BRAW Lad Jamie Bell and Braw Lass Rebecca Grieve led their cavalcade to Torwoodlee last Wednesday.

As has been custom for the Gathering, the group was greeted by the Laird of Torwoodlee, James Pringle, who delivered a rousing speech.

In his speech Mr Pringle noted the changed appearance of the estate after rejuvenation works were completed following damage to trees by Storm Arwen in 2021.

He also praised the Braw Lad and Lass for how they have represented the “great young people” of Galashiels.

Mr Pringle said: “Once again, it is my privilege and my pleasure to welcome you back to the Bonnie Woods of Torwoodlee.

“Some of you may have noticed a dramatic change in the look of some parts of the Estate where we have cleared the mature trees, some of which had been blown over by Storm Arwen, and where we have replanted with new, young trees with a lifetime of carbon sequestration ahead of them.

“Over the next century and more, the landscape will change as it always has done as trees grow and are felled and more are replanted; and more woodlands will appear as we strive to maintain a healthy planet for future generations of Galaleans to enjoy.

“Our land is a dynamic thing, always changing, always developing and, we hope, always progressing to utilise new and better ways to reverse the biodiversity declines, sequester carbon, produce renewable energy and improve the lives of all of us who live and share this, our home.

“Change is a constant and change for the better should be encouraged although there are some who will oppose change ‘just because’.

“But the changes that will come, where we will see turbines and photovoltaic arrays and more pylons across our views are necessary so we can make green electricity for our own use as well as exporting it and those long vistas across our landscape can be enhanced by encompassing new structures if only we can change our mindset to see the benefits.

“It is for our young folk that we need change; the great young people of Galashiels and beyond so ably represented here this week by our Braw Lad and Braw Lass.”

Following the ceremony, the Attendants led the cavalcade back to Galashiels to join the fancy dress parade.