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New health centre opens in Dumfries & Galloway

The Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson Credit: PA

A new two million pound health centre will be officially opened in Dumfries and Galloway today.

The Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson will meet the staff and tour the new complex in Dalbeattie. A second centre in nearby Dunscore is also set to open shortly.

Doorstop crime: What can you do?

A national campaign hopes to stop doorstop crime Credit: PA

People are being urged to be vigilant for bogus workmen this summer.

Police Scotland are working with Trading Standards Officers as part of a national campaign to stop doorstop crime.

Doorstop crime can be anyone trying to get your personal details or get into your home by pretending they are someone they're not, for example a police officer, council staff or a meter reader. Rogue traders often cold-call and will probably overcharge you for poor or unnecessary work.

People are being advised to:

  • Be on guard if someone turns up unexpectedly
  • Use a door chain or bar
  • Always put the chain on before opening the door
  • Keep it on while talking to callers
  • Don’t feel embarrassed - genuine callers expect you to be careful
  • If you don’t have a door chain, check from the nearest window. Remember, door chains can be easily fitted
  • If you’re not sure, don’t answer the door

Police have launched a 'Nominated Neighbour Scheme' which aims to give local support to hose who do not want to answer their doors.

More information on this scheme can be found here.

If you are suspicious of a caller, contact the police.


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.

Scheme begins to restore traditional buildings

A conservation scheme in Selkirk is beginning repairs on its first traditional building this week.

The Selkirk Conversation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) will begin work on an empty building at 59 High Street. Repairs to the walls, roof and chimney will be carried out using traditional materials and techniques.

'The aim of the Scheme is to ensure that issues with the built heritage of the town centre are addressed, and where possible enhanced, to make Selkirk an even more attractive location for both the local community and visitors.

“This first grant has been awarded to an important property in the town centre which has been left vacant and in poor condition for many years. The Selkirk CARS funding will help the building to be repaired in an appropriate manner and remove a blight within the town.'

– Colin Gilmour, Selkirk CARS Project Officer

The scheme is funded by Historic Scotland and Scottish Borders Council.

Controversial windfarm opens in Scotland

It's said that the windfarm will produce enough energy for 73,000 homes Credit: PA

One of Scotland's largest onshore windfarms will be opened near Lockerbie.

The controversial Harestanes windfarm, with 68 turbines, will produce enough energy to meet the needs of 73,000 homes.

Scottish Power Renewables says the £160million project has supported 150 jobs over the last two years.


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

A trip to the First House of Scotland

If Scotland votes "Yes" to independence on 18 September, the border with England could look very different in a year's time.

We sent our reporter Fiona McIlwraith to a well-known Gretna landmark, turned cafe, to find out what people think about the possibility of having a cup of tea across an international border.

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