Trump’s Golf Course Opens for Business

Two of Scotland’s top golfers teed off with Donald Trump at the opening of his controversial £1bn golf course in Aberdeenshire today, despite calls for a boycott from conservationists.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust wrote an open letter urging golfers Colin Montgomerie, Paul Lawrie and Martin Laird not to play at the Trump International Golf Links course at Menie Estate on the grounds it was built on “a unique, protected area” with “nationally important landforms and wildlife”. Lawrie was unable to attend because of bad weather.

The course is situated on a stretch of 4,000 year-old coastal sand dunes that make up a section of the Foveran Links Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a status that should protect the site from development. Despite fierce protest from environment groups, Trump was given the go-ahead for “stabilisation” of the dunes to construct the resort in 2008, as Scottish ministers deemed the economic benefits to outweigh the environmental costs.

An action group, Tripping Up Trump, has supported local residents opposed to the construction, and a film company called Montrose Pictures produced a documentary following the development. You’ve Been Trumped was shown in cinemas in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London last weekend to coincide with the course’s opening. A trailer for the film places footage of Trump stating “we’ve had tremendous support from the environmental groups”, alongside a spokesperson for the RSPB explaining that “the whole package is wrong”.

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Menie Voices, TUT's newspaper that went out to 40,000 homes