LONDON.- U.S. President Donald Trump’s family business partially destroyed legally protected sand dunes in Scotland when it built a golf course north of Aberdeen, according to government reports released in response to a freedom of information request.
Scottish Natural Heritage, which monitors the country’s sensitive and scientifically important sites, said that construction of Trump International Golf Links Scotland “led to the direct loss” of up to 68 hectares (168 acres) of the 205-hectare Foveran Links site.
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The damaged and destroyed drifts, one of the best examples of moving sand dunes in Britain, developed over 4,000 years, according to the agency.
“The construction has removed the vast majority of the geomorphological interest within the vicinity of the golf course,” Scottish Natural Heritage said in the documents.
The documents were released following a public records request made by Bob Ward, policy director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics. Britain’s Observer newspaper first reported the studies.
Trump International Executive Vice President Sarah Malone said the company owned less than 5 percent of the site of special scientific interest, or SSSI, most of which remains untouched.
“As for the small portion that we do own, no other SSSI site in the land has seen more environmental care or investment,” Malone said in a statement. “The site was ignored until Trump took ownership, and is now celebrated and enjoyed by many.”