WATCH: Otters return to Gala Water

A family of three otters have been spotted cavorting in the Gala Water, close to Douglas Bridge in Galashiels, sparking a possible tourism boom.

Tuesday, 12th February 2019, 9:13 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th February 2019, 9:46 am
The three otters gambol in the river at Douglas Bridge, as seen in Murray Dickson's video.

Murray Dickson put a film of the playful beasts up on social media (see below), which was commented on during last week’s meeting of the Galashiels Community Council.

Liz Jardine, chairperson of the Gala Waterways group, said there’s a good chance the return of wildlife to the area is down to her group’s work over the summer.

One of the otters takes a breather. Photograph: Trisha Bennet.

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She said: “This is the second or third time they have been sighted recently.

“Our volunteers cleaned the whole river [within the confines of the town] during the summer, from Galafoot right up through the town.

“Every week, we cut back vegetation and cleared the riverbed when the water was low.

“We took tons and tons of rubbish from the waterways and the banking, and I really do think that has helped bring back the otters.

“That was our purpose from the start, to bring back the wildlife to the river, so we’re delighted.”

It was noted at the meeting that the chance of seeing otters at that site, just across from the Transport Interchange building, could have nature-lovers from the city taking the train south, which could only be good for nearby businesses.

Local trout fishermen may not be so elated to see the otter’s return, however.