This booklet demonstrates that golf and nature can coexist: it is not a question of either/or. Where many parkland courses are highly manicured to create an ambience appropriate to the location, links courses, to all intents and purposes, already have this. Usually actions such as radical bulldozing, shrub clearance, artiﬁcial planting, drainage and reclamation are unnecessary in links. Consequently the natural habitats together with the ﬂora and fauna – the circumstance that would be there without the course – remain more or less intact. Dune habitats and many of the plant and animal species found there are of important conservation value.
Three of the sixteen EU conservation priority habitats are dune systems and strenuous eﬀorts have been made over the past decade or so to preserve the best remaining examples. In a few cases (as at Inch in Co. Kerry) development of any kind – including a golf course – has been denied due to the conservation value of the dune system. Where a course already exists a sympathetic policy can signiﬁcantly enhance the conservation potential. Lahinch is therefore playing its part in conserving dune biodiversity in the west of Ireland while providing ﬁrst-class recreation.