Burhill Golf and Leisure Ltd (BGL Golf), operator of 22 golf courses across seven golf centres and three golf clubs situated throughout the UK, is to collaborate with Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) in its continued commitment to be the industry-leading owner of environmentally sustainable golf operations.
OPAL is a UK-wide, community-focused research and education partnership led by a team based at Imperial College London’s Centre for Environmental Policy and funded by the Big Lottery Fund. The initiative allows people to get hands-on with nature while contributing to important scientific research that ensures local environmental issues are discussed and investigated.
On behalf of BGL, Howard Craft, Ramsdale Park Golf Centre General Manager, said, “The collaboration with OPAL signals BGL Golf’s dedication to strengthening its existing environmental sustainability. Initially, we will investigate if OPAL’s free and easy to use surveys can be used to help us monitor the biodiversity of our courses whilst at the same engaging more people with our courses. Then, we plan to investigate ways to more accurately map out areas of fairway and rough. The aim is to increase the area more suitable for nature without reducing the golfing experience. Greater accuracy in measuring areas of a course will also improve the accuracy of pesticide and fertiliser applications which in turn will improve efficiencies in course maintenance budget.”
BGL Golf announced its ambition to become the first multi-course owner in the world to achieve the GEO Certified® international sustainability award at each of its venues back in 2012, with the accreditation of The Shropshire last year achieving this goal.
Commenting on the new partnership, Director of OPAL Dr. David Slawson said, “The concept at OPAL involves taking experts into the heart of communities to explore and investigate the natural world with local people, and we are particularly excited by the formation of this new partnership with BGL. We aim to form lasting relationships to ensure environmental issues of both local and global relevance are continually monitored.”
Howard Craft added, “Every BGL venue is committed to understanding and continually improving the sustainable operations of its golf facilities. The additional knowledge and expertise that this new partnership will provide will prove invaluable to us moving forward. This on-going focus is intended to improve our business and gain credible recognition for our positive contribution to local environments.”
BGL Golf venues www.bglgolf.co.uk