VOLUNTEERS across the Borders grabbed their bin bags last weekend to help support the Great Borders River Clean.

Almost 20 communities in the region took part in the clean-up which aims to remove waste a debris from local rivers between Friday and Sunday. Over the weekend more than 280 volunteers gathered, collecting around 1,500kg of rubbish.

Tom Rawson, founder of Green Tweed Eco and the Great Borders River Clean, said: “This was the fourth edition of a series of region-wide events that have seen over 9,000kg of rubbish removed from the Tweed, Teviot and major tributaries.

“With the support of Tweed Forum and the Fallago Environment Foundation, the Great Borders River Clean has grown into one of the UK’s largest river clean events.”

Volunteers joined river clean groups in Ancrum, Peebles, Melrose, Darnick, Chirnside, Tweedbank, Galashiels, Coldstream, Innerleithen, Traquair, Hawick, Selkirk, Walkerburn, Earlston, and Kelso.

Mr Rawson, who is a teacher at St Mary’s Primary School in Melrose, added: “Perhaps most exciting, this edition saw the involvement of school groups with pupils from Earlston High, Ancrum and Newtown St. Boswells primary schools working really hard to rid their local streams of rubbish.

“Newtown St. Boswells Primary School even made a superb film of their efforts.

“This is something that I would like to encourage in future and I am currently seeking to raise funds for the introduction of a Borders-wide prize to encourage participation and the engagement of young people in the fight against rubbish and littering.

“At a time when the world was focused on events at COP26 in Glasgow, it was lovely to see the towns and villages of the Borders working together to improve the natural environment at a local level.”