CAR parking charges are set to be introduced at one of the Borders' most popular tourist attractions.

Abbotsford House, the historic home of Sir Walter Scott, will bring in the measure to "help it cope" with financial losses suffered during the coronavirus pandemic.

The charges will be introduced in October and will be 50p for one hour; £1 for two hours; £2 for four hours; £3 all day; or visitors can buy and annual season ticket for £15.

Giles Ingram, chief executive of the Abbotsford Trust said: "Our car park is often full, which is a wonderful thing to see, but many people are taking up spaces and not contributing financially towards the management and maintenance of the facilities they are using.

"We are now running the risk of losing income from paying customers who cannot park. Certainly, once we begin welcoming back coaches, we will have a very real problem.

“We are a small independent charity and, like many other businesses in the tourism sector, have taken a major financial hit with COVID lockdowns.

"Even now, despite the impressions of a staycation boom, our revenues are only 60 per cent of pre-COVID levels.

"Car park charging would give us a new revenue stream, which we would use to cover the costs of maintaining the walks, toilets and parking facilities, the areas used for free by non-paying visitors.

"It also enables us to raise funds towards investing in additional parking bays in future.

“The charges are low, starting at 50p for one hour and we will also have a seasonal pass for regular visitors."

Parking for disabled visitors and Friends of Abbotsford will be free.

And there will be no charge for the first 20 minutes for everyone, allowing car drivers to drop off and pick up people.

Parking would also be free outwith opening hours (before10am and after 5pm).

Mr Ingram added: “We would ask people not to park in residential streets to avoid parking fees.

"This will cause obstructions and create difficulties for our neighbours.

"We will be working with the authorities to monitor and address any such problems.

"Please understand that the beautiful walks you enjoy do cost money to maintain, and we want them to remain in good condition for years to come.”