NATURE lovers in the Borders are being invited to take part in this year's Big River Watch.

Local environmental charities Tweed Forum and the Tweed Foundations – which both work to support the health of the River Tweed catchment area – are inviting Borderers to get involved from September 22 to 24 by spending just 15 minutes of their time recording observations on the Tweed and its tributaries – such as the Teviot, Ettrick, Gala and Leader Waters, the Whiteadder, and the Till.

These recordings can then help the Big River Watch initiative have more information about the waterways' health.

Recordings can be made in the free-to-use Big River Watch app, set to be launched later this month.

Tweed Forum CEO, Luke Comins said: “Joining forces with other river organisations across the country to collect this kind of data will put us all in a much stronger position when it comes to understanding the overall state of our rivers, directing improvements and delivering the policy changes required.

"We know that people across the Tweed catchment care immensely about the river and its tributaries so are encouraging as many of them as possible to spare 15 minutes between 22 and 24 September to download the free app and record their observations so we can become part of a broader picture of change and river improvement.”

The Big River Watch app will request information about plants, wildlife, signs of pollution, and water colour and flow, as well as asking questions about the participant's own connection to the waterways.

Guides on spotting pollution and information on wildlife will also feature on the app which will be available to download from Monday, September 18.

The data collected through the app will give a clearer picture on river health across the UK and Ireland on a scale not seen before.

Jamie Stewart, director of The Tweed Foundation, said: “The River Tweed is famed across the globe as one of the world’s great salmon rivers, but like many other waterways, it is facing challenges in many areas, not least from the effects of climate change.

"Our team of biologists is constantly monitoring the health of the river and alongside our Citizen Science projects such as Guardians of the Tweed, delivers information that enables us to work towards providing the conditions that will help our fish stocks survive and thrive.

"The Big River Watch will provide even more valuable information but we need lots of local people to participate so that there is enough data from the Tweed catchment to help inform our work.”

The Big River Watch is open to everyone, and no scientific experience or training is needed.

For more information, visit the Tweed Forum, Tweed Foundation and Rivers Trust social media channels.