KELSO FARMER Gareth Baird has been appointed as the new chairman of the Fallago Environment Fund management board.

Established by EDF Energy Renewables and Roxburghe Estates as part of the Fallago Rig Windfarm development, the fund shares the benefits of the wind farm with the community through financial support for local and regional projects. Community, charitable and voluntary groups and other relevant organizations across the Borders and from the parish of Gifford are eligible to apply to the scheme, which is administered by the Tweed Forum, one of the organizations responsible for the protection and enhancement of the River Tweed and its surrounding lands.

In his new role, Mr Baird – who is Deputy Lieutenant for Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale and Scottish Commissioner for The Crown Estate – will chair a board responsible for overseeing the distribution of around £200,000 in grant funding every year.

A passionate Borderer, Mr Baird is also a former chairman of Scottish Enterprise Borders and the Border Union Agricultural Society and has extensive knowledge and understanding of the region. He replaces Andrew Douglas-Home who is stepping down as chairman after five years in the post.

Since its launch in 2012, the Fallago Environment Fund has supported 37 projects in the Borders with grants totalling £678,373, money which has enabled the projects to lever additional match-funding from other organizations, thus securing over £4.3 million in total for the region.

Projects and organizations receiving support to date include the 2016 Kelso Town Hall 200 celebrations, the refurbishment of Chirnside Community Centre, Borders Youth Theatre, the Trimontium Museum Refurbishment Study, Gunsgreen House in Eyemouth, the Royal Highland Education Trust’s Scottish Borders Countryside initiative and the Border Tree Planting scheme.

Mr Baird said: “In under five years, the Fallago Environment Fund has made a significant contribution to a whole range of projects which are enhancing the environment in the Scottish Borders and making the region an even better place to live, work and visit. I’m greatly looking forward to playing my part in this important organization and helping projects that will provide benefit for Borderers for many years to come.”

Grant applications for the Fallago Environment Fund are assessed twice yearly with application deadlines of September 1 and March 1. For further information on the application process, visit or call the Tweed Forum on 01896 849723.