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Diverting river from coal mine hopes to be a net gain

It's hoped the new man made river will benefit the environment Credit: ITV Border

A project is underway to divert the River Nith away from a coal mining site to prevent damage to the environment.

Fish are being transferred, by hand, to further downstream ahead of the work.

Jim Henderson, the Fishery Director of Nith Fisheries is positive about the move:

"The habitat that the fish are going into is very good, it will obviously take some to establish but stocks of fish are very good here, the river is healthy.

It's got a very good population of fish in here and we're very pleased overall with the environment round about the river course here."

Section of the River Nith Credit: ITV Border

A trip to the First House of Scotland

If Scotland votes "Yes" to independence on 18 September, the border with England could look very different in a year's time.

We sent our reporter Fiona McIlwraith to a well-known Gretna landmark, turned cafe, to find out what people think about the possibility of having a cup of tea across an international border.

Famous faces visit Borders Book Festival

Jennifer Saunders will be in the Scottish Borders for the event Credit: PA

The Borders Book Festival gets underway in the Scottish Borders today.

The festival, part of this year's Homecoming Scotland campaign, is expected to attract hundreds of visitors and a host of famous faces, including actress Jennifer Saunders and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

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Supermarkets defend British Beef sales

Farmers say the drop in the price of beef in Scotland is down to supermarkets importing too much beef from overseas.

They say less British Beef is sold, in favour of cheaper meat from across the EU.

But the British Retail Consortium say they are committed to selling meat from the UK.

“The vast majority of beef sold in major supermarkets continues to be sourced from Britain and is clearly labelled as such to help customers choose what they buy. Retailers are investing in their own chains, paying the best prices to their beef farmers who supply them and are not the cause of this short term fall. In fact, this April the farming industry produced a report that showed farmers’ share of the shop price of meat and milk has steadily increased over the last 15 years, as retailers cut the shelf price to help consumers whilst ensuring producers still receive a good price."

– Andrew Opie, Director of Food and Sustainability

"British supermarkets are continuing to give positive and strong support for British beef supporters, with the vast majority of beef sold produced in this country. Figures over the last 10 years have shown how farmer margins have steadily increased and we see a very positive future for beef farmers in the UK.”

– Andrew Opie, Director of Food and Sustainability

Fishing is 'a bit of our heritage'

A school trip as part of a project by the Nith Catchment Fisheries Trust is hoping to teach children about the fishing industry in South West Scotland.

It's hoped that it could inspire some of the children to become involved in the industry in adult life.

Local fisherman Peter Hutchinson says that fishing it part of their 'heritage' that he hopes will continue through the generations.

Scotch beef 'crisis' if prices continue to fall

Farmers in the Scottish Borders warn there will be a crisis in Scotch Beef if the prices they receive for prime cattle continues to drop.

In the last six months the cost of a prime cattle has fallen 25% from around £1,400 to £1,100. For some farmers, that's a loss of around £60,000 a year.

Farmers say that if the cost they receive for their cattle doesn't improve, they will have to give up producing livestock for beef.

"It has been almost like a perfect storm, there has been an increase in supply from the continent, we have seen the Irish price go tumbling down as well and we have also seen because of quite a soft winter a lot of animals coming onto the market at once, compounding the issue."

– NFU Scotland Livestock Policy manager John Sleigh
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