THE hunt is on for an environmental ace to be nominated Tweed Forum ‘River Champion’ for 2024.

The Borders charity is asking the public for nominations from the Borders and north Northumberland

Nominees can come from any walk of life, from farmers, foresters and anglers to landowners or any member of the community who is dedicated to the welfare of the river.

Past champions have included Melrose teacher Tom Rawson for founding the Great Borders River Clean and campaigning to reduce plastic littering and single-use plastic consumption. 

Last year it was won by Wendy Cunningham, from Eddleston, who received the trophy in recognition of the work that she and a team of volunteers are carrying out to restore Leadburn Community Woodland in the upper Tweed catchment.

The nominee’s championing of the river can include any activity undertaken since 2016 and can be carried out through their employment, through volunteering or any other personal commitment.

In its ninth year, the accolade is presented to an individual with an outstanding commitment to the protection, preservation and enhancement of the River Tweed and the natural, built and cultural heritage of its surroundings.

The river has a catchment of 5,000 km² – 86 per cent in Scotland and 14 per cent in England – and in addition to its environmental importance, supports more than 500 jobs and contributes an estimated £24 million each year to the local economy. 

The Tweed is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Area of Conservation and contains significant tributaries including the Teviot, Ettrick, Gala and Leader Waters, the Whiteadder and the River Till, plus many smaller watercourses.

Luke Comins, director of Tweed Forum, said: “We introduced the River Champion award in 2016 as a way to recognise and thank the people who dedicate themselves to protecting and enhancing the Tweed and its surroundings.  

“They make a vital contribution to a river that’s of enormous historical, cultural, economic and environmental significance for the Scottish Borders and north Northumberland.

“We hope that local people will help us to identify and reward another worthy Tweed Forum River Champion this year.”

The deadline for nominations is Friday, September 6, with the final winner chosen by a judging panel and announced in late autumn.

They will receive a trophy by Scottish artist Jane Raven and Nicko Dalton Design.