THE views of the Peebles community are being sought ahead of making improvements to the children’s cemetery which has been described as a gloomy place to visit.

Following concerns raised by community leaders who say the children’s section is covered in bird droppings and is “dark and damp”, council officers have suggested removing the two cherry blossom trees.

But the town’s community council says it doesn’t want to “upset” locals by agreeing on any action without hearing their opinions.

Newly-appointed chairman of Peebles Community Council Les Turnbull met with officers at the cemetery recently.

He said: “The essential problem there is that there are two cherry trees, which in themselves are very beautiful trees when in blossom, but they provide a canopy that more or less covers the whole of the area and the benches underneath get covered in bird muck which then prevents or dissuades people from spending time there.

“We have spoken to Scottish Border’s Council officers who agree that this important place can be improved. It’s been suggested that for this year the cherry trees are pruned back as far as we can to make the place a little bit brighter.

"Then at the end of the year we consider taking down those cherry trees and replacing them with another decorative tree that will be slow growing and still look very nice.

“Having said that, we are aware that members of the public who use the children’s cemetery may not want the cherry trees taken down and we are conscious of that.”

The community council say the views of locals must be taken into consideration.

Mr Turnbull continued: “We would like members of the community who have any concerns about taking down the trees to get in touch us so we can fed this back into the discussion, because we don’t want to do anything that is going to upset people unnecessarily.”

Councillor Shona Haslam added it was important to seek clarification as to why the trees were planted as they may be in memoriam of a child.

Members of the public can email their views to