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New service is a 'speed-dating for volunteers'

People can register their interest via the Project Finder online Credit: PA

A new service, to help volunteers find opportunities to get involved in environmental projects, has been described as a 'speed-dating' for volunteers.

It's a first for UK environment projects, which will allow local voluntary groups to register their profile and volunteering opportunities free of charge online.

A number of organisations have already posted details of projects taking place all over Scotland including surveys of birds, bats, hedgehogs, glow-worms, butterflies and Scottish Dragons, a reptile and amphibian conservation project.

'We’d like to think Project Finder is the equivalent of speed dating for volunteers as it can help identify projects that appeal to them very quickly as well as support voluntary groups in promoting their opportunities as widely as possible.

There are wide ranging benefits of getting more people, of all ages, involved in recording environmental observations.

As scientists, we get more data to help improve our understanding of environmental changes. Taking part in citizen science projects not only improves volunteers’ understanding of the environment, but changes their attitudes towards it and motivates them to take more action to protect it.'

-Paul Griffiths, Principal Scientist in SEPA and Citizen Science lead for Scotland’s Environment Web

Register your volunteer intentions or your group opportunities via the Project Finder here.

Final bids to be placed for Blencathra

Blencathra went on sale on the 5th May Credit: PA

Campaigners fighting to keep Lake District mountain Blencathra in the community's hands must submit their final bid today.

The mountain, which is up for sale for nearly £2million pounds, was put on the market by the Earl of Lonsdale earlier this year.

The mountain went on sale on the 5th May. Thousands of people have already pledged money to buy the iconic mountain. Sealed bids must be submitted by midday.

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Stopping the spread of the American invasive crayfish

A campaign to stop the spread of invasive species in waterways around Dumfries and Galloway has been launched for the holiday season.

The likes of the North American Signal Crayfish are having a disasterous affect on some of the region's top beauty spots, putting our native species at risk. But a few simple steps can held stop them spreading further, as Lori Carnochan reports.

The advice is to:

  • When you leave the water, look for any plant or animals species that may be attached to your boat or equipment.
  • Then clean your equipment with a brush to get rid of silt.
  • Finally dry it off at home as that will kill any remaining creatures.

Plans dropped for Blackpool Tower height turbines

The proposed wind turbines would have been the biggest in Cumbria Credit: PA

Plans to build the biggest wind turbines in Cumbria have been dropped.

Banks Renewables wanted to put three turbines on land at Killington Lake near Kendal.

Each would have been the height of the viewing platform of Blackpool Tower. But the company says it's dropped the plans because it doesn't believe it can win a public inquiry, called by the government.

Fish moved downstream ahead of River Nith diversion

A project to divert the Nith away from a coal mining site to secure fish stocks has been completed after two years.

600 metres of the river have been diverted along a man-made tributary to ensure the vital industry doesn't affect the environment in the region.

Our reporter Fiona McIlwraith went along to find out more.

Diverting river from coal mine hopes to be a net gain

It's hoped the new man made river will benefit the environment Credit: ITV Border

A project is underway to divert the River Nith away from a coal mining site to prevent damage to the environment.

Fish are being transferred, by hand, to further downstream ahead of the work.

Jim Henderson, the Fishery Director of Nith Fisheries is positive about the move:

"The habitat that the fish are going into is very good, it will obviously take some to establish but stocks of fish are very good here, the river is healthy.

It's got a very good population of fish in here and we're very pleased overall with the environment round about the river course here."

Section of the River Nith Credit: ITV Border

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River is back to its natural course

The course of a river near Penrith has been changed dramatically. A £100,000 restoration project has been underway to reverse the historic straightening of the River Leith and return it to a more natural, meandering state.

The old route has been dug out and the water is being diverted into the former channel.

Matthew Taylor reports:

Changing the course of Leith's history

Rivers were straightened to expand surrounding land and make farming easier Credit: ITV Border

The course of a river near Penrith will be changed dramatically.

A major restoration project has been underway to reverse the historic straightening of the River Leith and return it to a more natural and meandering state.

Adding natural bends to the river will improve surrounding areas for wildlife Credit: ITV Border

The old route of the river has been dug out and the water will be diverted into the former channel.

The re-connection event will be carried out by Lord Lonsdale, today Wednesday 18 June.

Read: More on Cumbrian river projects

Countries unite to discuss flood prevention techniques

Scientists from across Europe are in Cumbria to discuss flood prevention.

They're using model simulators to demonstrate how rivers flow and investigate different ways to protect people and their property.

Academics from the Netherlands have been sharing some of their more radical approaches to minimising the effects of extreme weather.

Katie Hunter reports:

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