Elmwood, Gleneagles, Kilmacolm and Linlithgow are the first to be given the new Environmental Excellence Award – set up by the Scottish Golf Course Wildlife Group and the Committee to Green Foundation to promote a better understanding of golf’s contribution to conservation of the environment.
The awards, led jointly by the Scottish Golf Union and Committed to Green Foundation, have the backing of a number of other golfing and environmental bodies, including the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Greenbelt Foundation, the European Commission and the World Wide Fund for Nature.
Awarded by the Wildlife Group in Scotland, the awards are recognised throughout Europe as part of the Committed to Green Programme. “These four sites have worked extremely hard over the past few years, tackling a wide range of environmental issues in a planned and professional manner, establishing high quality environmental programmes which have made a real difference to the quality of their local environments.” said Jonathan Smith, senior golf course advisor with the Scottish Golf Union. “Importantly, they are the only golf course awards which combine the endorsement of the golfing sector and the full support of key national and European environmental bodies.”
Mr Smith added: “As more and more clubs become involved, the more we can promote Scottish golf’s stewardship of the environment and the more clearly we can state what Scottish golf contributes to the conservation of Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage.”
Commenting on the first batch of European Awards, David Stubbs, Executive Director of the Committed to Green Foundation, said: “All these clubs have shown a commendable effort to prove their concern and care for the environment. Many of these are ‘typical’ small golf clubs, simply wishing to be seen to be responsible managers. But whatever their situation, large and small clubs alike have devoted time and effort to achieving worthwhile environmental improvements. It is still an early stage in our programme and we are delighted to have such committed pioneers to help us in our mission.”
The new scheme is open to any golf club or local authority in the country. Those taking part have to meet specific criteria in a number of topics and have to demonstrate best management practices in a wide range of their operations including nature conservation, landscape, environmental planning and waste management. It is now hoped their success will encourage many more clubs to take part.
Across Scotland there are already a number of other clubs progressing through the scheme including The Dukes Course, Fortrose and Rosemarkie, Newmachar, Cochrane Castle, Mortonhall, Bishopbriggs, Loch Lomond, Hilton Park, Kames, Moray, Torphin Hill, Boat of Garten, Auchterarder, Bonar Bridge and many more.
“These awards are achievable for any golf club or local authority,” continued Jonathan Smith. “It is our hope that that eventually every course in Scotland will meet the criteria required to receive such an accolade”.
Scottish Golf Course Wildlife Group firstname.lastname@example.org
Scottish Golf Union www.scottishgolf.com
Committed to Green Foundation www.committedtogreen.org