PARTS of the dunes at Foveran Links have lost their status as a nationally important protected wildlife site.
The news comes following a ruling by NatureScot. The public body’s protected areas committee concluded that, following the construction of the Trump International Golf Links course at the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire, the area no longer merits being retained as a site of special scientific interest (SSSI).
The decision was taken following a formal consultation by NatureScot on the future status of Foveran Links SSSI and on consideration of advice from the public body’s staff, other representations and independent specialist advice.
NatureScot said the ruling was not unexpected. It described the Foveran Links SSSI as a ‘very high quality’ example of a sand dune system characteristic of east Scotland, and was of ‘exceptional’ importance.
Eileen Stuart, NatureScot’s interim director of nature and climate change, said, “There is now no longer a reason to protect the dunes at Menie as they do not include enough of the special, natural features for which they were designated.
“Trump International Golf Links Scotland have undertaken to deliver nature conservation management on the golf course and we value the work they have done to protect the remaining rare habitats and the rare plants on their site however they no longer have sufficient scientific interest to merit special protection.”