GALA Waterways Group and the Men's Shed have joined forces to provide food for wildlife this winter.

The collaboration between the two community groups will see twelve bird boxes placed around the town over the coming weeks.

Men's Shed member, Neil McDougall, was responsible for making the bird boxes which were made from donated and recycled wood. He said: "I was delighted to help with this request when we were asked to do it.

"We try to do a project every year and last year we helped the wildlife trust by making squirrels boxes so they could collect data.

"We used a lot of donated and recycled wood in this project so happy it is going to a great cause like this. The effort of making the boxes is nothing compared to the feeling that you know you have contributed to helping the wildlife."

The bird box campaign follows on from plans made by the Gala Waterways Group in 2007, which were halted due to works on the railway.

Alistair Lings, one of the members of GWG added: "The environment and the wildlife are very important to our group. We work throughout the year to clean and maintain the river and areas surrounding it.

"Some bird boxes were installed beside the Gala Water in the late 1990s by another group.

"It's great that thanks to working with the men’s shed we are able to get our project on-track again."

The coming together of these groups was thanks to the work of councillor Euan Jardine, who has worked with both groups during his time with the Scottish Borders Council.

Councillor Jardine said of the bird box initiative: "When the idea of bird boxes was first discussed it made perfect sense for both groups to collaborate on this.

"It is important for community groups to come together.

"I am really grateful for both groups working on this and ensuring the wildlife in the area will be looked after this winter."

The two volunteering groups offer their services to their communities, either by providing spaces for people to develop new skills, such as in carpentry or gardening, or by helping to make the green spaces around Galashiels clear and enjoyable for all.

Men's Shed coordinator, Ross Hall said: "“I love that these two groups have come together.

"We want to give back to the community and very happy to support and donate these boxes to the Gala Waterways Group.

"I would encourage volunteers to come along to both the men’s shed and the Gala Waterways when they have free time.

"As volunteering is really worthwhile and a great way to socialise with like minded people."

The Gala Mens shed is open every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10am-4pm and is situated below Langlee Community Centre.

And Gala Waterways Group meets every first Saturday of the month from 10am-12pm at various locations. For more information, contact David Usher,