OFFICIALS from Bonnie Peebles believe the beauty of their hometown is under threat by council cutbacks.

Scottish Borders Council announced earlier this year that from autumn seasonal planting displays will be replaced by either shrubs or grass.

Hanging baskets and other plant containers are also being removed as part of the cuts.

Voluntary group Bonnie Peebles adopted around half of the town's bedding areas around a decade ago.

The group has helped the town win several awards with its eye-catching displays on Edinburgh Road, at the Drill Hall, Northgate, Haylodge Park, School Brae and swimming pool.

And they were also behind the hugely popular train and Scott Brash sculptures.

But the local authority proposals for Peebles will see all of the non-adopted flower beds, including displays at several entrances and the town centre areas around the Quadrangle, replaced with either grass or shrubs and bushes.

Margaret Wightman, secretary of Bonnie Peebles, told us: "This summer our town will see the last of colourful bedding displays provided by Scottish Borders Council.

"Hanging baskets and containers will no longer be a feature as savage cuts are once again implemented.

"Plans show many areas will be grassed over including two beds at Venlaw, two at the Honda Garage and two at Neidpath Road - creating a massive change at entrances to the town.

"We are deeply worried at these changes but our biggest fear is the proposed alterations in the Quadrangle and site of our War Memorial.

"Drawings reveal there will be no floral borders and the centre plots will contain shrubs. Surely this must not happen to a very important area in the centre of Peebles.

"We have a beautiful War Memorial , visited by many and which deserves to be respectfully highlighted with the floral displays."

Bonnie Peebles was launched in December 2006 after the town was no longer being entered into Scotland's Floral Gateway or Beautiful Scotland competitions.

Their first undertaking was to create pretty flowerbeds on he Edinburgh Road at the site of the old railway station.

Both Margaret and fellow founder of Avril Murray were named Peebles Citizens of the Year in 2017.

And their work has helped to keep Peebles as a popular destination with visitors.

Bonnie Peebles have confirmed they will continue to look after their adopted beds, but are appealing for local councillors to take a stance against the local authority's changes.

Margaret added: "We are constantly reminded tourism plays a huge role in our economy and yet we are gradually being stripped of features which enhance the town we are all proud to call home.

"Shame on our elected councillors for not speaking in louder voices when it comes to cuts but is it not time they, as well as all of us, stood up and said 'no deal'?"

Scottish Borders Council will only grass over around one-third of the flower beds it maintains with shrubs being planted in the others.

A spokesperson said: “We appreciate the efforts of all the groups across the Scottish Borders who play their part to help keep our area looking at its best and we will continue to speak to communities and groups about the proposals ahead of implementation this autumn.

“In Peebles, more than two thirds of the locations proposed for changes would have permanent planting put in place.”