A tourist group has been praised for helping bring an increasing number of visitors to experience the sights and sounds of the Mearns.
Visit Mearns was established to bring together local groups and attractions to drum up interest in the area, mirroring larger national organisations.
And the group has had a major impact on the region since it was formed, with Dunnottar Castle enjoying record visitor numbers of 110,272 people last year.
Mairi Gougeon, MSP for Angus North and Mearns, has praised the network and also a similar organisation, the Angus Tourism Collective.
She said: “Visit Scotland, Visit Aberdeenshire and Visit Angus have worked hard over the years to promote our part of Scotland.
“That work can be complemented and built on by the on-the-ground local knowledge of community organisations like Angus Tourism Cooperative and Visit Mearns.
“The people in these groups have this area at their heart.
“They want more people to discover our hidden gems, more people to taste our wonderful produce and more to enjoy the stunning scenery that we can often take for granted.”
Mrs Gougeon’s comments came as a new holiday lodge complex opened by Stonehaven Golf Club, looking out over the North Sea.
The £1million scheme is owned by former Hydrasun chief executive Bob McAlpine.
Visit Mearns chairman Nigel Taylor added: “Visit Mearns was established to bring the communities of the area together at a local level.
“We want to coordinate the many events and promote attractions and activities, with the aim of presenting the Mearns as a popular visitor destination.
“This will provide benefits to the wider community and it has potential to significantly contribute to the economic development of the area.
“Visit Mearns’ efforts are currently all volunteer led and we would encourage all those interested in the local community, tourism and the economic development of the Mearns, to support us.”