Fly-tippers who dumped junk on the grounds of an iconic north-east castle have been branded “morons.”
A wheelbarrow, suspected asbestos, a mattress and other items were dumped at Slains Castle near Cruden Bay, a site claimed to have been the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula.
It is not known when the rubbish was dumped at the B-listed clifftop structure which was built in the 16th century before being remodelled in the 19th century.
Local leaders have condemned those behind the fly-tipping at the site which the people responsible “morons” and having “a total disregard for our beautiful environment.”
Peterhead South and Cruden councillor Stephen Smith said: “I just don’t understand why, if people have taken the time and effort to load up their vehicle with rubbish like this, they don’t just drive the extra few miles and dispose of it sensibly.
“Slains Castle is particularly popular just now with a lot of people choosing to visit and the actions of the morons who do this sort of thing spoils it for visitors and causes problems for the landowner.”
His ward colleague Alan Fakley added: “I greatly condemn this criminal behaviour, to fly-tip is bad enough but to do it at Slains Castle is offensive, crass and a total disregard for our beautiful environment.
“I really hope the perpetrators are caught and dealt with in a most severe manner.”
An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said: “Not only does fly-tipping spoil our enjoyment of our countryside, but it also poses a very serious threat to people, livestock and the wider environment. There is absolutely no excuse for fly-tipping – it is simply a blatant disregard for the rules, vital safety regulations and, in the case of some organised offenders, an opportunity for economic gain.”
“You should always report fly-tipping, whether you know who dumped it or not, so it can be removed. If you own the land where waste has been dumped, it’s up to you to get rid of the mess legally but Aberdeenshire Council may still wish to investigate so you should contact them.
“You can report fly-tipping by calling our Wasteline on 03456 081207.”
The octagonal hall in Slains Castle even has a look-a-like in Stoker’s most famous work and is mentioned when Jonathan Harker is shown to his room in the count’s castle.
Bram Stoker visited the north-east 13 times and even opened the Peterhead flower show in 1904 and spent a night at the Garden Arms Hotel in Gardenstown.