The warren of tunnels was discovered on Saturday after a member of the public contacted Police Scotland, raising concerns that youths were digging holes in the sand dunes near to Newburgh Golf Club and voicing concerns for the safety of people using the area.
Audrey Clarke, Fishery Manager for the local Udny Trust, visited the scene and said she was “appalled” that local youths had put themselves in extreme danger by digging the tunnels.
A Police Scotland spokesman has since warned of the dangers at the local beauty spot. He explained: “A search of the area was carried and a hidden entrance leading to an extensive set of tunnels was found.
“These 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.”
The force spokesman continued: “Staff from the Newburgh Golf Club, using diggers, assisted in making the area safe by excavating the tunnels and filling in the area concerned.
“Newburgh residents have passed names of local youths seen carrying spades and other equipment near to the sand dunes over the weekend to Constable Ian Ivancic from Ellon Police Office. Constable Ivancic will be visiting the home addresses of the youths concerned to speak to them and their parents.”
He said: “The dunes are a naturally unstable environment and tunnelling would put lives at risk as the tunnels could collapse without warning, trapping persons in them under tons of sand or collapse as an unsuspecting member of the public walks over the dunes.”