Hello everyone, well summer has come and gone and I hope you have enjoyed your golf during what has been one of the hottest summers on record. Whilst we are now moving into the autumn season, let’s hope that we can still enjoy a few more warm days. Our sustainable approach to managing the golf course has resulted in many positives, not least, the increase in the flora and fauna around the course.
The three wild flowers above are just a selection that can be found around the golf course. This year I have noticed that some of these wildflowers are popping up in new areas. The Early Marsh Orchid and Milkmaid have been spotted in Wetlands and other marshy areas. The Yellow Rattle that we planted only a couple of seasons ago, is now appearing in between Trillo’s and Metcalf’s Ace. This species is used to create or restore wildflower meadows, but can also be used to reduce the dominance of grasses.
As Greg mentions in his update, we have a local pastoral farmer who will cut and bale up the long grasses for his cattle to feed on in the winter. Doing this thins and opens up the grasslands giving opportunity to more and more diversity of species.
The three new ponds between Cottage Corner Tee and Davies Green have proven successful in terms of creating new ecosystems during their first year. Not only do these habitats increase the number of pollinating insects on the course, but they also provide a haven for rare amphibians. Having recently conducted surveys of 33 ponds in North East Yorkshire, Natural England informed us that our ponds were the only ones to show the presence of great crested newts.
This year has also been a fantastic year for wild birds at the golf course. The barn owls, utilising the boxes that we provided for them, have raised not one, but two broods this year. If you are on the course early enough, you can spot these owls hunting around the rough areas of the course. It’s also been yet another successful year for the tawny owls, who also raised another brood earlier in the year. In addition to the sparrow hawks and kestrels, I have recently noticed a new raptor on the course. A buzzard is now becoming a frequent visitor. A myriad of other wild bird species can be seen and these together with all the increased flora and fauna are testament to our sustainable approach to managing the course. So, whilst you are playing a round of golf, why not take a minute to check out the flora and fauna that are also enjoying being on the course.