ORGANISERS of the world's oldest haggis hunt are confident the mild winter will lead to yet another record catch this year.

Generations of hardy hunters have taken to Selkirk Hill each January in search of the illusive creatures.

And a combination of global warming and breeding-ground management has led to some of the healthiest population numbers since records began.

Despite deep snow hindering a couple of recent hunts, more than 100 of the creatures have been caught for the past five years above Selkirk.

And co-organiser Dave Scott is convinced the trend will continue.

He told us: "Despite the Beast from the East and the earlier snow storms of last winter numbers of haggis on the hill are at an all-time high.

"It just shows that with the proper management this once rare creature - so rare many people didn't even believe they existed - can come back from near extinction.

"We were concerned about the Beast from the East as the snow arrived bang in the middle of the breeding season, but there are dozens of young haggi on the hill when we did a recent survey."

The 2019 Great Selkirk Haggis Hunt will take place on Sunday, January 20.

Hunters are requested to sign the muster roll within the Town's Arms public house ahead of departure at 11.02am.

Riddell Fiddles and guests will provide the music for the traditional Haggis Polka outside the Argus Centre at 11.30am.

And the whistle to start the hunt is scheduled to be blown at the Chinese Hut on the stroke of 11.53am.

As with previous year, hunters are reminded to abide by the strict rules regarding weapons - only small fish nets, homemade bow-and-arrows, cricket bats and big sticks are allowed - and the dress code of either wet suits, plus fours, tartan or wellies.

Mr Scott added: "We will welcome hunters from all over the Borders again next week as they hope to take home a haggis for their Burns supper... all we ask of them is to abide by the rules of the hunt and we'll all be happy.

"We will carry out security searches if need be as we've had the occasional rogue trying to smuggle in drift netts and snares in recent years."