Trump Golf Course Destroyed Protected Scottish Ecosystem

The president promised to protect the unique natural area when he received permission to develop a resort there.

2 minute read

August 3, 2018, 11:00 AM PDT

By Elana Eden


Scotland, United Kingdom

By iweta0077 / Shutterstock

Trump's golf resort in Aberdeenshire "partially destroyed" a protected natural area, according to documents obtained from Scottish Natural Heritage.

Foveran Links, a unique stretch of sand dunes north of Aberdeen, was deemed a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1984 because of its complex system of shifting sands and unusual diversity of plant life. But Trump International Golf Links, which opened in 2012 and encompass the site, has damaged these features so extensively that the area may no longer qualify for special status.

Although the designation usually precludes significant development, Trump won approval for the controversial resort with promises of economic development and environmental protection, writer Robin McKie explains. So far, that vision has not been realized.

Trump originally won approval for his “Trump Estate” encompassing the protected dunes because he pledged to create up to 6,000 jobs by building a five-star hotel with 450 rooms, shops, a sports complex, timeshare flats, two golf courses and housing estates there. However, so far he has constructed only one 18-hole course, which is open seven months a year, a practice range, and a small clubhouse with a restaurant and shop ... He also claimed that, when completed, the land there would be “environmentally enhanced and better than it was before”.

For his part, the president recently announced plans to invest another £150 million in building out the project. It is one of two courses he owns in Scotland.

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