Fortrose and Rosemarkie Golf Club in the Scottish Highlands has received the 2004 ‘International Environmental Golf Course‘ award for promoting wildlife-friendly practices and receives prize money of £1,500. The money is to be used for creating wildlife woodland corridors around the course.
The prize was donated by GolfPlanet Holidays / French Golf Holidays (GPH / FGH) and the judging was carried out by Friends of Conservation (FOC). The competition was developed in order to raise awareness of the important role that golf courses have to play in preserving wildlife.
The ecological programme at Fortrose and Rosemarkie golf club, just north of Inverness on the Moray Firth, has succeeded in conserving and enhancing the biodiversity of local wildlife which includes a variety of important species such as breeding skylarks, linnet, yellowhammer, whitethroat, grey partridge, brown hare, red kite and peregrine falcons. Its grasslands are rich in wildflowers and butterflies.
The FOC judges considered nominations from around the world in making their decision. FOC director Jonathan Hodrien said, “We were delighted to see that the environmental management programme adopted and promoted by the Fortrose and Rosemarkie Golf Club successfully conserves and enhances the biodiversity of the golf course through informed management of species and habitats.”
Morgan Clarke, managing director of GPH / FGH commented, “Fortrose and Rosemarkie are setting an excellent example to golf courses everywhere. As golf tour operators and keen golfers ourselves we are keen to promote and reward initiatives that enhance our golf courses and the wider environment.”
Examples of the Club’s environmental management programme include:
- Conducting surveys on plants, birds and mapping the position and condition of gorse
- Enhancing habitat by the creation of corridors and links. Increasing patch size and diversity
- Increasing the total area and quality of rough grassland through contour mowing and grassland management regimes
- Improving the quality and quantity of suitable habitat for the increasingly rare ground nesting birds such as the skylark and meadow pipit
- Producing a specific management plan for gorse regeneration throughout the course
- Using wind damaged, trampled and cut gorse to create woodpiles for fungi and invertebrates
- Cutting and bailing areas of rough grassland to improve nesting for skylarks and reducing scrub encroachment
- Adopting various methods to minimise fertiliser and pesticide use
Fortrose and Rosemarkie Golf Club www.fortrosegolfclub.co.uk
French Golf Holidays www.frenchgolfholidays.com
Friends of Conservation email firstname.lastname@example.org