The Community Wildlife Officer Post coordinated volunteer staffing and community events for the Osprey Watch Centres at Glentress Forest and Kailzie Gardens near Peebles, as well as the Philiphaugh Salmon Viewing Centre near Selkirk.
Around 60 volunteers from the local community were actively involved in the Project and they enjoyed a varied programme of volunteer events as well as training activities throughout the year. The volunteers welcomed visitors to the centres and chatted about the latest wildlife shown on camera at the centres.
New and exciting programmes of events were planned for each season at the Centres, to encourage families to come along and enjoy their visit. There were a variety of children’s activities and the whole family enjoyed watching the ospreys live on camera as well as the other guest species in the ‘Windows on Wildlife’ features.
Philiphaugh Salmon Viewing Centre provides visitors with the opportunity to get spectacular views of the underwater world of the Atlantic Salmon as they migrate up the Ettrick Water. The peak time to see the migration is in the spring and autumn, when salmon can be seen leaping the cauld (weir). Other residence of the river can also be seen including trout, grayling, eels, and the occasional otter.
All three sites – Philiphaugh Salmon Viewing Centre, Glentress Osprey Watch and Kailzie Gardens Osprey Watch – are linked on a brass rubbings nature trail. This facility is for children to find the brass plaques of wildlife such as otter, badger, deer, kingfisher and so on, at the three locations and take a rubbing from them to collect a total of thirty across the three sites.