Rangers have issued a warning to the general public after a party balloon was found on an Aberdeenshire mountainside.
Workers from the Mar Lodge Estate, designated as a national nature reserve, found the item 850 metres up on Coire Etchachan as they collected willow catkins for a restoration project.
After making the discovery, the nature reserve took to social media to warn the public that floating balloons can injure animals and damage the natural environment.
The estate said: “We were back up in rugged Coire Etchachan earlier this week, collecting willow catkins for the montane willow project.
“While we were rummaging around the boulders we also found another crashed party balloon, at around 850m altitude.
“This is our second such balloon this season, which was found high on a remote mountainside.
“However, although it was found at least 15km from the nearest population centre, helium balloons are capable of travelling much farther than that.
“Balloons released in the UK have been found as far afield as Laos and even Australia.
“So please spread the word that these balloons don’t just disappear when they float away.
“They can land in remote places that are ecologically sensitive, can cause injuries to wildlife, and ultimately litter our landscapes when they fall back to earth.”