Recognition for environmentally friendly golf club

Readers' news
Readers' news

Pyecombe Golf Club has been presented with a National Environment Award from The Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) at a ceremony in Harrogate on Wednesday January 20.

The club picked up the Environmental Golf Club of the Year award - the most prestigious accolade of the evening which recognises clubs that can demonstrate efficient management in turfgrass, waste and water as well as nature conservation.

Bob Taylor, STRI’s senior consultant – Ecology & Environment, commented: “The Golf Environment Awards provide an important platform in which we can demonstrate the excellent work of individual golf clubs and the commitment of the industry as a whole in the protection and conservation of our depleting countryside.”

Pyecombe Golf Club has many initiatives in place to aid the surrounding environment.

Compost teas are used in place of fungicides wherever possible, which provides a sprayable liquid allowing for good bacteria to counteract the negative bacteria and prevent disease helping encourage consistent healthy growth in addition to the utilisation of organic fertilisers which aids long-term sustainability.

The extensive rough areas are graded from semi, to long, to ecology and are cut and bailed by a farmer once a year with further scarification helping the establishment of wild flowers and orchids including early purple, pyramidal, common spotted and bee orchid. The wildflower meadows created are excellent for pollinating insects including bees and the club has 12 beehives providing a constant supply of honey.

A Woodland management program allows the creation of clearings, plus regeneration of gorse on the course with timber being used for the clubhouse log burner. Bird boxes including those for swifts, tawny owls and barn owls, are prevalent creating habitats within a largely agricultural area. Members, staff and volunteers from the South Downs National Park help with many on course initiatives.

The Club have also installed a Ground Source Heat Pump, which reduces the heating bills by over 40%, as well as Solar panels that both help lower carbon emissions. To date over 82,000kg of CO2 savings have been achieved in a few short years. Water usage is also kept to a minimum with the help of a bore hole whilst utilising an intelligent weather station that allows irrigation to be tailored each day. Elsewhere within the Clubhouse, LED lighting is increasingly used, a grease fat trap is in operation and recycling is par for the course.

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