Golf and Nature
Golf and Nature is a short blog post explaining the idea that Golf courses are a great way to help both Nature and Wildlife.
Golf courses have always been in the spotlight regarding their lack of respect for nature. They have, in the past, used too many pesticides and chemicals to keep their courses looking immaculate.
Over the last 50 years, UK wildlife has been hit badly with over 50% of wildlife species declining rapidly. Chris Packham even described it as an ‘ecological apocalypse’
There has, however, been a major shift in creating biodiversity by huge associations like:
The British and International Golf Greenkeeping Association (BIGGA),
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A)
The Wildlife Trusts
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
Golf Courses are a part of the future
It is now becoming more accepted that Golf courses are a great resource for wildlife as the world becomes more and more developed for the population and industry.
According to The Telegraph, the last ten years has seen a dramatic decrease in the so-called Green Belt Land. This is due to several councils relaxing rules regarding new builds for economic growth.
Although Golf courses are typically over manicured they at least provide lots of green space for wildlife to survive and thrive.
Get away from the Tees, Fairways, Greens and Bunkers and there is ample space to create wildlife havens.
It is important that we help nature and it’s wildlife as much a possible.
Golf courses, in the UK, cover more than 125,500 hectares. That is over 27,000 hectares more than the wildlife trust covers.
Green projects on the Golf Course
It should start out with small ideas that the members can take part in. Doing this will improve awareness that the club could do greater things.
Creating flower beds around the clubhouse, putting green or the first tee that the members can take care of.
The development of wildflower borders and keeping the rough much longer will help significantly to the increase of bugs and small mammals.
Leaving old tree stumps to rot and building log piles etc. is ideal for the wildlife.
I have seen some Golf clubs, offering free membership to juniors for supplying/building bird boxes, bug hotels and hedgehog houses etc.
This lets the juniors get involved at an early age and they learn the importance of nature and it’s upkeep.
Some clubs have offered to work with their local communities creating projects like building wildlife ponds in areas that are not in play.
I spoke with one club manager who, annually, presents the ‘most eco-friendly member award’. The winner receives a free membership and a green trophy.
Why not ask your Greenkeeper what you can do to help out. You will be surprised at what is already being done at your local club.
A cool article by Dr Mark Hampton MIEEM can be read here.
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What does your Golf Club do for Nature & Wildlife?
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