Fears for badgers over extending golf course
12 December 2003 - The Herald
By Raymond Duncan
A Hotel and country club's plans to extend its
championship golf course face opposition because they could impact on one of
Scotland's largest and most popular mammals.
The Marriott Dalmahoy Hotel, on the outskirts of Edinburgh,
whose guests have included Robbie Williams, the singer, wants to build two new
golf holes to increase the length of its East Course, which has hosted major
events such as the Solheim Cup.
The hotel and
country club opened in 1990 and has two courses designed by James Braid in 1927
and 1935. It wants to fell trees and clear shrubbery in the Muir o' Dean
woodland. Changes to six holes on the course are also planned.
The plans, however, have upset badger lovers who fear the
destruction of woodland will disturb several setts.
Alan Anderson, of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, said last night
the heating-up of the economy was leading to developers seeking more and more
sites for commercial returns.
"Badgers are one species that has the potential to be squeezed out. The
pressures on the countryside are intense.
The Edinburgh and Lothians Badger Group said the Muir o' Dean provided the main
woodland foraging for badgers there and it would be a great loss if it was
reduced in size to allow the golf course extension.
Midlothian Council advised that setts should be left
undisturbed and protected during and after development, while Scottish Natural
Heritage and Historic Scotland said any consent should be conditional on the
production and implementation of a detailed woodland management
Alan Henderson, Edinburgh's head of
planning and strategy, said the hotel had shown the woodland's preservation
could be achieved by its plan, and recommended councillors approve the
application subject to the management plan.
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