are easy forage for farm animals, quickly stunting the leader growth at one bite. Read more →

After the Boundary Walk, a report is written pinpointing fence damage. Sometimes gates are left open and sheep enter the valley, wire loosens and fence posts break or rot. Minor repairs such as replacing loose staples can sometimes be done on the spot, but major problems are passed to the Project Officer. Observations on wildlife and plants, along with general conditions at the time, are put on record, and evidence of other animals (for instance badger, hare and fox) coming over or under the fence is also noted. Digital photography is often a useful aid.


Boundry walkers on saddle yoke

New boundary wardens are always welcome, as are people prepared to be reserve walkers, in case someone drops out at anytime. The timetable of names and months is continuously updated and is usually planned six months to a year in advance.
Note: Walking the whole boundary (~12 km, much of it above 500 m) is a very hard and full day’s exercise and should not be undertaken lightly. Temperatures and winds can be extreme, particularly in the winter months, and conditions often change suddenly.
Despite this, on a clear day the views from the top of the valley are spectacular, as are some of the sightings, for example a flock of Fieldfares flying at the highest point of the valley, into a 70mph wind, and aerobatic manoeuvres of Peregrines and Ravens.

If you would like to walk the Boundary Fence, please contact John Thomas.

In case of any difficulty please phone The Borders Forest Trust on 01835 830750 or by email.

You can read an example of a detailed Boundary Walk report, written by Crinan Alexander in March 2008.