Environmental experts and other golf courses have shown great interest in the system used to water the Ashdown Park Hotel’s 18-hole golf course and keep it green in every sense of the word. Last year the country house hotel at Wych Cross, near Forest Row in Sussex, added another nine holes to its existing nine hole course. As the costs of irrigating the greens doubled overnight the hotel decided to install a new system that would save money and protect the environment.
In addition to saving the hotel money on water bills the main benefit of the system is that it is good for the environment. It recycles water used in the hotel, cleans it, stores it and automatically irrigates the course set in the hotel’s 186-acres of parkland.
Water used throughout the hotel, including the kitchen and laundry, is fed into the irrigation system and goes through a cleansing process before being stored in a 20,000 gallon underground tank that is topped up by a natural spring in the grounds.
Ashdown Park’s Estates Manager Kevin Sweet said: “A fully computerised control system is used and the tees and greens are automatically irrigated with 10,000 gallons of recycled water every night. We are very proud of the new system, which shows that hotels and organisations with high water usage can recycle water to help the environment and save considerable amounts of money. An environmental specialist has approached us and asked to come and study the system because he has not seen one like this in use before. Other golf courses have also shown an interest in it and it looks as if it is the way forward for future irrigation systems.”
Environmental issues were at the top of the agenda when the new golf course was planned. In addition to the recycling system a pond was built by one of the greens and it is fed by most of the drainage around the course.
A tree planting programme, following completion of the course, includes a mix of native trees and shrubs. Part of the old orchard is going to be replanted with a mixture of apple and pear trees.