WORK will start next month on a memorial garden in Selkirk to block out a blot on the landscape.

The town's Ex Soldiers Association announced plans for the Ettrick Terrace site last year.

Since the demolition of the iconic St Mary's Church 13 years ago the area has become an overgrown eyesore.

And concerns have been raised in the past over its proximity to the town's main War Memorial during Remembrance ceremonies.

This week Graham Easton from the Association announced work is set to begin.

He said: "Permission has been given for the work to start and we will be on site as soon as the materials are sourced.

"We will transform the front two metres of the site which will improve how it looks from the road and from the War Memorial."

The proposals for the site will see current security fencing moved back by two metres to allow for screening to be planted.

Decorative planting will also take place in newly created gardens and a commemorative bench installed.

A crumbling wall is to be repaired as part of the works.

Ex Soldiers chairman David Deacon said: "There is a lot of positive things going on in Selkirk just now and we want to keep that momentum going by tidying up the area across from the War Memorial.

"The Ex Soldiers already look after the War Memorial so we can easily maintain the garden as well.

"The memorial bench will be dedicated to the 1004 people of Selkirk who came back from World War One."

Although no official starting date has been confirmed it is hoped the Memorial Garden will be officially opened ahead of this year's Common Riding.

The empty site behind the garden has been earmarked for housing.

And if development work was to begin, the memorial garden is being designed so that it can be moved.

Selkirkshire councillor Michelle Ballantyne, who has been involved in sourcing funding for the project, added: "The agreement that has been reached is that the garden will be temporary and everything apart from the stone wall can be removed and placed somewhere else.

"This is a win-win situation for the community."