A SUGGESTION has been put forward to build a memorial garden in Wilton Cemetery.
It came from members of Burnfoot Community Council who had previously been told there would be no scope for an additional cemetery to be built on the estate.
As there are currently no new plots at Wilton, interments are being carried out at Wellogate Cemetery.
But with the impending opening of the Borders’ first crematorium at Melrose, an idea was put forward for a memorial garden instead.
Community councillor Alex Martin said it could be situated in the bottom right-hand corner of the cemetery.
“The area is over 100m long and 50m wide. It’s bordered by the fences between the houses at Wilton Hill and the Waverley Walk,” he said.
“It has many nice mature trees and a good clear area in the middle.
“There are no burials in this area as I suspect the ground is too soft. But it could be ideal for a memorial garden and memorial wall.”
Local councillor Stuart Marshall backed the plans and believed it could become a great asset for the whole town.
He said: “I think this is a great idea and it’s not something that would be specifically for Burnfoot. If it’s the only memorial garden in town then anybody could use it, from Denholm or Lilliesleaf.
“There are people who have lived in Burnfoot all their lives who I know would have liked nothing more than to be buried in Burnfoot. That obviously can’t happen if the cemetery is full, but with the new crematorium opening soon then there is a chance they might be able to have their ashes scattered in a memorial garden.”
Funding for any project could be sought through the Small Schemes budget and it was agreed to follow the matter up with council officials.
Mr Martin added: “I know that nowadays everything comes down to cost, but this area could be developed slowly as needs dictated.
“As councillors I believe we would be failing if we didn’t try.”
A site meeting took place on Monday with Councillor Marshall, representatives from Burnfoot Community Council and council officials, and it is understood that three possible sites have been identified.
Jason Hedley, SBLocal neighbourhood manager, said: “The environment and infrastructure department has been approached by local councillors, who’ve advised that the community council is interested in establishing the garden of remembrance. We have responded to say we would be willing to work with them on such a project.”