Olympic torch first time in Scotland

The Olympic torch has arrived in Scotland for the first time. It came off the ferry in Stranraer and thousands turned out to greet it.

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Local MP welcomes opening of Stranraer's West Pier

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown has welcomed the official opening of Stranraer's West Pier.

The refurbished Pier has been opened following a £650,000 investment by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

"Dumfries and Galloway council are to be congratulated on the work to bring this historic pier back into public use.

"There has been a lot of debate locally about what the projects in Stranraer the council should and shouldn't spend its limited resources on, but I believe the West Pier refurbishment has widespread community support.

"However, the real challenge now is the regeneration of the East Pier and the wider Waterfront.

"The council simply can't do that on its own. Scottish Government Ministers need to do more than simply turn up for a photocall on the Waterfront."

– Russell Brown MP, Dumfries and Galloway, Labour


Two other graves found on Stranraer farm

The GUARD Archaeology team unearthed an additional two empty cists at the farm in Stranraer.

The cists, which are ancient graves, indicated to the team that there was a possible attempt by the family of the young child to set aside graves near to the body.

The team also highlighted that stress indicators on the skeletal remains may have indicated a wider problem for the community at that time, perhaps a food shortage or onset of disease.

The report states that this implies that the community understood and planned an individual's burial practice well in advance of that person's death.

Child was malnourished at time of death

One of the team looking at the ancient pit Credit: GUARD Archaeology

Archaeological investigations carried out by a GUARD Archaeology team found that the child was malnourished at the time of death.

Warren Bailie and his team found that the skeletal remains belonged to a child aged between nine and twelve years old.

Tests carried out on the remains showed that the child suffered from malnutrition, indicated by dental enamel hypoplasia (DEH) and cribra orbitalia, both childhood stress indicators.

A radiocarbon date test placed the child's death in the early Bronze Age period.

One of the ancient pits Credit: GUARD Archaeology

Ancient child's skull found on Stranraer farm

The child's skull is believed to be around 3500 years old Credit: GUARD Archaeology

An ancient child's skull has been found on a farm in Stranraer.

Farmer Jock McMaster was ploughing his field when he came across the skull, which is thought to be around 3,500 years old.

Mr McMaster, uncovered a stone-lined pit at Blairbuy Farm after his plough dislodged when it made contact with the grave.

The burial 'cist' is believed to be one of the oldest ever found in Scotland.

The ancient burial pit Credit: GUARD Archaeology


Stranraer prepare for Hibs game

Stranraer Football Club ground Credit: ITV News Border

Stranraer are making last minute preparations before their game against Hibernian tonight in the Scottish League Cup third round.

The Blues knocked out SPL opposition in the form of Ross County in the last round but will still be the underdogs in Edinburgh this evening.

They go into the game on a slight high after Saturday's 2-0 win over East Fife took them from the bottom of League One.

Pilot scheme will run for 18 months

"It's very hard to work in the woodland, there's not many opportunities to do so. I've put a five year management plan in so the first year is just generally tidying up.

"I'm not going to fell the whole place in 18 months, so I'm just cutting blocks here and there just to tidy it up a bit."

– Mark Rowe

"Mark will be responsible for 37 hectares of this woodland, he'll have to conserve and look after the trees but then he'll be able to fell them and sell them for firewood, and make a profit.

"The pilot scheme, set up by the Scottish Woodlot Association, will run for 18 months.

"It bases itself on a similar project in British Columbia which has been running for 30 years and is now an integral part of forestry management."

– William Allen, Scottish Woodlot Association

Scotland's first woodland tenant

Mark Rowe will be the first tenant of a woodland in Scotland Credit: ITV News Border

A man from Dumfries and Galloway has become the first person ever to rent a woodland in Scotland.

Mark Rowe will be responsible for the conservation of 37 hectares of land near Stranraer, but he will also be able to fell trees and make a profit.

Mark Rowe tending to trees Credit: ITV News Border

It is part of a pilot project to help get more people involved in managing woodlands.

Almost a quarter of Scotland is covered by forests, but it is only now that people are able to rent and manage them for themselves.

Mark Rowe working in the woods Credit: ITV News Border

By paying an annual fee to the land owner, Mr Rowe will be able to generate an income from woodlands at the Corsewall Estate near Stranraer, in return for helping with conservation.

Is this Scotland's unluckiest black cat?

Unlucky Jet who has been looking for a home for 12 months Credit: ITV News Border

A cat from Stranraer, in Dumfries and Galloway, is being called Scotland's unluckiest black cat as he has now been without an owner for 12 months.

Jet, who is a four-year-old, has been in the care of the Scottish SPCA at Dunragit Kennels near Stranraer.

The unloved moggy is now the SSPCA's longest feline resident.

Manager Peter Baker said: "Poor Jet came into our care when his previous owner became unable to look after him and despite being a very handsome and friendly chap he's still homeless one year on.

"It's particularly sad given that lots of other rescued cats have come and gone within this time, some only staying with us a week before finding loving new owners.

"The odds of Jet finding a home seem to be stacked against him as he is a rather reserved little chap who doesn't come bounding up to visitors meowing 'pick me, pick me'.

"However, this laid-back lad could be exactly the type of cat someone is looking for."He's a quiet little soul who loves a gentle rub behind the ears and we think he would be perfect for a person or couple looking for a companion.

"We really hope Jet's luck changes soon as he's been waiting 12 long months for a home and when he gets one we're sure he'll feel like he's won the lottery."

Anyone interested in offering Jet a home can call the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999 and ask to be connected to the Dunragit Centre in Stranraer.

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