THE history of Scotland’s border with England is the focus of a new book authored by a serving MSP which will help raise money for charity.

Tweed Rins Tae The Ocean is authored by the SNP’s Alasdair Allan and it follows a 100-mile east-to-west coast walk, exploring the history, literature and language of what the MSP believes is the oldest national land border in the world.

The book comes after former Tory MP Rory Stewart stated that the Border is not “natural”.

Allan said he was partly ­motivated to walk along it and write the book in response to Stewart.

The work is not only the result of Allan challenging himself to walk the Border but also to read a way through its literature.

The title takes its inspiration from a line of the Burns song Sic A Parcel Of Rogues which bitterly protested against the 1707 Union.

Although Allan is the MSP for the Na h-Eileanan an Iar constituency and has lived on the Western Isles for 14 years, he grew up just 18 miles from the Border.

He said his family “from time immemorial” are from the area, working as farm labourers until just a couple of generations ago.

The politician said that this was one of the reasons the Border has always fascinated him.

“I read a book not long ago by Stewart which was a very good book in some ways but he was making this ­argument that basically Scotland wasn’t really there and it was only the SNP that were telling us it was there,” said Allan.

“He made that argument by walking along the Border to try to prove it wasn’t there so I suppose my book is a bit of an antidote to that although it’s not the only reason I wrote it.”

He continued: “I hope that the account of my journey from Berwick to the Solway Firth will be appreciated by anyone who likes dry humour and wet weather.

“The Border line has always been fascinating to me, not least as so many of my own family grew up a matter of yards from it.

“The book tries to explain why writers – and reivers – down the centuries have been similarly fascinated.

“It is also, I admit, partly a retort to some others who have concluded that the Border – and by implication Scotland – is not really there at all.

“I hope the book will appeal to hillwalkers, and anyone else who

is curious about how this line on

the map came to be where it is today.”

Seonaid Francis, editorial director of ThunderPoint Publishing, added: “This absorbing book is a well-researched exploration of the Border through history and literature.

“It is a warmly written and entertaining book, bursting with humour and a deep-rooted love of the Border regions from which Alasdair hails.”

The book aims to challenge the preconceptions surrounding the region which is thought to have the highest per capita number of titled residents in Scotland, and which is home to the Duke of Buccleuch – one of the largest private landowners in Europe.

Cameron McNeish, author, broadcaster and mountain walker, who has written the foreword for the book, said that Allan captured the “essence of the Border”.

He said: “There is nowhere else in Scotland I sense an ‘uncanny watchfulness’ as intensely as I do in the Borders.

“It lurks on every hill-top, in every cleuch and in every castle ruin, and Alasdair Allan has, almost magically, captured this essence of the Border.”

Royalties from the sale of Tweed Rins Tae The Ocean will be divided equally between the Western Isles Cancer Care Initiative and the Mamie Martin Fund, which supports the ­education of girls in Malawi.