Ospreys given their own dummy power pole to stop them from being fried



FAKE electricity poles have been installed in the Borders – to stop ospreys from getting fried.

The rare pair, named Samson and Delilah, were spotted dicing with death by flying too close to high powered poles in Lanton for months.

And concerns were also raised after newborn chicks were seen perching on the power poles last year.

The ospreys now have their very own perch above the electricity cables.

Worried locals from the village reached out to Scottish Power urging them to put in safety measures to stop the birds from electrocution.

Shortly after, engineers installed a dummy pole along with a brand new perch to entice the birds away from the power cables.

And the new installation appears to have worked with the birds still being around to see their first egg hatch on Wednesday.

The site, located beside Born in the Borders brewery, has been a nesting ground for ospreys from Africa for the past 11 years.

Brewery boss John Henderson said: “For the last few years, we have been lucky enough to have been visited by a pair of ospreys, who return each spring to the same tree, and have successfully reared several chicks.

Engineers pictured installing the new safety measures.

“We noticed that the birds were beginning to become a little bit too comfortable near power lines, so we spoke to SP Energy Networks and worked with them to bird-proof some of the poles beside the live wires.

“We also installed an artificial platform to help them rebuild their nest and make them feel extra welcome during the spring and summer.”

Along with Rosie Shields, a regular visitor to the site and Lanton local, John contacted SP Energy Networks asking them to help safeguard the birds.

Osprey enthusiastic Rosie said: “I feel that the safety measures put in place have helped these iconic birds enormously to remain safe around their nesting site.

“The engineers were so enthusiastic and couldn’t do enough to make sure the birds were going to be as safe as possible from live wires and equipment.”

The installation follows the launch of “Operation Jimmy” – a campaign set up following the death of “Jimmy” the osprey who died after being electrocuted on a power pole in Wales.

Campaigners set up a website in his honour, highlighting that dangers electrical poles cause for bird.

SP Energy Networks customer engagement manager, Johan Gillespie said: “There were concerns raised about the welfare of an osprey family that had been seen landing on live poles.

“Together with John, Rosie and the rest of the team at Born in the Borders, we were able to limit the risk of any danger to the ospreys by inserting dummy poles for them to rest on.

“A perch was also inserted above the equipment on one pole, as well as bird diverters being placed along power lines, to minimise any risk.”

The brewery have recently installed a CCTV camera above the ospreys nest in Lanton which transmits live footage straight back to their restaurant.

This has enabled the brewery and visitors to get a birds-eye-view of the new eggs hatching.

John added: “We now have a ringside seat to see Samson and Delilah hatch and rear their latest brood.

“They’ll likely be here until August or September before flying back to their winter home, probably in Africa, but we look forward to welcoming them back here for many years to come.”

Ospreys are known as being a conservation success, having once been classed extinct in the UK.

There are now believed to be between 250 and 300 breeding pairs across the country.