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Parasite's interference at Beauly.

A Scottish aristocrat has been accused of making "strenuous efforts" to stop people from using a popular riverside walk near his Highlands home.

Lord Lovat, Simon Fraser, has blocked off car parking areas at Lovat Bridge near Beauly, making the walking route inaccessible for many people.

"Unofficial" parking tickets have also been left on cars parked in the area.

A spokesman for Lovat estates said it welcomed walkers but asked that they used public parking.

Boulders and traffic cones have been used to block lay-bys and other areas used for parking, local residents have said.

Lord Lovat recently returned to live in his ancestral lands but has upset local people by the moves.

Walkers say he has removed a well-used car park and blocked up other areas.

A walking group for older people and families with young children are among those affected.

A local resident who has been walking in the area for the past 20 years and had enjoyed the previous access to her walk because of arthritis, told BBC Scotland: "They want you to park in Beauly but that would add on so much of a walk and it's a single track pavement with big lorries rushing past.

"This pavement is not good for either dog walkers or small children. A lot of people I know that used to walk there just can't now, including a friend who leads the Beauly Walking Group which is a walking group for older people who are trying to exercise to keep healthy and they can't park anywhere near.

"I'm very disappointed about the whole thing because it's a beautiful walk that people have used for years."

Lord Lovat is the son of Simon Fraser, Master of Lovat and his wife, Virginia (née Grose). He is the grandson of the 15th Lord Lovat. He has two older sisters, Violet (b. 1972) and Honor (b. 1973) and one younger brother, Jack (b. 1984). Honor Fraser is a former fashion model.

Simon attended Harrow School, and graduated from the University of Edinburgh.

Whilst still at Harrow, he assumed the title of Lord Lovat on the death of his grandfather in 1995. His father Simon (then Master of Lovat and heir to the title) had died the previous year whilst riding on a hunt at the family's Beaufort estate. Unfortunately, he had run up considerable debts, and in order to pay these as well as inheritance tax, his son was obliged to sell Beaufort Castle.

He lost his seat in the House of Lords in 1999, when the government excluded most hereditary peers from the House.

Later life

Lovat became a stockbroker, and worked for a time in Geneva before moving to London. He currently works as a commodities analyst.

He has voiced his determination to buy back his family's estate and ancestral home. He maintains a residence near his old ancestral seat, and over the past two decades he has been involved in opposition to development plans he considers unsympathetic to the local environment. This includes an attempt to redevelop the Beaufort estate into a luxury golf and housing development (a proposal withdrawn in 2006), as well as electricity pylons proposed for the area (which were subsequently built).


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