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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 September 2006, 10:48 GMT 11:48 UK
Forest development plan submitted
Glentress visitor development
The Glentress plans seek to cope with rising visitor numbers
Proposals for a new visitor development at Glentress Forest have been submitted for planning approval.

If agreed, the development would be completed in summer 2008 and would act as a gateway for visitors to the rest of the Tweed Valley Forest Park.

Glentress Forest attracts about 300,000 visitors to the area every year.

Forestry Commission Scotland has submitted the plans to modernise facilities in order to cope with increased visitor demand.

The new development is to be known as Glentress Peel.

Proposed new facilities
Wildlife watching area
Tweed Valley information services
Entrance/cafe area
Bike shop/bike hire

The word "peel" is often used in the area to describe a fortified tower or house and its boundaries.

A total of four main buildings are part of the plan - all linked by specially designed trails.

All the buildings are to be built on sustainable principles and will be a showcase for the use of timber.

Forestry Commission Scotland's district manager for the Scottish Borders, Christina Tracey, said she hoped the plans had the "right mix to keep visitors happy".

Top attraction

"Glentress has always had a reputation for being a friendly and relaxed place to go where mountain bikers, walkers and visitors all get along and enjoy the forest," she said.

"Our new development will help keep this atmosphere and improve Glentress and the Tweed Valley as a top visitor attraction."

The new developments are to be located on a hill opposite to where the current facilities are found.

The final decision on the plan lies with Scottish Borders Council.

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