In a spectacular boost to the project to create a giant cairn of friendship with Scotland, actress and campaigner Joanna Lumley has committed to working alongside volunteers on the English-Scottish border. She will be driving up from her house in England on Thursday 31st July bringing stones from her garden to help build The Auld Acquaintance Cairn at Gretna, and is inviting volunteers from around the UK to join her in the construction.The cairn – which has been called a ‘cairn of friendship’ and a ‘cairn of caring’ – has been built by individuals and families from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to show their respect, their love and their affection for Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom. It will be open every day over the next two months.Stone and support has already come in from leading public figures including historians Simon Schama and David Starkey, philosopher AC Grayling and writer Alain de Botton, and this Monday 28th July the project will be led by a team of mountaineers and explorers including Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Doug Scott OBE and Alan Hinkes OBE (the first british man to climb every peak over 8000 metres.)

Joanna Lumley OBE FRGS was born to a British family in India, lives in England but has family in Scotland. She began her romance with the Union as a Bond girl (the fictional spy James Bond, like his creator Ian Fleming, was of Scottish ancestry but worked from London with the British secret service and remains a powerful symbol of Scotland’s place in the Union).

She has also been a human rights activist on behalf of Survival International and the Gurkha Justice campaign, and a prominent campaigner for animal rights. Radio 4 named her “one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom”. As one of the country’s most popular figures her presence will be a very powerful endorsement for the cairn and the Union.

The project is being led by the writer and campaigner Rory Stewart MP, a Scot who represents a border constituency, and will take hundreds of thousands of stones to complete. The cairn is located at junction 45 north on the M6, at Gretna. more details can be found at: and

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