The spectacular dunes system picked by Donald Trump for his golf resort in Aberdeenshire has been “partially destroyed” as a result of the course’s construction, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed.
Scottish Natural Heritage, which has been under pressure for years to speak out on the issue, now acknowledges that serious damage has been done to the site of special scientific interest (SSSI) at Foveran Links on the Menie estate, north of Aberdeen, since the course opened in 2012, the documents show.
As a result, Foveran’s SSSI status – given because of its unusual shifting sands and diverse plant life – now hangs in the balance.
“Construction of the new golf course involved earthworks, planting of trees, greens and fairways, drainage, irrigation and grass planting,” states one of the reports released by Scottish Natural Heritage inspectors. “This has affected the natural morphology of the dunes and interfered with natural processes. Most of its important geomorphological features have been lost or reduced to fragments. Nearby marine terraces have also been reduced to fragments.”
“These documents show that considerable damage has been done to Foveran Links, and that it is very unlikely that it will retain its SSSI status,” said Bob Ward, the policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, who obtained the reports under FoI. Ward has also asked the Scottish government to investigate whether proper environmental monitoring has been carried out at the site since 2012.