Kingsmeadows Logo

A conservation area

Built in 1796 by Sir John Hay, Kingsmeadows House and grounds constitute 7 of the 117 hectares of the Peebles Conservation Area – the largest designated conservation area in the Scottish Borders.

In building this estate, John Hay left a legacy for Peebles. Kingsmeadows House has undergone many incarnations from private residence to a World War II maternity hospital, serving the local community in a time of desperate need.

Now, in the midst of a global environmental catastrophe, with the threat of climate change and loss of biodiversity hanging over us, it is the woodland at Kingsmeadows that provides Sir John’s real legacy for the 21st Century.

Every tree in every conservation area in Scotland is protected by Section 172 (1) of the Planning Act, yet this does not protect them from development.

Kingsmeadows House

Image of Kingsmeadows House from George Washington Wilson & Co Collection, licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)

A wildlife corridor

Kingsmeadows is a strategically placed wildlife corridor through Peebles, connecting woodland to the north, east and south, including ancient woodlands at Janet’s Brae and linking two SBC-identified Key Green Spaces, Victoria and Whitestone Parks.

Tweed SSSI and SAC on Nature Scotland's SiteLink pap
Scottish Forestry Map Viewer Native Woodland Habitat Network

Designated woodland

The East Woods at Kingsmeadows have been designated part of Scottish Forestry’s Native Woodland Habitat Network because they link to surrounding woodlands and function as a wildlife corridor (Scottish Forestry publications here).

These woodlands have been recognised under Scottish policy (overseen by Forestry Scotland) as notable habitat of high biodiversity value where woodland cover should be increased to redress habitat fragmentation and prevent biodiversity loss.

The map on the left is available via the Scottish Forestry Map Viewer (you will need to zoom in and turn on the Native Woodland Habitat Network).