AN animal welfare officer from Peebles has become an unlikely star of the new BBC Scotland television channel.

Nicola Turnbull is the head of small mammals at the Scottish SPCA's wild animal centre.

And along with her colleagues at the Alloa rescue centre, she has featured in the channel's launch series Born to be Wild.

Eagle eyed viewers would have spotted the Peebles animal lover in the first episode which was broadcast during the second evening of the new channel.

And the antics of the rescued animals have kept audiences glued as the 10-part series continues.

Born to be Wild follows the goings on of the team and the animals following last year’s ‘beast from the east’.

The first episode followed Nicola as she acted as a mother to a litter of six orphaned fox cubs, as well as the rewilding of Babe the hedgehog who was the centre's longest staying patient.

Nicola started working for the SSPCA five years ago with a seasonal job in the bird section, and fell in love with the work.

Since then she has worked with a variety of animals before becoming the head of small mammals.

Nicola told us: “I have always wanted to work with animals.

"We all love our job and are excited to see the finished product and everyone’s reaction.

“The episodes will be really varied as the BBC filmed us for a year, so everyone can get an insight into everything that happens.

“Because I work with wild animals not domesticated pets my family and friends can’t come in and see me at work, so it is nice for everyone to be able to see what I actually get up to.

“We are the only big centre in Scotland, but a lot of people still don’t know about us.

"Hopefully now people will get to see the amazing work that happens.”

The SSPCA has been helping animals in need for over 175 years.

The welfare charity rescues animals and nurses them back to health before finding them new homes or releasing them back into the wild.

Last year, their helpline received almost a quarter of a million calls and over 19,000 animals were rescued and rehomed.

Due to the mild weather this winter, the centre is less busy than in previous years.

Currently Nicola is looking after a baby hare named Bentley and two baby rabbits called Mini and Cooper.

Bentley was the centre's first orphan of the year and will be a month old on March 1.

The new Scotland channel on the BBC was launched on February 24.

The next episode of Born to be Wild will be broadcast on March 11 at 8pm.