Donald Trump's controversial Scottish golf course has been criticised in a new report by the RSPB for damaging the environment.

The wildlife charity's State of the Nature report, launched by naturalist and TV presenter Sir David Attenborough, singled out Trump International Golf Links at the Menie Estae, Aberdeenshire, for harming nature in the area.

The development has been criticised for its impact on the Foveran Links, a local Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Loading article content

Aedán Smith, head of planning and development at the RSPB, said the area was one of very few specialist environments north of the Border for scientific research.

The report, written by 25 wildlife organisations found 60% of species studied, declined over recent decades and one in 10 species is under threat of disappearing from our shores.

It said: "Sand dunes and shingle areas have little value for agriculture, but are prime sites for tourist developments.

"Such developments often result in the loss of rare invertebrates, lichens and the rich orchid populations of wet sun slacks.

"What wildlife does survive is often left marooned on dune islands in a sea of development. Building work also interferes with the dynamics of dune systems."

The Trump International course near Balmedie was singled out in the report, because part of it was built on the Foveran Links SSSI.

The report said: "In recent years, damaging developments have been given the green light at Sovereign Harbour in East Sussex, Foveran Links SSSI Aberdeenshire and Carlyon Bay in Cornwall."

Trump's executive vice-president, George Sorial, said: "To date we are the only ones that have studied, preserved and actively managed that site, threatened by years of shooting birds, erosion and ongoing urban pressure.

"The dunes have now been preserved for generations to enjoy with 95% of the SSSI untouched.

"The RSPB should spend some time studying the facts and should actually visit the site before publishing such nonsense and fiction."