PRINCE Charles was in the Scottish Borders last week to officially open the new offices of an environmental charity.

The Duke of Rothesay, as he is known north of the border, took part in a number of engagements around Hawick, St Boswells and Melrose.

He opened the new offices of Tweed Forum - a charity dedicated to protecting and conserving the River Tweed and its surroundings - at Old Melrose.

Charles met many who are involved with the charity, which involves farmers, foresters, landowners and ghillies working with public and private sector bodies on both sides of the border to help restore the river, boost fish stocks and attract tourists.

His Royal Highness also met with this year's Tweed Forum River Champion, Tow Rawson. Mr Rawson told the Duke about the success of the recent Great Borders River Clean which he organised and how he plans to continue his efforts in reducing plastic pollution in the Borders.

He told us: "Prince Charles was delighted to hear of the involvement of so many young people in the Great Borders River Clean and to hear of 304 people turning out in 20 towns to collect 1850kg of litter.

"He was also pleased to hear of the efforts made by St. Mary’s School, Melrose to reduce plastic both within our own school and other schools and businesses across the Borders.

"We talked about St. Mary’s being Scotland’s first Plastic Free primary school and future plans to reduce both single use plastic usage and its effects in the environment.

"He was very enthusiastic and remarked how pleased he was to see the way that people have become so much more environmentally aware in a relatively short space of time."

As well as being greeted by Tweed Forum officials and other guests, Prince Charles got up close with a selection of local sheep and had the pleasure of seeing the local Melrose Scout, Beaver and Cub group who were displaying the skills they have gained thanks to the organisation.

Donella McCann (Cub Leader) and Natalie Mcdonald (Beaver Leader) said: "He was very personable.

"He had a lot of knowledge on scouting already and he wanted to know if we had enough volunteers and enough leaders in the region. He was genuinely interested.

"When he spoke to the young people he was encouraging them to become Scout leaders themselves in the future, to give back to the communities they're in."

As he toured the premises, Charles made sure to speak to everyone he met, including the small group of public visitors who were very excited about the royal visit.

Carl Hodgson, whose son, Tim, owns the Old Melrose Café which sits next door to the Tweed Forum, got a handshake from His Royal Highness and spoke with him briefly. Carl told us about meeting the Prince: "It was wonderful, he came over and shook my hand.

"He asked if we were here for the sheep. I told him no, but that we were because my son owns the café.

"It was great."

Charles then unveiled a plaque to mark the official opening of the new offices, he thanked the crowds for waiting for him in the cold, and joked about the surprising number of flies which had also gathered.

James Hepburne Scott, Tweed Forum chairman, said: "We are delighted that His Royal Highness officially opened Tweed Forum's new offices.

"Together with all of our partners, we share a passion for this important river and it will be a privilege to tell His Royal Highness about the work we carry out to protect and conserve it."

Charles also visited Mainstreet Trading in St Boswells, as well as enjoying a tour of Hawick town centre and the knitwear premises of Scott and Charters.