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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.


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


Young people in Borders prepare for Queen's Baton

Batonbearer Ashley Cooper (far right) with the Queen's Baton on ITV's Good Morning Britain in London Credit: PA

Coldstream is preparing for the arrival of The Queen's Baton in Scotland this Saturday, 14th June. Many young people will play a central role in the celebrations.

A team of 74 young flag bearers, aged 13-26, will carry the flags of 71 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

Three protocol flags will be carried by the Scottish Borders Youth Legacy Ambassadors. The flag bearers could take part if they achieved the Saltire award for 100 hours of volunteering.

They will form a guard of honour on Coldstream Bridge from 7am and take part in events at Henderson Park later in the morning.

Taylor Lyle, 18, from Hawick said:

“I was ecstatic when I found out I’d been selected as a flag bearer. I’ll be holding the Samoan flag. With the Commonwealth Games being hosted in Scotland, it brings pride and great opportunities to the country. For me, it's an opportunity to find out more about it and what it represents.”

Racing driver gets hands on at Le Mans

Allan McNish (centre), Loïc Duval (left) and Tom Kristensen Credit: Audi UK Sport Press

Dumfries-born racing driver, Allan McNish, has left his mark on Le Mans.

He was joined by fellow 2013 Le Mans 24 Hour race winners Loïc Duval and Tom Kristensen at the official unveiling of the "hand print" in Le Mans town centre.

A cast of the winning driver's hands are taken immediately after the prize giving ceremony following the race each year and then cast in bronze and laid into the pavement in the town.

Three-time Le Mans winner McNish is at this year's Le Mans race next weekend (14th -15th June) in an ambassadorial role for Audi Sport.

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