Extinction Rebellion fills golf course holes with cement in sprinkler protest

Climate activists in the south of France have taken the dramatic step of filling in all the holes of a golf course after it was given a watering ban exemption.

The drastic move means the grounds can't be used to play the popular game.

Protestors from the international group Extinction Rebellion (XR) took the decision after it was announced that golf courses across France would not be forced to adhere to the same watering restrictions as other venues and residential homes.

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France, like many other countries including the UK, is battling widespread drought.

Taking to Twitter, Extinction Rebellion Toulouse explained their actions, stating: "While we are going through a period of extreme drought, the watering of GOLF COURSES is permitted by law because of the cost of maintaining these luxurious grounds.

"Meanwhile, the drought has caused a total ban on irrigation in agriculture."

Extinction Rebellion Toulouse took to the social media platform to show off photographic evidence of the chaos they had caused at the Vieille-Toulouse club course and at the Garonne des Sept Deniers course.

The snaps show the golf holes filled with cement, as well as a sign that reads: "This hole drinks 277,000 litres of water per day. Do you drink that much?"

The group also launched a petition on GreenVoice arguing for the exemption to be lifted.

It read: "At the time of the greatest drought ever seen in France since meteorological readings began, […] a sector that affects a tiny fraction of the population seems to enjoy a privilege worthy of another world in these times of crisis; golf."

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The activist collective explained that filling the holes would "prevent the use of these golf courses and therefore their watering".

But not everybody agrees that the exemption on golf courses should be lifted.

Gerard Rougier of the French Golf Federation told France Info: "Without water, a green dies in three days and it takes three months to regrow it.

"A course without a green is like a skating rink without ice, it will have to close".

He also claimed that France's 700 golf courses employ 15,000 people across the country, and that not watering them would threaten the industry.

France has been badly hit by drought, with many unable to water their lawns and some villages even experiencing shortages of drinking water.

Parts of the Loire river have more or less dried up, and a state of crisis has been declared across two-thirds of the country.


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