A footpath running next to Ellon Castle Gardens has been closed for safety reasons.
The move follows a recent inspection of the garden which revealed that one of the walls was in a potentially unsafe condition.
It was decided to close the route, which leads to the nearby academy, with immediate effect.
Plans are progressing to transfer ownership of the castle gardens to a new body that will run it on behalf of the community.
Sandy McDougall, a member of the group overseeing the transfer, said that one of the consultants working with the group noticed last week that part of the wall was bulging over the footpath.
He added: “Following a recent inspection of the garden, the interim owners have taken steps to protect public safety by closing a footpath leading to the academy.
“On close inspection one of the walls of the garden was found to be in a potentially unsafe condition and, with the help of the academy and Aberdeenshire Council, the footpath has been closed with immediate effect.
“Once the new organisation has been formed, it will determine whether temporary measures can be taken to secure the wall and the footpath be reopened pending longer term permanent repairs.”
Discussions will take place with Historic Scotland on how best to carry out the remedial work.
The gardens are owned by Scotia Homes and Barratt Homes and they convened meetings during the summer with representatives from the local community with a view to eventually transferring the historic attraction to a new organisation which would run it on behalf of local people.
Scotia and Barratt said from the outset that restoring the gardens to their former glory and allowing access to the public would take a number of years.
Confirmation that restoration work was under discussion was welcomed by townspeople.