Aldwickbury Park Golf Club’s extensive work to enhance the environment around the Harpenden-based course has been ‘highly commended’ at a national award ceremony.
The club – part of Burhill Golf & Leisure, the UK’s leading golf course owner and operator – received a Highly Commended Certification during The Golf Environment Awards, staged by the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) to ‘recognise, reward and promote individuals and golf courses, no matter how big or small, for the time and focus they have put into environmentally sustainable management projects.’
AldwickburyPark’s dedicated seven-strong course management team has worked exceptionally hard to implement a number of new environmental initiatives to ensure the course surpasses all guidelines and leaves a lasting impression on all who play it.
Paul Harris, Deputy Course Manager, submitted an extensive application to STRI and as part of the judging process an official visited the club and compiled a thorough report.
“The course supports a wide variety of habitat including large expanses of broad leaved largely deciduous woodlands, extensive swathes of deep rough grassland, pockets of gorse and we managed water features,” read the report.
It continued: “It was clear that significant inroads towards managing the course more sustainably both from an environmental and ecological point of view have been made in recent years…this has certainly reaped rewards both in terms of strategic and visual aspects of the golf course and also of the bio-diversity interest which the course is providing.
“The Club have a very effective approach to turf grass management, waste management and water management and are actively seeking to reduce their impact on the environment.”
Over the last two yearsAldwickburyParkhas introduced a wide range of initiatives through its Environmental Policy, which most recently saw a new 3.2 million gallon irrigation lake constructed to make the club entirely self-sufficient in providing water for green keeping duties.
Paul Harris explained: “We have worked closely with our members to ensure the entire environment around the golf course flourishes and is in first class condition.
“We have staged bird spotting walks around the course for our members along with the RSPB, and erected a number of bird boxes to encourage nesting. The wildlife around the course is fascinating – a recent butterfly survey identified 21 species living around the course and more than 108 wild flowers.”
The team have also spent time tidying woodland around the 170-acre site to clear the tangle of weeds around the bottom of trees, particularly old oaks dotted around the course.
“Clearing the woodland has helped to promote growth of the natural habitat’s plant life including daffodils and blue bells,” added Paul.
The team have even set up a tree nursery enabling them to swell the woodland and easily replace any trees that die or are damaged/destroyed during adverse weather.
Paul said: “We have already planted 12 new oaks along the sixth hole and will be shortly be adding a further 40 which will replace some dying trees and enhance the woodland adding to the aesthetics of the golf course.”
Tristan Hall, Aldwickbury Park General Manager, said: “The commendation from the Golf Environment Awards is a fantastic reward for our green keeping staff who have shown great dedication in their hard work – not only in the implementation but also in the planning. Their tireless work has givenAldwickburyParka first class golf course and environment to be proud of.
“This was the first time we have entered the Golf Environment Awards so to receive such high praise at the first time of asking is a fantastic achievement.”
Aldwickbury Park Golf Club www.aldwickburyparkgolfclub.com