Had a very good night’s sleep after a long day and started off feeling fresh and rested. We went to the market in Penicuik and had a guided tour of the Penicuik Storehouse, a wonderful initiative of a community alliance the brainchild of Roger Kelly and others. To find out more go to www.penicom.net; this feels on the same wavelength as our beeline ideas and is of course associated by the Lost Garden of Penicuik, our starting off point for this day.
When we arrived we were greeted by Dave a bee keeper and others involved in the Lost Garden which has a range of wonderful bee friendly beds of plants – flowers, herbs and vegetables; and a good for all age community involvement.
Next we met up with Jane Tallents – who has moved to a cottage a few miles along our route for the day. Jane guided us for the first stage of our days walk, and gave us a cup of tea and cake sitting in the sun in her blossoming and blooming garden.
I have known Jane for many years, but through Trident Plowshares and antinuclear campaigning and it was interesting and somehow fitting to find we had another shared interest and had both in younger days studied agriculture and are both equally critical of the modern methods of agribusiness.
After leaving Jane, we walked for short distances on roads with traffic rushing past and then found our way to a railway track for a number of miles, with bee friendly plants growing on each side – and wonder of enjoyment saw a huge patch of thistles with red admiral butterflies enjoying the nectar.
And, then, oh dear, we pass through a farm on the other end of the spectrum of massive chicken sheds, with sad and miserable looking birds pecking in the dust, with no grass fields to enjoy. Past this open prison for birds, we are again in a more bee friendly environment with hedges, wild flowers and thoughtfully planted trees. Along a short narrow road, with little traffic, we stop for our lunch and not raining today, and then into woodland and along another railway track with woodland close by and a wonderful collection of funghi growing in the woodland at the side of the track.
Towards the end of the track we walked through old hedge plantings of beech and yew and come to the end of our walking day at Eddleston with a lovely looking farm and garden with interesting animals and bee friendly flowering gardens. Found Paul’s van and drove the last part of the day into Peebles to a wonderful and hospitable welcome from our good friends Pat and Julian. A very satisfying and interesting day four.