FLOOD defence bosses in Selkirk have issued a warning for local schoolchildren to stay away during the summer holidays.

Representatives from contractors RJ McLeod have visited Knowepark Primary and Philiphaugh Community schools over the past fortnight.

And they are demonstrating the dangers of going near the ongoing building works up and down the Ettrick Water.

Guards are also in place to keep children on the right side of the security fencing during the summer holidays.

And Police Scotland have been made aware of recent trespassing incidents.

Scott Marr from RJ Mcleod’s said: “We have made presentations at both Knowepark and Philiphaugh schools to make sure children know the reasons why they shouldn’t trespass at the works.

“There has been a bit of unauthorised access to the sites and we have informed Police Scotland.

“This is a major construction job and it can be very dangerous place.” The £31 million Flood Protection Scheme will see grassed embankments and walls built down either side of the Ettrick Water as it flows through Selkirk.

Embankments are also being built up along burns which flow into the river.

And tonnes of soil and rubble are being used at the dozen or sites in and around the town.

Mr Marr said: “We appreciate the summer holidays are almost upon us and children like to go to the river but we are asking all parents to make sure they stay away this year.

“The river is no place for children when the works are going on.

“It is a very large area of works and it is difficult to make sure people can’t get it in, but the fences are there for a reason.” Mr Marr revealed that the construction phase of the scheme was only approaching quarter-way.

But his workforce were on schedule to complete the project by the end of next year.

He added: “The works are progressing very well and the riverside embankments are taking shape.”