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Marine Conservation Society joins campaign to protect Coul Links from development

Last modified: 23 September 2016

Little tern fishing

Coul Links is important for little terns and many other species of bird

Image: Graham Catley

The Marine Conservation Society has become the fifth conservation organisation to speak out against a proposal to build a golf course at Coul Links in east Sutherland.

Calum Duncan, Head of Conservation Scotland for the Marine Conservation Society said, “Scotland is of European importance for sand dune systems and Coul Links is one of few in Scotland and across the UK that remain almost entirely undisturbed. We think they should stay that way as befitting a nationally and internationally important site, so that the local community, visitors and rare wildlife can share and enjoy them for generations to come.”

The proposal has shocked conservationists and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, RSPB Scotland, Buglife and Plantlife Scotland have already come together to campaign against the proposal. Last month they wrote to the developers urging them to reconsider their plans for Coul Links.

Bruce Wilson, Senior Policy Officer, Scottish Wildlife Trust said, “The recently published State of Nature Report gives a clear warning about the loss and fragmentation of coastal habitats, and demonstrates how unsustainable development is harming Scotland's wildlife and habitats. 

“A very significant proportion of the undisturbed dune system at Coul Links will be irreversibly damaged if this proposal goes ahead. It is almost inconceivable that we are faced with the loss of such a precious place. Hopefully lessons have been learned from the Scottish Government's approval of Trump International Links in Aberdeenshire, which has been a disaster for another nationally important sand dune system."

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