Boy racers are flouting lockdown restrictions by speeding around the grounds of a 16th century castle in Aberdeenshire.
Crathes Castle in Deeside has been a popular destination throughout lockdown for residents looking to relax by taking a stroll through its scenic surroundings.
However, as a result of the acts of a “selfish minority” who have been causing chaos in the car park in recent weeks, the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), which cares for the castle, is now considering restricting access.
A spokesman for the NTS said: “We’ve been happy to maintain access to the grounds of Crathes Castle to ensure local people are able to use it for exercise and recreation during this period of lockdown.
“That’s why we are are so disappointed that a selfish minority have used this as an opportunity for anti-social, potentially dangerous behaviour.
“There have been various instances of ‘boy racers’ making use of the car park in the evenings and at night, most recently last Sunday, placing themselves and others at risk.
“We have contacted the police but if the situation continues we may have to take other steps.
“Barring any other alternatives, we are prepared to close off the car park outwith normal opening hours.
“We appreciate that this may disappoint many people who are enjoying Crathes in these difficult times and we hope we can avoid having to do this.”
Banchory and Mid Deeside councillor Anne Ross said the grounds of the castle have been vital for the people during lockdown.
She said: “The selfishness of a few are spoiling a fantastic resource for the local people of Crathes and Banchory.
“There has been a problem over the last few months with anti-social drivers around the Banchory and Crathes areas, of which the police are aware, and have been taking action.
“Indeed, cars have been seized.
“I would emphasise that a lot of these drivers are not adolescents but people of a working age, who come from outwith our local area.
“The grounds are widely used by local dog walkers and people who want to enjoy the peace and quiet of the estate, and they would be greatly disadvantaged if the gates had to be closed.
“I would appeal to those responsible for such anti-social behaviour, to be considerate of others.”
She added: “If anyone sees any antisocial driving or behaviour, I would ask them to report the incident at the time it’s occurring, and obtain as much information as possible such as registration numbers, vehicle descriptions, driver descriptions.”
Anyone wishing to be anonymous can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
A police spokeswoman said: “Anyone with concerns regarding antisocial behaviour can be assured officers will investigate the matter and we will continue to work with our partners to resolve any issues.”