PLANS for 56 cabins and 16 kilometres of new trails have been unveiled for Glentress.

Planning applications for the proposed £11.3 million tourism development were submitted to Scottish Borders Council last week.

Forest Holidays is taking forward the eco-cabin development, which will be built around the existing mountain biking skills and freeride areas at Buzzard’s nest.

According to the company each of the holiday lets will be sensitively blended into the forest’s surroundings.

Bruce McKendrick, chief executive officer of Forest Holidays said: “We are committed to working closely with the community surrounding Glentress.

"Our guests delight in discovering new experiences and the Tweed Valley has a wealth of dramatic scenery, incredible adventures and authentic local attractions for visitors to enjoy.

“We are proud to already contribute to the rural economy in Scotland through our two existing locations at Strathyre and Ardgartan Argyll, by supporting local businesses and helping to create a vibrant tourist economy 365 days a year.

"Together with our Forest Enterprise Scotland partner we are confident that the Glentress Masterplan will bring many more opportunities to the area.”

The proposed £11.3 million tourism development is being managed by a partnership between both Forest Enterprise Scotland and Forest Holidays.

Forest Holidays will provide private sector investment of £10 million for the project with the remaining £1.3 million from Forest Enterprise Scotland, which will focus on new recreation facilities.

The lodges and the new trails are part of the Glentress Masterplan.

Under the proposals, a new mountain bike skills area will be built along with a number of new biking taster trails for all levels.

The new trails will also incorporate elements of the Freeride area, as well as a new route for walkers.

All the new trails will be situated around the Glentress Peel development at Castle Hill.

Sallie Bailey, forest district manager for Forest Enterprise Scotland added: “Forest tourism in the Borders is certainly in the spotlight.

"The recent forest tourism summit was an important first step in bringing public and private tourism interests together to seek new opportunities to grow this sector.

“Forest Enterprise Scotland is contributing to this on a number of fronts. The cabins and new trail proposals would be another great asset for the Tweed Valley and south of Scotland."

A decision on the two planning applications is expected in the spring of 2018.