People have enjoyed walking in the Borders and around the Whiteadder River for centuries. Wildlife is abundant. Writer Arthur Granville Bradley (1850-1943) describes a special moment on the river, in the early 20th century:
‘A kingfisher flashes by, a streak of glory, and a heron beats his slow way over the trees where the cushats stir and rustle.’
He spots both a kingfisher and a heron and refers to cushats, or wood pigeons in the trees. A cushat is a traditional word for a wood pigeon in the area, derived from Old English.
Arthur Granville Bradley’s book The Gateway of Scotland or East Lothian, Lammermoor and the Merse, published in 1912, is a culturally important resource. Bradley was a British historian who from 1897 to 1926 wrote a number of books about the places, people and history of Britain and North America. He walked widely around this area of the Borders and captured many vivid moments.