The North Berwick Golf Club, East Lothian, Scotland, has been awarded golf’s global eco-label, GEO Certified® in recognition of their commitment to nature protection, resource efficiency and community value.
The historic club was first established in 1832, with golf being played on the land as early as the 17th century, making it one of the oldest golfing sites in the world. Now in modern times The North Berwick Golf Club has shown itself to hold true to the original values of natural golf, by ensuring efficient and sustainable management benefits the links landscape, providing habitat for local biodiversity, and a healthy recreational space for the community.
“We are stewards of the land,” explained Stuart Greenwood, Course Manager at The North Berwick Golf Club. “We are lucky enough to look after this beautiful area, and we have a duty to do so in a way which protects it not only for now but for the future as well.”
GEO Certified® is a global accreditation, assessed by an independent verifier and administered by GEO (the Golf Environment Organization) an international not-for-profit dedicated to supporting the golf industry to drive forward sustainability within the sport, which is itself based in North Berwick.
“We are very proud of becoming GEO Certified and being counted amongst the leading clubs in sustainable golf,” Mr Greenwood continued. “It is a credible and coveted recognition of the importance that we all at the club put into to maximize the positive impacts of our work on a daily basis.”
Some of the club’s achievements highlighted in the independent verifier’s report include the courses role as an important buffer between designated natural areas, including a SSSI site, and the town of North Berwick; their close working relationship with environmental body SNH and the STRI; a highly efficient use of irrigation water using state of the art Toro sprinkler system; and their relationship with the local community, sourcing much of their club house goods from local suppliers, working with local schools and running a popular caddy programing giving local youth work experience.
The club’s new Community Fund was a particular highlight of the certification report. “We have many visitors from across the globe that play on our course here in North Berwick, and they are all welcomed by the fantastic local community that surrounds us. It’s always one of the highlights of their visit,” said Chris Spencer, Managing Secretary at the club. “This year we introduced the Community Fund as a way to thank and support the important groups and charities that make North Berwick such a special place to live, work and visit.”
The Community Fund, which was launched this summer, saw grants of up to £2,000 each being awarded to a dozen organisations and individuals based in the local EH39 area. A total of £10,000 was allocated in 2016, and following a hugely successful first year the fund is due to re-open again in July 2017.
Jonathan Smith, Chief Executive of GEO said “The North Berwick Golf Club is an exceptional example of the social and environmental value that clubs can bring. By managing land in a responsible manner and supporting the local community the club has shown true commitment and exhibited their position as a leader in sustainable golf. We are proud to share the same community and call it home and congratulate Stuart, Chris and the team on their achievement. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for them and our North Berwick community.”
For further information on The North Berwick Golf Club’s sustainability work, including their full verification report visit www.golfenvironment.org
North Berwick Golf Club www.northberwickgolfclub.com .
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