Princess Anne, president of the British Horse Society, will visit the Scottish Borders on 19 May to open the first Tweed Trail in the south of Scotland.

The Tweed Trails is a £¾ million project establishing trails across the south of Scotland. It is a joint project between the BHS (Scotland) and local community groups, being taken forward under the umbrella of the Southern Upland Partnership.

Nine months into its three-year term, the route between Traquair and the Yarrow Valley is the first section to be opened. The project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Natural Heritage, European funding and Forest Enterprise.

The princess’s visit also coincides with the planned ‘Borders Festival of the Horse’ taking place from 17 to 25 May, which has been organisedby members of the BHS (Borders) Committee.

This year’s programme offers nine days packed with activities and events to interest both riders and non-riders.

During her visit, Princess Anne will attend a lunch where she will meet membersof the BHS (Borders) Committee, representatives of the Southern Upland Partnership as well as sponsors and organisers of the Festival.

After the official opening of the Trail, the Princess Royal will then travel to Selkirk where she will meet some of the local children and their ponies and see a display of safety equipment for horses and riders which is being set up in conjunction with Lothian & Borders Police.

BHS Chief Executive, Kay Driver, said: “We are delighted that the Princess Royal has agreed to take part in the official opening of the first of the Tweed Trails between Traquair and the Yarrow Valley.

“Her Royal Highness is very supportive of the Society’s work and has shown a keen interest in new access routes having opened another BHS initiative, the Sabrina Way in Gloucestershire, last year.

“We are doubly pleased that this will coincide with the second Borders Festival of the Horse, set up last year to promote the area following the disaster of Foot and Mouth disease.”