Two treehouses planned as farm branches out

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A Borders landowner is hoping to branch out into the tourist trade by having treehouses built to let out to visitors to the region.

Plans have been submitted to Scottish Borders Council for two wooden treehouses, suspended above the ground and complete with connecting rope bridges, at Cowdenknowes Main Farm, near Earlston.

Cowdenknowes House.

Cowdenknowes House.

The proposals would see the treehouses built on land next to Cowdenknowes House, partly dating back to 1554.

The application has been submitted by Nottinghamshire-based company Mayberry on behalf of George Peto, the farm’s owner and also a director of Cowdenknowes Estates.

A letter from Mr Peto’s firm in support of the application says: “The intention is to construct two treehouses on a site on the farm, adjacent to the existing Cowdenknowes equestrian centre, to be let as self-catering accommodation with a high level of fit and finish to both UK and foreign couples, individuals or families, with pets being permitted.

“The key enterprise focus for the project is to generate much-needed revenue for the farm and to provide it with a sustainable revenue stream in the long term.

“This should then provide a platform on which both other ancillary tourism enterprises, such as mountain biking and horse trail riding, and new farming-specific enterprises inclusive of a new deer enterprise for venison can be developed.”

Mr Peto added: “We’re very excited about this. There aren’t many developments of this nature in the Borders at all, and we think it’s a unique opportunity to provide this accommodation in the area.

“We’re very locally sensitive. This is a very beautiful area, and we want to preserve that.

“People want to come here, to visit the local shops and see the attractions, so we think there’s a market here.

“My wife and I first stayed in treehouse accommodation in South Africa, and I just think that it’s something a little different, and it can be a very unique and special experience.”