Appeal launched to save Robert Burns' Alloway birthplace
An urgent appeal has been launched to stop the first home of Robert Burns falling into disrepair.
The world-renowned poet was born in the Alloway cottage in 1759 and lived there until he was seven years old.
But now a £100,000 public appeal has been launched to save the visitor attraction.
The cottage's thatched roof, walls and chimney all need vital repairs, The National Trust for Scotland has revealed.
Caroline Smith, operations manager at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, said: "At the back of the home, the traditional thatched roof has developed significant tears and has worn away.
"Towards the front, moss is also beginning to grow, collecting rainwater and rotting the thatch underneath.
"The north-west gable is starting to crack, letting the wind and rain in and damaging the interior plasterwork."
Burns' father William Burness built the two-roomed cottage in 1757, two years before the famous poet's birth.
As well as the Bard's birthplace, the cottage was also the scene of a meeting - five years after Burns' death - of several of his closest friends for the very first Burns supper.
The cottage has been in the care of the National Trust for Scotland since 2008 but the charity now says it needs help to stop it getting into a severe state of disrepair.
The trust has a plan to repair the cottage in stages.
A wall at the end of the cottage will be propped up and pulled back in line with the rest of the building.
Cracks along the walls and windows will be filled, and the roof rethatched and the outer walls re-limewashed, weatherproofing the cottage.