CONSERVATIVE MSP for South Scotland Craig Hoy recently visited Glentress Forest near Innerleithen ahead of this year's UCI Cycling World Championships.

The Peeblesshire site will host mountain bike cross country events between August 8-12.

And the event is expected to draw in more than 10,000 visitors to the Borders and will have extensive coverage across TV, online and social media platforms.

Mr Hoy said: “It was great to visit Glentress Forest and learn from Forestry and Land Scotland staff about plans to develop visitor experience in the forest.

“I was also pleased to meet Diane Bennett from the Osprey Watch and learn about the flight of local ospreys around the world which has come to attract tens of thousands of followers around the world.

“Glentress will play a pivotal role in the upcoming UCI Cycling World Championships which will help boost tourism across the Peebles and Innerleithen area and showcase everything the Tweed valley has to offer.”

Glentress Forest is one of eight forests in the Tweed Valley and attracts more than 300,000 visitors every year.

It is one of the UK’s premier mountain-biking destinations with 72km of trails and walking routes.

Mr Hoy also met with Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) project manager Paul Andrews Garth and regional visitor services manager Martin Page to discuss the Glentress Forest’s 'masterplan', which is set to increase mountain trails at the forest by 16km and improve environmental sustainability to cope with rising pressures from visitor growth.

Mr Page said: “Glentress is positioned to meet growing visitor demands and FLS is developing infrastructure to accommodate its growth, both as a visitor destination and creating economic growth for the valley and the wider south of Scotland.”