A NEW panoramic viewing deck for visitors at Dawyck Botanic Garden in the Scottish Borders is due to be opened in late September.

The attraction, which is graded five-star by Visit Scotland and managed by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, attracts nearly 40,000 visitors each year.

It is known for its seasonal displays of snowdrops, bluebells, rhododendrons, azaleas, blue poppies and some of Britain’s oldest and tallest trees, including giant redwoods and Douglas firs in excess of 50 metres high.

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The original world-renowned Dawyck beech also still stands in good health and can be seen from the garden.

The Garden has previously won a Gold Award for Green Tourism Environmental Management, supporting sustainability measures through the use of a hydro-electric scheme powered from Scrape Burn and a sustainable biomass boiler for heating at its visitor centre.

Border Telegraph: Graham Stewart (left) and Craig Hoy MSP (right) at Dawyck Garden

The new decking platform will allow visitors to enjoy marvellous views across the arboretum’s many specimen trees. It is also hoped in the future to provide catering with a view as well as hosting other commercial events such as wedding receptions.

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Throughout the year, Dawyck Botanic Garden offers a wide programme of activities including guided tours around the garden as well as hosting seasonal events such as Mid-Summer Yoga, Fungi Forays and Pruning and plant-care workshops.

MSP for South Scotland Craig Hoy welcomed the plans during a recent visit when he joined the Curator of the Garden, Graham Stewart, for a tour of the grounds and visitor centre, which includes a gift shop, gallery and café.

Mr Hoy: “It was fantastic to visit Dawyck Botanic Garden and discuss some of the opportunities and challenges which the garden has faced in recent years.

“The installation of a new panoramic viewing deck later this year will offer visitors to the garden a fantastic oversight of the garden’s displays which come into their own in the autumn.

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“I would like to also extend my thanks to the hard-working staff, volunteers and members of all the on-site teams who have helped to build on the continued success of the Garden.”

Graham Stewart, Curator of Collections at Dawyck Botanic Garden, said: “We have been delighted to welcome Craig Hoy to Dawyck Botanic Garden and share some of our recent successes and challenges.

“As a premier tourist attraction in the Scottish Borders we are dedicated to providing a first class visitor experience for all and to build on our portfolio of value for money and innovation year on year”

For further information on the garden and visiting times please contact the RBGE website at: https://www.rbge.org.uk/visit/dawyck-botanic-garden/