Thanks to all who sent Robin McKie's Guardian shocker that running bulldozers, installing irrigation systems and planting new turfgrasses has fundamentally altered the sensitive dunes at Foveran Links, home now to Trump International Links north of Aberdeen.
The news here is in how long it has taken to reach this conclusion publicly and how it might impact recently announced plans to go forward with the remainder of the development.
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.”