SP Energy Networks builds resting site for rare species in the Scottish Borders
SP Energy Networks, which owns and operates the electricity cables and power lines for Central and Southern Scotland, has recently undertaken work in Lanton in the Scottish Borders on the ‘Born in the Borders’ premises to help make rare ospreys from Africa more comfortable during the Spring and Summer months.
‘Born in the Borders’ is a Scottish brewery that attracts around 30,000 locals and tourists each year, giving guided tours to show how bottles and cask ales are made with local barley that is grown in neighbouring fields. Their brewery in the Scottish Borders has been a nesting ground for two rare ospreys from Africa for the last eleven years. The present pair are nicknamed Samson and Delilah. While the birds have been made to feel welcome by the staff and visitors, concerns were raised recently after the ospreys were seen flying near live electricity lines and, on several occasions last year, the newly fledged chic’s used the power poles to perch on.
Ospreys are a wonderful conservation success story after they were once deemed extinct in the UK. There are now around 240 breeding pairs in the UK, which is why John Henderson, owner of the Born in the Borders brewery, and Rosie Shields, a local osprey enthusiast and regular visitor to the site, decided to contact SP Energy Networks to help keep these and other birds safe from electrical dangers.
Johan Gillespie, Customer Engagement Manager at SP Energy Networks, said: “We were called in to help at the Born in the Borders premises in Lanton after there were concerns raised about the welfare of an osprey family have 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. We were more than happy to help and we’ll keep in touch with the team at Lanton to make sure the site is safe for the ospreys to continue to spend their spring and summers there.”
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. 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.
“Thanks to SP Energy Networks, as well as the organisational ability of local resident Rosie Shields and some wonderful volunteers, we also installed an artificial platform to help them re-build their nest and make them feel extra welcome during the spring and summer months. At the same time, we installed a CCTV camera, which transmits live footage of the nest to our restaurant so we now we have a ring-side seat to see Samson and Delilah hatch and rear their latest brood. They’ll most 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.”
Rosie Shields, local Lanton bird enthusiast, said: “I can’t thank SP Energy Networks enough for what they have done. 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 have done enough to make sure the birds were going to be as safe as possible from the live wires and equipment. I hope they’ll take up our invitation to come back and see the birds as they raise their family during this and subsequent summers.”
For more information on the services SP Energy Networks provides to local communities across Central and Southern Scotland, please visit spenergynetworks.co.uk, and follow @SPEnergyNetwork on Twitter or like facebook.com/SPEnergyNetworks. In the event of a power outage or incident, please contact the SP Energy Networks emergency hotline on 105 and 0800 092 9290.
For further information, please contact Shaun Bell, Joe Boyle or Georgia Lea by calling 0131 561 8628 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
SP Energy Networks (SPEN) is the licensed Electricity Distributor (DNO) for Central & Southern Scotland and for Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and North Shropshire. We have 30,000 substations (one substation for every 100 customers), 40,000km overhead lines (once around the globe), and 70,000km underground cables.
SPEN also operates the Transmission Network in Central and Southern Scotland. They take electricity generated from power stations, windfarms and various other utilities and transport it through their vast transmission network, consisting of over 4000 kilometres of overhead and 320 kilometers of underground lines. They have 129 transmission substations in their network that help us to manage extra high voltage electricity supplies.
From 2015 to 2023 SP Energy Networks plans to invest approximately £5 billion into the electricity network. To keep power supplies on the company currently manages over 110,000km of power cables and 30,000 substations across their network area.