Expert Comment: Golf and the environmentTuesday 10 July 2012
Senior Lecturer in Geography, Paul Rooney expresses his views about the Trump International Golf Links as it prepares to open, in light of opposition to the course and criticism it damages the local environment.
'The Trump Organisation golf course development at Menie Links is a model of unsustainable development. It has destroyed one of the most valuable dynamic dunes in the UK. This was done while governments and environmentalists alike are working hard to try and conserve and promote similar moving dune features. Dynamic dunes are more resistant to erosion processes, cheaper to maintain, flexible and responsive, have higher natural values and are more sustainable.
'The Trump Organisation's claim that they have improved the environment, and not damaged it, is simply not true. It demonstrates their fundamental misunderstanding and disregard for the intrinsic nature of coastal dunes and their high natural values. Moving sand is the life blood of dunes. The Trump development has stabilised dunes and reduced the site to a mere shadow of its former self.
'It is perfectly possible for coastal dune conservation and golf to sit together comfortably. The lesson learnt for golf and nature conservation is that the Trump development at Menie is an outstanding example of how not to do it.'
Paul Rooney is a Senior Lecturer in the Geography Department at Liverpool Hope University. He is the Director of the UK Sand Dune and Shingle Network, and is on the Advisory Council and Chair of the Technical Commission for the Golf Environment Organisation.
Paul led ecological evidence for Scottish Natural Heritage (statutory agency) against the Trump development at the public inquiry in June 2008.