Woke up in a rush so Julian could give Paul a lift back from Eddlestone. After breakfast, set off to the Peebles Secret Garden to meet up with bee aware gardeners – Jan Cameron, Francoise Welmesfelder and Jan Goodacre. We looked round the very bee friendly garden now well established for three years, with raised beds, herbs, flowers and vegetables all blooming in a sheltered space in the centre of Peebles. The beds and paths are well made with recycled wood and slate paths.
We set off down a narrow wynd into Peebles High St and walk off with six of us and Pollaidh to the sound of a brass band and wind our way to the start of the John Buchan Trail. On our way we pass trees laden with fruit, plums and apples hill soon out onto the grassy hillside. As we pass the last home a young girl comes out with her mother on bikes and pass us, and some folks gallop past us on horses – a good day with no rain and scudding clouds above.
We can imagine John Buchan striding on his way, and our companion walkers setting us on the right path, with talk making up for the lack of bees. Up and over the hill side and down to the road towards the Valley, we meet a very fit woman testing out some new boots, who turns out to have visited Wiston Lodge with the John Muir Award and a youth group Up2You.– we talk and let Pollaidh stand up to her stomach in the river to cool down. Then we meet the pair on cycles and enjoy a talk with the young girl Olivia, who is very interested in the bees.
Stopping for lunch as the trail starts up hill again, we note that there are very few flowering plants or either butterflies or bees the whole of our route – while there is heather and a few flowers on the hill side, the farm fields are mono-cultural grassland with beef cattle and sheep grazing, and few birds flying overhead. We think we are in grouse shooting country. There are very beautiful long distance views in all directions; Stobo comes into view round 3.00 pm and we stop by the Tweed and then into the van to go for a cuppa at Dawyck Botanical Gardens as a fitting end to a good day……good company, good talk, good walk, but very few bees to see.