Warning after tunnel discovery in dunes

The network of tunnels was discovered in sand dunes near Newburgh Golf Club.
The network of tunnels was discovered in sand dunes near Newburgh Golf Club.

A warning has gone out after youths dug tunnels underneath sand dunes in Aberdeenshire.

Police say the youngsters put lives at risk by digging holes near Newburgh Golf Club.

A search of the area was carried out when the alarm was raised by a member of the public, and a hidden entrance was discovered leading to a network of tunnels.

The tunnels were dug deep into the sand dunes, shored up with pieces of wood and found to be in an extremely dangerous and unstable condition.

Golf club staff using diggers helped to make the area safe by excavating the tunnels and filling in the area.

Audrey Clarke, Udny Trust fishery manager, was appalled that local youths had put themselves and members of the public at risk by digging the tunnels.

She said the Newburgh beach area is a North-east beauty spot and is regularly used by local families, children, bird watchers, fishermen and dog walkers.

She added that people should act responsibly in the beach area.

The names of youngsters seen carrying spades and other equipment near to the sand dunes have been passed to police and an officer will be visiting the youngsters at their homes to speak to them and their parents.

Constable Ian Ivancic, of Ellon Police Office, said that the dunes are a naturally unstable environment.

Tunnelling would put lives at risk as they could collapse without warning, trapping people under tons of sand or collapse as an unsuspecting member of the public walks over the dunes.