A consecration ceremony has been held for a new cemetery at Balvalachlan to serve the community of Callander and surrounding villages.

Callander Cemetery has been in existence for over 100 years and the burial ground was nearing full capacity, with no option to extend the facility.

Stirling Council undertook an extensive search for suitable new ground and purchased land off the B822 Mollins Road at Balvalachlan, located within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

The full potential of the new cemetery will be developed through time to offer a range of features in addition to traditional interment.

There will be dedicated sections for the interment of cremated remains, and eco-friendly burials will be available in the woodland section.

The new cemetery has 49 car parking spaces, including six disabled spaces, while a new bus stop has also been created on the A81 opposite the facility.

Stirling Council leader, Councillor Scott Farmer said: “I am privileged to have opened this excellent new facility which will provide an essential service for the local communities.

“Saying our final goodbyes to a loved one is never easy, but this new cemetery in such an idyllic location will help ease that experience for our local families.

“The site chosen is one of outstanding beauty, with bio diverse rich open space, and the land will help sustain Callander and the surrounding villages for the next 500 years.”

Depute Leader of Stirling Council, Councillor Danny Gibson added: “We are committed to delivering public services that are at the very heart of our local communities and by investing in this new cemetery at Balvalachlan we are meeting the needs of the surrounding areas.

“The cemetery has incorporated many of the original natural features to create a peaceful setting that sits comfortably within the wider landscape, while offering a range of features that are essential to local families.”