Borders Friends of Nature now on facebook…

We have migrated to using facebook for future news items as this allows sharing of information between groups, interaction from users and easier uploading of photos…

Borders Friends of Nature is on facebook here:


Nepalese Earthquake

Alan Gentle (FoN Treasurer) has had the following message from Friends of Nature Nepal following the earthquake on Saturday 25th April:

Subject: Re: Nepalese earthquake
Date: 27 April 2015 03:22:52 BST

“Dear  Alan, Myra and all Brirish Naturefriends , all other friends of nature.

Thanks for your concern in this most horrible time in our life here in Nepal.
All members of friends of nature Nepal and their immediate family members are alright.  Everyone in kathmandu are living in open space at ground level because of so many aftershocks of the earthquake. Everyone is still in a state of shock, terror and uncertainty. Communication is difficult as phone lines are disrupted, mobile phones are not properly working and electricity is partially supplied.

Nepal needs a complete restructuring. Most of the monuments of kathmandu valley are either fallen or have developed cracks.  Many of our houses have cracks. The Himalayas are seeing avalanches. Some areas high in the mountains, where effects of the Indian plate that is pushing inside the euro Asian plate, have changed the complete geography of that area and some scientists even say that there could be rise in the heights of the Himalays as the effect.
Once the after shocks stops, we can learn more.
Please forward this message to NFI and other member whom i have not copied this email, and partner associations as well.

Bijay Dev Pant,  General Secretary, Friends of Nature Nepal”

Our thoughts are with all in Nepal at this time and we hope there will soon be some light in the days to come

New Director for Friends of Nature International (NFI)

Andrea Lichtenecker, new Executive Director for International Friends of Nature

Andrea Lichtenecker, new Executive Director for International Friends of Nature

Dear Friends of Nature

As of 2015, Friends of Nature/Naturefriends International (NFI) has a new executive director: the Management Committee appointed Andrea Lichtenecker as the first woman to lead the umbrella organisation of the Naturefriends movement, which counts 500,000 members and champions sustainable and socially just tourism and leisure-time activities, protection of our natural heritage and the climate as well as climate justice. Being a member of the “Green 10”, NFI is also active at the EU level, influencing political strategies and European policy-making.

“Connecting environmental issues with social concerns and supporting the sustainable development of our society have always been the objectives of the Naturefriends movement and are as relevant now as 120 years ago, when Naturefriends were founded,” says the new executive director. “It is a wonderful yet challenging responsibility to internationally pursue these objectives together with our member organisations and our partners.”

The new executive director Andrea Lichtenecker graduated from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna and first worked in the university field and implemented contract projects on environmental protection. Since 2002, she has been the head of Biodiversity & Environmental Education at NFI. She designed the Natura Trails campaign which − with more than 150 Natura Trails all over Europe − communicates the positive aspects of EU nature protection legislation and enables sustainable experiences of biological diversity in protected areas.

Besides fostering sustainable recreational use and socially and environmentally just tourism, she is particularly committed to enabling all population groups to experience nature. “Enabling disadvantaged people to have access to the beauties of our nature is a key topic for Naturefriends. There are still barriers for many people today; just think of people with disabilities, refugees or people lacking the financial means that are often a prerequisite to experience nature.”

Besides her expertise in the fields of nature protection, environmental education and recreational use, Andrea Lichtenecker completed an extra-occupational course on the management of non-profit organisations. Her focus is on the strategic development of NFI as well as strengthening the European commitments, establishing long-term cooperations and developing pilot projects together with national Naturefriends organisations.

The outgoing executive director and secretary general Christian Baumgartner left NFI at the end of December after 10 years of committed Naturefriends work. The international Naturefriends Congress in June 2015 will decide about filling the vacant post of secretary general.

NFI – Friends of Nature’s international umbrella organisation, Naturefriends International (NFI) is the umbrella organisation of the national Naturefriends associations. It was founded in 1895, has its head office in Vienna and, with 51 member organisations worldwide, is currently one of the largest non-governmental organisations worldwide. It espouses the cause of sustainable development of the environment and society at regional, national and international levels. As a member of the “Green 10” − a coalition of ten leading environmental organisations − NFI is active at the EU level in Brussels and thus makes a contribution to influence political strategies and European policy-making.

