Double celebrations for Tweed Valley ospreys

Forestry Commission ringer Tony Lightley with St Ronans Primary SchooL depute head teacher Jan Lister and P4/5 children taking part in the anniversary project
Forestry Commission ringer Tony Lightley with St Ronans Primary SchooL depute head teacher Jan Lister and P4/5 children taking part in the anniversary project
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Innerleithen schoolchildren are celebrating the launch of a book they wrote marking the 10th anniversary of the Tweed Valley Osprey Project.

Osprey volunteers, project partners Forestry Commission for Scotland, Kailzie Gardens and Friends of Kailzie Wildlife, joined the schoolchildren at St Ronan’s School for the launch of ‘Osprey Time Flies, 10 years of Osprey in the Tweed Valley’ at the end of last month.

Tweed Valley Osprey Project officer Diane Bennett said: “We had a really good turnout and it was a really nice evening. We made it a special occasion for the 25 children who took part.

“We presented each child with a copy of the book, a DVD of the ringing at the bird sites (which the children attended), them playing the migration game and doing interviews, a photograph of them at the nest site and a certificate for taking part.”

Last summer, with Diane and Kailzie wildlife project officer Rachel McAleese, Primary 4 and 5 learned about the local ospreys through workshops, artwork, games, video diaries, interviews, a special nest site visit with FCS ringer Tony Lightley, and writing the book.

Diane said: “It is a touching tale about two birds which migrate each year to Africa and return to the same eyrie to raise a family each summer. These birds have been watched on ‘live camera’ at the two osprey watch centres at Glentress Forest and Kailzie Gardens and they have delighted viewers over the years.

“It is hoped that the children will hold ospreys in a special place in their hearts and become conservation champions in the future.”

At the time, it was a joint celebration, for three new chicks had hatched in the main nest. But last week the female, which is still missing, abandoned the nest and the hatchlings perished.

Families with children at Tweeddale primary schools will receive a copy of the book and the rest of the 10,000 print run will be available at the osprey centres for a donation to boost project funds.