Satellite photos show how Trump wrecked a sensitive sand dune system in Scotland to build a luxury golf course

Satellite images before-and-after showing the destruction and recovery of sand dunes following Donald Trump's Aberdeenshire course. Satellite image 2021 Maxar Technologies
Photos of the environment before and after Donald Trump's Scottish course are shown in these photos

Trump opened the course in 2012 on a sand dunes system despite strong local opposition.

Satellite photos taken recently show the dramatic changes in the landscape since the opening of the course.

Donald Trump, a New York real estate magnate, purchased land along the coast of Aberdeenshire in northeast Scotland to build "the best golf course in the world."

Although there was opposition from local residents to the plan, Trump maintained a close relationship with Alex Salmond, Scotland's former first minister. The plan was approved by the Scottish government in 2008. They cited the country's economic benefits.

Trump continued to push forward despite warnings from others that the 18-hole course would cause damage to the sand dunes surrounding it. He stated: "We will stabilize them." They will remain there for ever. It will be more environmentally friendly after the course is completed than before.

As conservationists had predicted, however, the area on which Trump International Golf Links was constructed was almost completely destroyed. Officials declared in December 2020 that Trump's resort's coastal sand dunes would lose their protection as an environmental site. They had been partially destroyed.

Insider obtained before-and after photos from Maxar, a satellite technology company. These show the dramatic destruction to the Foveran Links sand dunes in March 2010 and April 2021.

March 2010,

Satellite images of Foveran Links' dunes taken in March 2010 show them in their natural state.

View of the area in which Donald Trump's Aberdeenshire Golf Course would be built. Photographed March 2010. Satellite image 2021 Maxar Technologies.

According to Foveran Links, the site had areas of semi-fixed sand and dunes, as well marshes and low-lying areas known as dune slacks.

These features are more clearly seen in a closer photo of the dunes:

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Closer view of the area that contains the sand dunes at Foveran Links, where Donald Trump's Aberdeenshire course would be constructed. Satellite image 2021 Maxar Technologies.

NatureScot, Scotland’s conservation agency said Foveran Links was a "very high-quality example" of a sand dunes system that is typical of north east Scotland and was important for coastal landforms.

April 2021

Photos taken at the course in April 2021 reveal how many of Trump's sand dunes features, located in the southern third Foveran Links, were partially destroyed.

Here's a quick overview of the area.

A view of the area that Donald Trump's Aberdeenshire Golf Course and the demolished sand dunes ecosystem was taken in April 2021. Satellite image 2021 Maxar Technologies

These photos are side-by-side and show a zoomed view of the 18-hole links golf course (right), as well as what it looked like prior to construction (left).

Photos of the coastline stretch where Donald Trump's Aberdeenshire golf course was built. Satellite image 2021 Maxar Technologies.

"They have just killed it as a natural habitat."

Bob Ward, LSE's policy and communications director, explained to Insider how the destruction of the dunes was caused by building on top.

He said that Sand dunes are a dynamic system. They're wind-driven so they move backwards and forwards.

They must stabilize the dunes when building a golf course. They have essentially put vegetation on top and placed physical restrictions on them to make sure the dunes don't move. It's no longer a dynamic system.

Trump International Golf Links claimed that they had stabilized them to protect them. They've essentially killed it as a natural ecosystem.

Insider reached out to Trump Organization for comment but they did not respond.

Business Insider has the original article.