Callous thieves have stolen donations from a historic north-east castle.
The donations box outside the walled garden at Fyvie Castle, near Turriff, was taken apart and the money inside stolen.
Hi everyone, we were so disappointed this morning to discover that overnight someone has taken apart our honesty box…
Gordon Thomson, head gardener at the National Trust for Scotland property, said: “One of our other gardeners came into work on Friday morning and we know it happened sometime the previous evening.
“We guess there would be about £30 in the box.
“The money goes back into the organisation and it all helps to keep the gardens going.
“It costs a lot to maintain the gardens and we are a charity.
“It’s not a huge amount of money but it’s the principle.
“For someone to break in and take it is incredibly frustrating.”
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
As well as reporting the theft to police, castle staff have also highlighted the growing issue of antisocial behaviour from “boy racers” who come “tearing up” the car park and driveway of the historic property.
Mr Thomson said: “Boy racers come tearing up the driveway at excessive speeds. They go into the car park and do doughnuts.
“It’s a big problem that has been getting worse lately.”
Councillor Alastair Forsyth, who represents Turriff and district, said: “It’s disappointing that folk should be in a position to steal money from a very good cause.
“That money goes back into the upkeep of Fyvie Gardens. It’s open to the public and they get in there to enjoy some very fine scenery.
“It’s very disappointing to hear and it would be extraordinarily good if we could find the culprits.”
A Police Scotland spokesman said officers are appealing for witnesses following the theft of a donations box containing a “mid two-figure sum of money” from Fyvie Castle between 4pm on Thursday and 8am on Friday.
PC Jordan Gray said: “This appears to have been an isolated and opportunistic theft.
“Given the remote location, it is thought those involved would have used a vehicle and we are appealing to anyone who saw anything unusual or suspicious between the times given to contact police.
“Car enthusiasts are known to use the area on occasion and we would ask them to contact us if they saw a vehicle they would not recognise or if they have any information in relation to the theft.”