Fence erected ‘due to antisocial behaviour’
A golf club has controversially erected a seven feet high fence on a public right of way after suffering thousands of pounds-worth of damage by vandals and irresponsible behaviour by some members of the public.
Prestwick St Cuthbert Golf Club in Ayrshire said criminals had caused more than £15,000 of damage in less than five years, according to the Daily Record.
The spiked fence was also built to combat antisocial and irresponsible behaviour from some members of the public – which had resulted in club members suffering abuse, dogs fouling on the course and people putting themselves at risk of being hit by golf balls.
Club secretary Jim Jess said: “The club has no problem with responsible users of the right of way, and neither do we have a problem with people ‘playing the course for free’.
“The fence was erected purely to combat the high levels of theft and vandalism we have experienced in the last few years – this currently totals over £15,000 since May 2009.
“There is also an antisocial element who abuse and intimidate our lady and elderly members and deliberately place themselves at risk from golf balls, as well as irresponsible dog-walkers who let their dogs run free and foul on the course.
“Incidents of theft, vandalism and anti-social behaviour ceased immediately.”
However, following a public outcry and the threat of legal action by the Ayrshire branch of the Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society due to the location of the fence being on a public right of way, the club has agreed to install a gate – although it could be permanently closed.
Jim said: “The club has now made an application for the right of way to be formally diverted.
“In the meantime we have, as a goodwill gesture to the many responsible users of the path, re-opened the original route.
“Sadly, the thefts and vandalism have begun again with approximately £3,000 in costs incurred since the fence was taken down.
“We will continue to welcome all responsible users of the right of way footpath, though would remind them to take care when crossing the fairways as golf courses can be dangerous places.”