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Native wood of slender birch trees with lush green undergrowth

What are we doing to protect and conserve nature? 

Thursday, 15 July 2021

We don’t just grow and fell trees. We also lead in conserving landscapes. For World Nature Conservation Day, we’re highlighting several projects that protect and enhance nature in Scotland. Designated sites & species  These areas are known globally as important for science and nature. This includes Caledonian pine forests, Atlantic oak woods or even peat bogs. These sites are home...

Man ringing ospreys

Ringing day

Monday, 05 July 2021

The ospreys in the main Tweed Valley nest were 40 days old on Monday 5 July and this was now time for them to be fitted with their darvic rings and their unique BTO rings (British Trust for Ornothology) for identification. The Environment Team from Forestry and Land Scotland consisting of Tony Lightley (Environment Forester), Eve Schulte (Environment Ranger), Derek Rodger (Environment Assistant)...

Osprey guarding nest

Dad looks after the chicks

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

On 27 June, the osprey chicks in the main Tweed Valley nest were 32 days old and we can see just how dramatically they have changed since they first hatched, when they were no bigger than a hen chick. When they first emerged from their eggs, they were weak and wobbly and covered in uniform grey down, with only an eye-stripe hinting at the ospreys they will become. And although the change is dram...

Three osprey chicks

Food and feathers

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

On 20 June, the osprey chicks in the main nest in Tweed Valley were 25 days old and while checking over the recorded footage it was great to see just how well they are growing and developing. Their feathers are coming through and this means that they are no longer at the mercy of the weather in the way that they were, or reliant on their mum shielding them from rain or strong sunlight. Now they ca...

Osprey family in nest

Blue twine and red kites

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

At the main Tweed Valley osprey nest, changes are occurring rapidly, as the two young ospreys develop. The chicks at two weeks old were very reptilian looking with extended bodies and not much in the growth of feathering. Their heads were not particularly attractive at that stage but what a difference after five more days of growth. The colouring of gold, brown, black and white were noticeable a...

Osprey chicks feeding

Sibling rivalry

Monday, 07 June 2021

The young osprey family continue to thrive on the main Tweed Valley osprey nest and they have been fortunate with the sudden change in the weather allowing favourable conditions for PW3 to hunt for his family. The 31 May film footage revealed two good sized fish suppers in the nest and satisfied chicks with full tummies. Mrs O had also had her fill and the meal was left aside for later. Nothing ...

Campervan driving on small singletrack road amongst lush green hillsides

Travelling Scotland in a Motorhome

Tuesday, 01 June 2021

So, you’re planning a trip in a motorhome. What should you bring? Which campsite or caravan park should you book? This is where we can help you answer those questions. Travelling around Scotland in a motorhome is a great way to explore the country and discover the wide variety of experiences on offer. It gives you the freedom to set your own agenda and travel at a pace that suits you.   If...

Two osprey chicks

Two chicks hatch!

Sunday, 30 May 2021

PW3 didn’t stop long, Mrs O took the fish from him and moved around the nest to position herself to feed the young ospreys and PW3 flew off. He was most likely watching his family from a distance, perched upon one of the lopped pine trees to the side of the nest. With her back to camera, Mrs O began to tear off morsels of fish to gently proffer to the little wobbly, outstretched heads, reachin...

Large hillside with mixed conifers leading to a pointed summit under a blue sky.

There's More To Conifers...

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Harvesting trees has always been of high value to society. Whether clearing land for agriculture, as a source of fuel, or material for construction, there is much to be gained from a felled tree.  Planting trees has not had such a high value until the last century. Phases of planting following both World Wars did much to restore Britain’s forests, but plenty of barren years since then have...

Three osprey chicks

Settling into a routine

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Life at the main nest has settled into a routine with the long process of incubation in progress. The majority of the duty is carried out by Mrs O, with regular swap overs when PW3 returns to the nest to bring her some fish and to give her a little break. He has started using the pine tree off to the left of the nest to feed and then delivers the rest of the fish to Mrs O. The camera pointed onto ...

Three osprey chicks

New male at TVOP main nest

Thursday, 13 May 2021

The main nest site for the Tweed Valley Osprey Project has a new male bird. His arrival as the replacement partner for Mrs O in 2020 was tinged with sadness after we lost White leg SS after 16 successful years nesting at this nest site; first with his original partner and then eventually settling down with Mrs O. The new male has had a mystery identity for a whole year because we had been unable ...

Three osprey chicks

Welcome back to Tweed Valley Osprey Project

Friday, 07 May 2021

We have great news that Mrs O has returned to the main nest site and is with her new partner with the blue leg ring. Hopefully, with the season now underway and with the return of our volunteers to operate the camera, we will be able to get a clear picture of the ring number and identify this bird. Sadly, this pair's breeding attempt failed during hatching week last year, as all three eggs vanish...

A yellow art depiction of two wood peckers and a tree

Rock-Art-Ology

Monday, 22 March 2021

Our new learning resource, A Song in Stone, explores Scotland’s amazing outdoor gallery of ancient rock art – abstract designs of cup and ring marks that our Neolithic ancestors carved over 4,000 years ago. The booklet is packed with fresh ideas, stunning photography and great illustrations. To celebrate its publication, our archaeologist Matt is calling for aspiring young archaeologists and ...

Woman holding a cage trap containing a watervole

Water voles: the mini eco-system engineers of the Trossachs

Monday, 15 February 2021

Beavers typically get all the glory when it comes to building ecosystems, but water voles also play an important part in shaping Scottish wetlands. Though not as well-known, these small but mighty creatures are eco-system engineers, positively impacting biodiversity and helping plants grow.   Eco-system engineers are animals whose very existence can change the environment they live...