PUPILS in Selkirk donned their bushiest beards last week to celebrate the Scot who paved the way for wilderness parks across the world.

The annual John Muir celebrations mark the birth of the pioneering naturalist, philosopher and author on April 21, 1838.

Across the country several organisations marked the birthday of Muir with special celebrations.

But few would be hairier than St Joseph's in Selkirk, where pupils and teachers grew their whiskers and researched the life of the Dunbar-born conservationist.

Primary 7 pupils, Gracie Paterson and Caitlyn Turner, organised the bearded birthday bash as part of the Explorer level of the John Muir Award.

Gracie told us: “We did the Discovery level last year, now we are taking on the next level, we have been challenged by the John Muir Trust to organise a party."

John Muir is the founding father of the modern conservation movement.

He emigrated from his native East Lothian to America when he was 11 and went on to set up the first national parks in America - even managing to get President Roosevelt to wild camp with him for three nights.

Pete Carthy, P4-7 class teacher at St Joseph's believes the pupils benefit from the outdoors as well as taking part in the John Muir Award.

He told us: “We use Outdoor Learning wherever possible, as it enables high quality learning to take place.

"Children develop a whole range of transferable life and work based skills in the process of the award.

"Plus of course they just love it, and love nature, just like John Muir."

During Friday's celebration Gracie and Caitlyn gave a talk on Muir and hosted a quiz.

There was also a fancy dress competition for the best John Muir lookalike.