POLICE in the Scottish Borders are investigating the theft of a survey camera set up to assess red squirrel numbers in the Bowhill Estate.

The theft took place behind the Bowhill North Lodge entrance at Yarrowford, near Selkirk.

At 4.58pm on Sunday March 5 the camera transmitted two blacked out images as the thief disabled it and then it went dead.

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The camera had been secured with a steel cable, and the box was screwed to a tree and  was tucked away in a bit of woodland.

Border Telegraph: Camera and footage from Go Wild ScotlandCamera and footage from Go Wild Scotland (Image: Go Wild Scotland)

The owners believe that it would only have been found by someone actively looking for it.
Director of Go Wild Scotland Gethin Chamberlain said: “The theft has been a real hindrance because although kind people donated enough money for us to replace the stolen camera, it is more difficult to survey in the area now knowing that there are people who are prepared to commit a crime out of sheer selfishness.

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“We are surveying with Bowhill’s approval to see where red squirrels are present, to help more people have a chance of viewing these beautiful creatures.

“We are a community interest company: any money we make from helping people to enjoy nature is used for the benefit of the community, including the creation of the Mauldsheugh Wood community wildlife project, working with local schools and running a junior nature club.

“We started surveying near the entrance because we’d had a couple of red squirrel sightings there in recent weeks.

“It’s normal to use a camera and feeder for survey work and there was plenty of evidence that the squirrels are resident in the wood.

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“However, we decided to move the feeder and camera further away from the estate entrance.”

A feeder box with ‘Property of Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels’ on it was also stolen.

The camera is described as a Spypoint Link Micro LTE 4G.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "Around 11.30am on Tuesday, 7 March, 2023, we received a report of a theft from woodland near to Bowhill.

"Enquiries are ongoing."