SCOTTISH Parliament’s tourism secretary Fiona Hyslop visited the brand-new play park at Harestanes this week.

The new facilities at Harestanes, which is managed by charity Live Borders, enables children of all ages to enjoy outdoor play and has welcomed in the region of 7,000 people since opening at Easter.

Scottish Borders Council invested £350,000 at Harestanes as part of its £3.1million investment in new play parks and other outdoor community facilities over the next four years.

The Harestanes development includes around 50 pieces of innovative, durable play equipment as well as multi-sensory textures, landscaped features and safety surfacing.

There is also an agility trail, a picnic area and a toddler play garden. At the heart the play park is an impressive Jedburgh Abbey-inspired centrepiece and pyramid tower.

Featuring the region’s only wheelchair swings, an all-inclusive sensory boardwalk and a Jedburgh Abbey-inspired centre feature, the park will be a beacon for accessible play in the Borders.

Ms Hyslop was impressed with what she saw.

She said: “Tourism is everybody’s business, we all have a role to play and Live Borders is playing its part well in ensuring that we have good quality attractions in the Scottish Borders.

“It is also important that these high quality attractions are inclusive and open to everyone, regardless of ability.

"Harestanes play park is an excellent example of an attraction that ensures our differently abled children also have access to fun activities.

"I’ve really enjoyed visiting the park today and hearing their plans for the future.”