Forestry Commission Scotland‘s proposals, to comprise four linked buildings, have been submitted for planning approval. If agreed, they would be completed by summer 2008.

The buildings, to be known as Glentress Peel due to historical connections in the Borders area, have been designed to act as a gateway for the 300,000 people visiting the forest every year. They feature a locally harvested Douglas fir structure and timber cladding.

“All the buildings are to be built on sustainable principles and will be a showcase for the use of timber,” said the Commission. “The frame of the building takes its form from the surrounding trees, demonstrating the strength and beauty of timber.”

The development will include an entrance building with café, a bike shop and bike hire services and showers, toilets, changing areas and information services. An existing house will be transformed to provide a showcase centre for wildlife watching and to interpret issues such as climate change, sustainability and safe mountain biking.