THE people of Peebles are being asked for their views on a new memorial for children and babies at the cemetery.

The Community Council believe the children’s section of the cemetery is dark, damp, gloomy and often covered in bird faeces.

Chairman Les Turnbull asked Scottish Borders Council to cut back two overgrown Cherry Trees, but feels more must be done to improve this area for bereaved families.

A community consultation was put out with the suggestion to remove the trees and put something in their place, but this received very little response.

However, it did grab the attention of one bereaved Peebles mum, and sparked an idea to remember all babies and children lost during or after birth.

Eight years ago, Scott and Elisa Mackie lost their twins at 21 weeks and they were laid to rest in the small cemetery.

She agrees with community councillors that the cemetery in its current condition isn’t a pleasant place to visit.

And with proposals to remove the Cherry Trees she feels it is the perfect opportunity to bring the Tree of Tranquillity to Peebles.

The stunning metal tree sculptures were launched by the charity SiMBA and each copper leaf on the tree represents a baby or child who has died.

The beautiful symbol of remembrance would not only be for newly bereaved, but also parents who sadly lost their baby years ago and were perhaps provided with little or no recognition of their baby’s existence.

However, as the charity only has one of these trees in each region, Elisa has suggested a community fundraising venture to have a local sculpture create a unique one for Peebles.

Speaking to the Peeblesshire News this week, Elisa said: “The children’s cemetery isn’t a nice place to visit in its current state and I do agree with the community councils views but I am not in favour of planting new trees in their place.

“I am not sure if the Cherry Trees were planting in memoriam, and we may never find that out. The tree sculpture could even be of a Cherry Tree with a plaque put on it.

“I think one of these trees would benefit more people in the community. There are a lot of parents who have lost children by miscarriage and they don’t want their baby to be forgotten.”

Peebles Community Council welcomed the idea of the memorial tree sculpture and is keen to hear what members of the public think.

Mr Turnbull said: “I know that the children’s cemetery is a precious place for families who have loved ones interred there and that thoughts of disturbing the area can be very emotive.

“We need to assure people that all the is intended is to make the area brighter, cleaner and that proposals amount to a makeover rather than wholesale change for the sake of it.

“It is essential that anyone with strongly held views wither way let us know what they think.”