Fairytale ending

New magical fairytale-themed facilities are to be installed in the grounds of a beloved Borders mansion – after safety concerns surrounding a gas pipeline were addressed.

By Paul Kelly
Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, 11:08 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, 11:09 am
The Fairy Trail is aimed at pre-school children.
The Fairy Trail is aimed at pre-school children.

Applicant Giles Ingram submitted an application to Scottish Borders Council for new exciting attractions to be installed on land to the north and north east of Abbotsford in Melrose, the tourist attraction famous as the home of legendary writer Sir Walter Scott.

Plans included an extension to the existing play area with additional pathways, fencing, new play equipment and structures, with a timber-clad fairytale-themed cabin adjacent to the existing visitor centre and a new covered seating structure.

Abbotsford has commissioned Ballymena-based Brilliant Trails Ltd to design, build and install the fairy trail installations, which are to be scaled to suit pre-school children to “create a magical fairy world tucked away in a natural woodland setting”.

Fabrications are to be built with native timber and allowed to naturally weather so as to become “harmonious with their setting”.

The structures will range in size from small fairy houses mounted in trees to large tree structures and magical houses with child-sized doorways.

Scottish Gas had originally objected to the application amid safety concerns, as the development was 17 metres from a high pressure gas pipeline.

But the objection was eventually withdrawn, following discussions between Scottish Gas Networks (SGN) and the applicant’s representatives.

In a report recommending approval for the plan, Julie Hayward, the council’s lead planning officer, says: “Scottish Gas Networks advised that there was a High Pressure Gas Transmission Pipeline in the vicinity of the proposed development.

“The agent met with representatives of SGN and amended the site plan to indicate the line of the gas pipeline and noted a requirement to consult with Scottish Gas Network prior to works commencing. Minor structures will be allowed within the 15m exclusion zone either side of the pipeline. SGN has now withdrawn its objection.”