Michael Forbes (farmer)

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Michael Forbes (born circa 1952) is a farmer, part-time salmon fisherman and quarry worker from near Balmedie in Aberdeenshire, Scotland who became known after his refusal to sell his land to billionaire Donald Trump who is planning to build an extensive luxury golf course complex in the area.[1][2] Forbes's farm, which is said by Trump to be in a state of disrepair,[3] has the words "NO GOLF COURSE" painted on a shed.[4]

He attracted media attention in the United States for standing up to Trump. Forbes has insisted that he will "never sell" his land to Trump despite being offered a payment £450,000 in addition to a salary of £50,000 per year for an unspecified job.[5] The plans to build the golf complex were rejected in late November 2007 by Aberdeenshire Council but were later called in by the Scottish Government, who gave approval in November 2008.[6] He has been compared to the beachcomber character in the film Local Hero.[5]

In August 2011, contractors hired by Trump fenced off a piece of land belonging to Forbes despite Forbes having the title deeds.[7]

The Trump Organization at one point threatened to try to use a compulsory purchase order to forcibly remove him and his family from their land. Trump claimed that Forbes' property was a slum that would spoil the view from his new hotel. Forbes retorted that Trump can "take his money and shove it up his arse."[8] The Tripping Up Trump Campaign have banded together to challenge the Trump organization on this issue. Hundreds of people bought small interests in Forbes' property and became co-owners, with the intention of making it hard to transfer title.[9]

Forbes and his struggle with Trump features in the award winning documentary You've Been Trumped, directed by Anthony Baxter and produced by Richard Phinney.[10] His portrait with his wife Sheila by Alicia Bruce is held in The National Galleries of Scotland collection.[11] In 2012, Forbes won the 'Top Scot' award at the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards,[12] provoking Trump to criticise Glenfiddich and Forbes, calling it a "terrible embarrassment to Scotland".[13]

Forbes was also featured on the HBO newsmagazine, Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Scotsman
  2. ^ Bloomberg.com
  3. ^ Carrell, Severin (29 December 2008). "Neighbourhood watch - Trump moves in next to 'local hero'". The Guardian. London. 
  4. ^ Scenta.co.uk
  5. ^ a b NY Daily News
  6. ^ "Trump's £1bn golf resort approved". BBC News. 3 November 2008. 
  7. ^ "Police 'sided with Trump' in golf course row". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 2015-11-16. 
  8. ^ "Donald Trump". www.scotsman.com. Johnston Publishing Ltd. Retrieved 2015-11-16. 
  9. ^ D'Antonio, Michael (22 June 2016). "Here's Why Donald Trump Should Expect a Chilly Reception In Scotland". Fortune. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  10. ^ Holden, Stephen (2012-08-01). "Movie Review: 'You've Been Trumped,' About Donald Trump". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-11-16. 
  11. ^ http://www.nationalgalleries.org/collection/artists-a-z/B/26386/artist_name/Alicia%20Bruce/record_id/22534
  12. ^ "Donald Trump golf opponent Michael Forbes wins 'Top Scot' award". BBC News. 30 November 2012. 
  13. ^ "Donald Trump criticised Glenfiddich over Michael Forbes award". BBC News. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  14. ^ Porter, Kyle (20 April 2016). "Scottish residents frustrated with Trump construction on countryside". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 30 April 2016.