The construction of one of Donald Trump's Scottish golf courses 'partially destroyed' the area's 'spectacular and diverse' dune system, it has been revealed.
The U.S. President, 72, has two golf courses in Scotland - International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire and Turnberry in Ayrshire.
When Trump International Golf Links was being built there were huge concerns about what construction could do to the unusual dune system there.
Scotland Natural Heritage has refused to speak out on the issue for years, but Freedom of Information requests have now confirmed conservationists' fears.
Inspectors have now said building work had a negative effect on the 'natural morphology of the dunes and interfered with natural processes' at Foveran Links - a designated site of special scientific interest (SSSI).
One said in the FOI response: 'Most of its important geomorphological features have been lost or reduced to fragments.
'Nearby marine terraces have also been reduced to fragments.'
Bob Ward, of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and Environment, was the one who obtained the FOI.
He told the Observer: 'These documents show that considerable damage has been done to Foveran Links, and that it is very unlikely that it will retain its SSSI status.'
If experts conclude the unusual shifting sand and diverse flora and fauna of the site, north of Aberdeen, have been ruined, its special status could be taken away.
If its SSSI status is removed it could jeapordise Trump's plans to invest £150 ($196) million in the resort.
The Trump Organisation says the £150 ($196) million proposals include 50 cottages and a sports centre with shopping and equestrian facilities.
There will be two to five-bedroom cottages as well as townhouses and mansions, with property prices beginning at £295,000 ($386,482) and going up into the millions.
The President was only allowed to develop the area of Aberdeenshire in 2012 on the promise he would create 6,000 jobs with a five-star 450-room hotel among other facilities.
But so far there is just a golf course there, which is only open for seven months of the year, and a 16-room boutique hotel inside the converted Menie Manor.
When Trump pressed on with plans to develop the site, he said the environmental precautions he took were 'first class' and the land would be 'environmentally and enhanced and better than it was before'.
The President encountered protesters when he played at his other course, Turnberry, on his state visit last month.
They shouted 'no Trump, no KKK, no racist USA', but he simply waved back.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.