A SELF-PROCLAIMED eco warrior has saddled up in an effort to save the bee.

Scott Buchanan Barden will spend much of this summer cycling around the Borders with his trusty companion, Tess the dog, is an effort to end needless mowing.

The artist and historian, who now lives in Kelso, wants householders, businesses, landowners and public authorities to cut down on grass-cutting.

Scott, who is a former teacher, began his pedalling pilgrimage to the region's parks this week at Bank Street Gardens in Galashiels.

He told us: "By not chopping down so much grass and wildflowers - that's the ones many of us have decided to label as weeds - we can cheaply and easily help save our bees and other insects.

"There is so much pointless cutting of roadside verges, areas of parks that aren't used, and even our own lawns and gardens.

"By letting part of your lawn go back to nature and flower again you can help save the planet by, in this case, doing nothing.”

Around one-third of food grown for human consumption is reliant on bee pollination.

But over the past two decades scientists have recorded an alarming drop in numbers.

They believe the bee decline is down the loss of biodiversity and habitats as well as the increasing usage of pesticides.

Other insects are also suffering as more and more green space is developed and less and less naturally flowering meadows are left for feeding.

Scottish Borders Council has already launched its own biodiversity plan which includes the reduction of grass cutting in verges and other green areas.

But Mr Buchanan Barden believes a lot more can be achieved.

He added: "What Scottish Borders Council is doing should be congratulated, not criticised.

"They have made a start in turning around the decline of biodiverse habitats, but much, much more needs still to be done.

“We can prevent our bees and other insects, that help pollinate our wildflowers, from perishing.

"By doing this we can all help stop many of our crops disappearing from our lives and keep the diversity of fruits and other foods in the future.

“We can save the birds that feed on the insects, we can prevent the total destruction of our wildflowers, and we can do all of this simply by doing nothing.”

As well as Galashiels, Scott will this week take his Bee Smart campaign to Newtown St Boswells, St Boswells, Melrose and Kelso.

He plans to cycle to other towns in the area as well as pedal to the capital in the coming weeks.