BORDERS residents should be allowed to visit garden centres soon, according to a politician.

Christine Grahame MSP has asked the Scottish Government to consider re-opening such businesses with safety measures in place.

Ms Grahame, of the SNP, highlighted the "physical and mental wellbeing benefits" of gardening.

The member for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale addressed Holyrood's rural economy and connectivity committee this morning.

She said: “Any re-opening of businesses of course needs to be done in a safe manner, giving proper consideration to the safety of both staff and the public.

"I’m optimistic that this may be possible with garden centres soon, given the physical and mental wellbeing benefits gardening can offer for us all in lockdown.

“If you’re fortunate enough to have access to a garden it can make a real difference and being able to buy some supplies for it could be a real boost to many. Indeed even a window box can make a difference. While you can currently buy online, it is not as satisfactory.

“Our horticultural sector has been hit hard by lockdown, with many businesses losing out on what would be one of their busiest periods of trade in spring and early summer.

"This not only affects the big well known chains, but smaller local businesses and growers.

“I welcome news that this is being given serious consideration and I trust the Scottish Government will authorise re-opening soon."