Queries and contact:
DI Andrea Lichtenecker, Executive director | +43 1 892 38 77-17 |
Mag. Anita Pinter, Public relations | +43 1 892 38 77-24 |
Website: | Newsletter:

Travelling Respectfully ~ tips for fair travel

Your behaviour in a foreign country makes a difference!
Contribute to making tourism sustainable – for everyone
Tourists leave their mark on the living conditions of the local population
as well as on the state of natural and cultural attractions. How can
I – as tourist – contribute so that these influences benefit the country,
its population and me?
This brochure aims to encourage reflections on the impact of tourism
and make the most important aspects of “sustainable” tourism
comprehensible – in a humorous way and with many useful tips.
A Tanzanian proverb says “When visiting others, rather open your
eyes than your mouth”. Open-mindedness for the country and its
people can really make a difference: you as the visitor might be seen
from a completely different perspective. Give it a try – your journey
will gain in quality!
The brochure can be downloaded from:

Friends of Nature Day 2014

It was in Vienna, on the 16th September 1895, that the Friends of Nature movement was officially founded with the first elected Chairman and the creation of the articles of association.

Today we celebrate the 119th Anniversary along with other member groups and countries around the globe.  A day to be proud!!  For over a century Friends of Nature has been advocating the careful use of resources, respect for nature and a fair and just society for all.  Worthy goals which are as relevant today as they were in the last century.

Borders FoN along with Kirk Yetholm House have marked the event this year by encouraging guests to donate to the work of IFN in Vienna and further supplemented from overnight takings.  We are pleased to say that £300 has been raised and will be forwarded to Vienna shortly.  (This brings the total raised this year for IFN to £900).  You can see the work of IFN here: which showcases the ongoing ethos of working co-operatively, together, across boundaries for a better world for everyone.

Our Borders Group have also decided to support the work of the John Muir Trust by joining as an associate member.  The work in conserving the wild spaces of Scotland we think as being crucial to counter ongoing pressures from the likes of forestry, poor land management and certain wind farm applications in sensitive locations.  We look forward to working with the Trust in the future.

2014 Scottish Borders Walking Festival

The 20th Scottish Borders Walking Festival runs from 31st August to 6th September 2014 and this year is centred on Jedburgh and Denholm.

Participants are offered a range of walks from gentle rambles to demanding upland hikes through some of the most beautiful scenery in Scotland.  The Festival is the longest established walking festival in Scotland, hosted each year by different communities.  Every year the festival attracts hundreds of walkers from across the UK and Europe and acts as a showcase for the diversity of landscape, culture and heritage of the Borders region

The full walks programme and booking form is on the website at:

A Dunsley ‘Yorkshire’ comes to Yetholm!!

dunsley yorkshire stove

May 2014 saw the final stage of the Kirk Yetholm FoN House upgrades begun over the winter, with the installation of a Dunsley Yorkshire Woodburning boiler stove.

The Yorkshire boiler stove was selected for a number of reasons but largely due to the fact that it is the original boiler stove which has been designed from the outset to be clean burning and one of only a few still today to be DEFRA exempt for smoke free combustion.  Designed in conjunction with a local university it has been tried and tested over the last 12 plus years and comes recommended from organisations such as the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT).  We have hopes that the installation should be a complementary asset to the building in terms of heating hot water at the beginning/end of season when the solar thermal panels are least productive, and for feeding the 5 newly installed radiators.  We now have heating in the building generated from a sustainable wood source instead of a sole reliance on electricity!!

The Dunsley Yorkshire (as all Dunsley stoves) is made in Holmfirth and thus ticks our criteria for sourcing locally/UK based wherever practicable.  The installation was undertaken admirably by John O’Kane of Borders Fire and Stone, , and the plumbing by Craig Dewar (Plumbing & Heating) Ltd. , both based locally in Duns, Berwickshire.

This marks the end of the current phase of improvements totalling some £18,000 and our thanks go to Scottish Borders Council for their grant under the Scottish Borders Business Fund; to member donations and the generosity of guests staying over the last 18 months, without which the projects would not have been possible

Some useful links: