Page last updated at 12:57 GMT, Tuesday, 14 October 2008 13:57 UK

Record season for osprey chicks

Osprey chicks
The chicks are making their first journey south to Africa for winter

A record 18 osprey chicks have been reared in the Borders this season, 11 more than the previous year.

Thousands of visitors watched eight pairs of resident birds raise the chicks on CCTV at viewing centres at Glentress Forest and Kailzie Gardens.

The Tweed Valley Osprey Project, which is run in conjunction with RSPB Scotland and Forestry Commission Scotland, has entered its 10th year.

This year's chicks are now making their first journey to Africa for the winter.

Emma Rawling, Osprey Centre officer, said: "We are so pleased that despite the wet summer we have the highest number of chicks born this year and this can only bode well for the species as a whole.

"Every year we rely enormously on the goodwill and support of the local community to make the breeding and viewing season a success.

"Not only do the birds directly benefit, we hope the many tourists coming to see these magnificent birds brings an added boost to the local economy in return."

Ground staff and volunteers provided nesting sites and protected the birds at the two viewing centres near Peebles, which will open to the public again in Easter 2009.


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