A north-east castle, which has been derelict for many years, is on track to be open to the public by the summer.
Ellon Castle and its gardens were once one of the jewels in the community’s crown but the site was left to deteriorate for a number of years.
However, in 2015, a community trust was handed the keys to the building and its sprawling gardens.
The group has since set about breathing new life into the property, so it can become a prime attraction.
The restoration has just reached a major milestone with its external walls repaired and secured, and it has passed all health and safety checks for welcoming in the public.
Now teams of volunteers are beginning to plant in the gardens to restore them to their former glory.
Alan Cameron, the trust’s director of community involvement, said the re-opening would be a major boost for the town.
He added: “It will be a place that people can come and enjoy a beautiful and calm atmosphere, among the plants and trees and wonderful wildlife. We have a great range of birdlife and insects.
“We have tried as far as possible to retain the original features, while also modernising the site too, so it’s a balance between conservation and modernisation really – for example, we will make all the paths wheelchair-accessible.”
The castle dates back to the 1400s, while the gardens themselves were created in 1715.
Over the years the grounds – which are overshadowed by the ruins of the castle – have become overgrown.
The next major steps to get the attraction open in June are the construction of a toilet block, a car park consisting of 30 spaces, and making the paths wheelchair-friendly.
Water supply, drainage and electric outlets have all been installed.
Ultimately, the trust wants to create a visitor centre, restaurant and heritage centre, as well as a children’s play area.
Currently, membership is available for a small annual fee and this will allow anyone who joins the chance to visit the garden at any time when it is open.
Anybody looking to volunteer to help with the castle trust should contact Mr Cameron at email@example.com