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Flood-defence bridge being installed in Selkirk

Work to improve Selkirk's flood defences in 2014. Credit: ITV Border

The latest milestone in the plans to protect Selkirk from flooding is being lifted into place this morning.

A new 90-metre long footbridge will replace a previous one over the Ettrick Water.

It's been designed to stay open during major floods.

Once all the plans are completed, almost 600 properties will be protected from flooding.

Landfill to be binned

Easter Langlee landfill site near Galashiels Credit: ITV Border

Plans to transfer household waste out of the region have been approved by the Scottish Borders Council.

A £5.5million waste transfer station is to be set up at the East Langlee site near Galashiels to replace the landfill due for closure in 2017 once it reaches maximum capacity.

£5.5m
The cost to install a waste transfer facility at Easter Langlee landfill site.

Based on current levels of waste being received, it is forecast that the current landfill site will run out of capacity in the second half of 2017.

...As a result, a review has been undertaken to outline the best way forward, which was detailed in a report presented to a full Council meeting today, and approved by Councillors.

The landfill will subsequently be restored and waste will be transported out of the Borders to alternative treatment facilities in order to comply with the 2021 landfill ban."

– Spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council

It is thought this new development will be the most cost effective and considerably less complicated than the installation of a waste treatment facility.

40,000
tonnes of household and commercial waste put in Easter Langlee landfill site each year

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Masterplan for Glentress revealed

Glentress Forest Credit: ITV Border

Members of the public are being asked to have their say on an ambitious multi-million pound development plan for Glentress Forrest.

Cyclists at Glentress Forest Credit: ITV Border

The Forestry Commission Scotland are working with Scottish Borders Council to come up with ideas to improve the forest for visitors over the next 20 years.

Cycling is a popular activity in Glentress Forest Credit: ITV Border

Among the plans are improved mountain biking trails, better access to the trails, an indoor activity centre, more parking and luxury lodges.

Sea turtle spotted off Cumbrian coast

Sea turtle sighted off Cumbrian Coast Credit: NuGEN

A rare five-foot long leatherback sea turtle was spotted off St Bees Head in West Cumbria during environmental assessment work.

The leatherback turtle - which has been named ‘Myrtle’, is the largest species of turtle and extremely rare around the shores of the UK.

They are more commonly found in warmer tropical and sub-tropical oceans.

NuGen’s Head of Environment, Paula Madill, said:

The sighting of the turtle is very interesting but is unlikely to impact on the project, even so, it’s absolutely thrilling to have seen it and to have been able to snatch a few rare photographs of the animal in open water.

We’ve seen many of the species we expected to find, a few we didn’t and others have been rather elusive, but this rare and beautiful creature has been a real highlight for me, and the team carrying out the assessment work.”

– Paula Madill

Development of Peebles forest

Glentress Forest Credit: ITV Border

People are being asked how a Borders forest could be improved as a recreation area and tourist attraction.

A twelve week consultation is taking place that could see new walking and biking trails being developed at Glentress Forest near Peebles.

Cyclists at Glentress Peel Credit: ITV Border

Call for drones to tackle seagulls

Credit: Press Association

Aerial drones could be used to tackle aggressive seagulls in a west Cumbrian town.

Copeland Borough Councillor Graham Roberts says the remote-control aircraft should be used to spray gulls eggs with a sterilising liquid to prevent them hatching.

Seagulls have proved a particular menace in Whitehaven over recent months with reports of birds swooping on people, snatching ice cream from children and dive-bombing shoppers in the town centre.

Drones have been used in France to tackle seagulls and Councillor Roberts believes it's time to consider this method of control in Cumbria.

"We have to do something about this. Yes, seagulls are a part of life by the sea but if a child has its eye pecked out we'll get the blame. "When you walk down the harbour with food they intimidate you and are scaring people away. This [the use of drones] has worked in France. Why not here?"

– Cllr Graham Roberts

Copeland Borough Council is set to discuss the seagull issue and possible methods for combating the birds later this month.

“We realise seagulls, whilst a defining feature of any seaside town, do cause problems. Unfortunately the law makes it difficult to cull them, as they’re a protected species. It is illegal to remove nests and eggs or to kill birds because they are disliked, considered noisy or thought to be damaging to property.

“One major thing the community can do to help is to eliminate the birds’ food sources. Don’t feed them and don’t drop food outside. Placing extra waste beside your wheelie bin can also attract them. We’d also ask anyone who can, to come and ask for a wheeled bin rather than bags. They are much more effective at keeping the gulls out and where practical we will accommodate bins.

“As responsible property owners we try to make sure gulls do not nest on our buildings – and we would urge other property owners to do this too. Removing nests before eggs are laid or after the young have flown can help. Our staff can also advise building owners how to stop birds nesting there in the future. Spikes, mesh and other low-cost measures can be effective.

“We continue to survey and monitor breeding pair numbers and hope that, with a combination of the methods above, we can as a community control the problem.”

– Julie Betteridge, Director of Customers and Community Services Copeland Borough Council

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Calls for more to be done to prevent oil spills

Ollie the otter Credit: ITV Border

Wildlife experts in South Cumbria are calling for more to be done to prevent oil spills after an otter died on the River Winster.

A fuel spill on one of its tributaries, Lindale Beck, caused Ollie the Otter to become unwell.

The Environment Agency believes it has found the source of the pollution, and is now considering enforcement action.

United Utilities assess future of Cogra Moss

What price do you put on the value of a local beauty spot?

That's the dilemma facing United Utilities as they assess the future of a reservoir in West Cumbria.

They are considering draining Cogra Moss because a dam there needs major refurbishment.

But anglers say it would destroy the landscape.

Kate Walby reports.

Anglers warning over Cumbria beauty spot

Cogra Moss Credit: ITV Border

Cogra Moss, which is no longer part of the water network, is under threat because a dam there needs refurbishment.

United Utilities says the idea is just one option being considered, but anglers claim the West Cumbrian beauty spot will be destroyed if the reservoir is drained.

Cumbrian beauty spot under threat

Cogra Moss Credit: ITV Border

Anglers claim a beauty spot in west Cumbria will be destroyed if the reservoir at its centre is drained.

Cogra Moss, which is no longer part of the water network, is under threat because a dam there needs refurbishment.

United Utilities, which owns the reservoir, says it's costing it money, but that the closure is just one option being considered.

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