Model boats make waves in Tweedbank
MODEL boats could be about to set sail on the pond in Tweedbank.
The Borders Model Boat Club floated the idea of a monthly meeting on Gunknowe Loch with community councillors this week.
It followed concerns over access to their current meeting place in St Boswells which they claimed was "unsustainable".
However, fears were voiced over the impact sailing the model boats could have on local wildlife who have made the loch their home.
Speaking at the community council's meeting in Tweedbank Community Centre on Wednesday night, vice-chairman Dougie Waterson said: "I am for it. I think it would be good for Tweedbank and good for the shops. And I think it should be investigated."
But community council secretary Andrew Bramhall, a local wildlife expert, added: "The worry is they could spook the swans and the birds could crash land in neighbouring gardens."
The meeting heard the boating club had previously sailed on Gunknowe Loch in Tweedbank but stopped following a problem with weeds. And community councillors heard potentially toxic blue-greem algae still posed a problem at the pond.
However, they agreed to support a further trial - if Scottish Borders Council, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency have no objections.
John Cavaroli, chairman of Tweedbank Community Council, said: "It you want to go ahead that's fine, but there is blue-green algae there which is a risk to yourselves." But he added: "We have pointed out the dangers and we can't do any more than that."
Scottish Borders Council leader David Parker revealed the local authority was "relaxed" about the proposal. He said: "We have supported a trial in the past and I understand the only reason it ended is because the model boat club had problems."
But he added: "I suspect if weeds were a problem 10 years ago they are going to be double the problem now."
The Borders Model Boat Club revealed it hoped the move from St Boswells to Tweedbank would attract new members to the club. Secretary Roddy Beatson said: "At the moment we sail at St Boswells on a boating pond belonging to the Buccleuch Estates." But he added: "It is unsustainable."
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