Sustainability and Golf.
The Royal and Ancient (R&A) is the governing body of golf worldwide (except in the United States and Mexico) and is a leading body that engages and supports activities to make golf more accessible, appealing, and inclusive. The R&A champions sustainability and provides a wealth of information on the subject.
The R&A states that golf has a unique relationship with the natural environment and a responsibility to ensure that future generations are able to enjoy the game. Not only is golf great for our health and well-being, but it can also provide a host of benefits for the climate and environment too. These benefits are achieved by:
- Working with the natural environment to enhance biodiversity and conserving natural habitats
- Protecting species and encouraging species diversity
- Providing connectivity through the landscape to link other green spaces via nature corridors
- Working with nature conservation bodies such as Natural England and Nature Scot
- Conserving natural resources
- Managing waste efficiently following the waste hierarchy
- Managing healthy grass species, soil structure and drainage for sustainable course playability
- Increasing biological controls for pests and diseases
You can read more on golf course sustainability by visiting R&A sustainability on this link:- Environmental Benefits of Golf (randa.org)
As Greg so clearly laid out in his latest report, at Hunley GC we strive to be as sustainable as possible in all aspects of course maintenance. We believe that as custodians of the golf course it is our responsibility to ensure that the we manage it in a way that nature can thrive and coexist around us. As a testament to our efforts Hunley GC achieved GEO Certification for commitment and efforts to achieve a credible standard for sustainable golf course operation.
You may or may not know, but Hunley GC supports some of the nationally declining species. These include Brown Hare, Great Crested Newts, Barn Owls, Grey Partridge and Hedgehogs. It also provides the perfect habitat for many of our declining wild flowers, including Wild Orchids, Cow Slips and Bluebells.
As Greenkeepers working on the course daily, we have the benefit of experiencing the many species that are around us. Here are a few pictures taken in recent weeks, which demonstrate the beauty of the environment where we are lucky enough to send time. We hope as golfers you too get joy from being around nature when enjoying your golf and that you too share our pride of being a part of 1 of the leading golf clubs in the UK for sustainable management.
In future months I will endeavour to provide more information on how we look to follow the R&A recommendations as detailed above. These will include an update on our reed beds which help us manage our waste water efficiently and an overview of our working relationship with Tees Valley Wildlife Trust.
If you missed it and wanted to gain an understanding of our work, here is Greg’s latest report: