The conservation alliance campaigning to save Coul Links is appealing to members of the public to submit objections to the golf course proposals ahead of this Friday’s deadline. Efforts to save the outstanding place for nature have already seen 954 objections submitted and the alliance is pushing for this to top the 1000 mark before submissions to Highland Council close on 22nd December.
Coul Links contains some of the rarest habitats in Europe and is protected at local, national and European levels. A range of species can be found there throughout the year from wildlife such as small blue butterflies, skylarks, otters and migrant geese, and plants such as coral root orchid and purple milk vetch. Coul Links is also home to rare species such as the Fonseca’s seed fly which is only found in East Sutherland and a colony of coastal juniper trees. The coastal dune habitat is one of the last of its kind left in Scotland and would be lost forever should the proposals get the go-ahead.
The conservation organisations that make up the alliance reflect the diversity of species that would be impacted by the golf course; Buglife, Butterfly Conservation Scotland, Marine Conservation Society, Plantlife Scotland, RSPB Scotland and Scottish Wildlife Trust.
Craig Macadam, Director, Buglife Scotland said: “Scotland has a fantastic opportunity here to prove how much it does care about its environment and how committed it is to protecting the best places in the country for nature. Let’s show that we have learnt something from what’s happened at Donald Trump’s golf course in Menie where a similar habitat was destroyed and the level of damage has been so severe that the SSSI designation is now under review.
“The response to the call to save Coul Links has been outstanding and reflects just how widespread the well-founded concerns about the environment damage that would result here are. There’s still time to make your voice heard by Highland Council about this – please do get your objection in this week and make it clear to them that Coul Links should be saved.”
The range of objections already submitted include ones from local residents, people living across Scotland, many different conservation organisations including Ramblers Scotland, The National Trust for Scotland and the IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas, statutory body Scottish Natural Heritage, and Scotland’s principal environmental regulators SEPA.
Davie Black, Conservation Manager, Plantlife Scotland said: “We’ve been very heartened by the number of people who have already submitted objections. It’s a fantastic demonstration of just how much people in the local area and across Scotland value our natural heritage and cannot be ignored. 1000 voices united against these proposals would send an incredibly strong powerful message to Highland Council that this crucial place for nature is not to be disregarded and must be saved from this golf course threat.”
Objections must be submitted via the Highland Council website here, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org quoting application reference 17/04601/FUL by 22nd December.