Sustainability With Lucy August 2021

Sustainability With Lucy August 2021

My 2nd month of working at the golf course and plans are certainly looking clearer, especially having received a sustainability scorecard from GEO Foundation detailing our strengths and areas to improve.

In terms of strengths, the course has 1 hectare of newly created habitat over the last year (which brings the percentage of habitat area here to 57.7% of our land, which is very impressive!), only 3% of our turf is irrigated and there are no usage of pesticides on the greens.

These are just a few of the many good things going for us in comparison to our three areas of improvement regarding recycling and potentially using nutrients from waste. I’m pretty pleased with how much Hunley has achieved and the whole team is very proud to be GEO certified! 

See the whole scorecard below –

We’re hoping to acquire some trees from the Woodland Trust to start planting in November. We have applied for 210 saplings from the “wildlife” and “year-round colour” packs, which will best cater to the species that currently inhabit the course as well as some we’re hoping to provide for going forward. We’re looking forward to hearing back from the Woodland Trust and hope our application is accepted!

Now we’ve finished pruning the invasive Aspen (Poplar) saplings behind the Greenkeeping workshed, we have piles of wood and leaves that can attract insects. This has provided an opportunity for some space to build one or two bug hotels and other wildlife-friendly structures in the newly cleared space and with the new piles of saplings.

There are a variety of habitats across the course. Note the Thistles in the foreground that Goldfinch love to feed on.

There have been no signs of birds nesting on the new boxes so far, but I’ll be working on some hedgehog houses and putting them around the course and seeing if we have any luck with those in the following months. I’ve also been debating whether or not we can accommodate bats here. I think the potential is there and I have some spots for bat boxes in mind, but we may need to look into the creation of night-blooming flowers to ensure there’s an active population of insects out and about when bats are looking for food.

In terms of online presence, I’ve expanded my reach over to twitter (@sustainhunley) where I want to deviate a little from the content I put out on Instagram (@sustainability_at_hunley). Twitter has gained something of a negative reputation over the years for thriving off of negativity, but I’m willing to believe that this idea is only based on the larger communities that reside there and that “nature twitter” will have very few issues if any at all, so here’s hoping!

Generally I’ve been staying inside doing research and keeping up with online posts more often than I was last month. Otherwise I’ve been keeping up with recording the plant species we have on the golf course and there’ll be plenty for me to work on outside including the animal boxes as autumn swiftly approaches.

Thanks for reading!

Lucy Dowey

Environmental Officer

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