Allan Wilson, Deputy Minister for the Environment and Rural Development, has today confirmed the Scottish Executive’s continued backing of the environmental golf sector by announcing a further £90,000 funding over the coming year.
At a conference held by the Scottish Golf Environment Group (SGEG), and supported by the Scottish Golf Union, the R&A, Scottish Natural Heritage, Allan Wilson backed the role of Scotland’s golf courses in the conservation of natural and cultural heritage.
With considerable funding from the Scottish Executive over the last 18 months, SGEG has undertaken research and produced guidance into issues such as the impacts of climate change on golf courses, energy efficiency and waste management, and are considered as one of the world’s leading national projects on such matters. The Minister announced a further sum of funding over the next twelve months to the group for the continuation of this work.
At the ‘Sustainability in Golf Conference‘, held at Westerwood Hotel and Golf Resort, Cumbernauld, keynote speaker Mr Wilson MSP, discussed the golf sectors‘ approach in relation to how Scotland as a whole needs to embrace sustainable development.
He emphasised the need for all sectors of society to adapt to climate change, minimise waste and energy consumption, conserve biodiversity and communicate and exchange information on these and other environmental issues.
At the conference, SGEG reviewed the work the golf sector and individual golf facilities have been undertaking over the past three years, presenting findings of more recent research into issues such as climate change, biodiversity and waste management.
The conference also acknowledged four of Scotland’s courses as the ‘Best in Europe‘ for their care of the environment. Presented with an Environmental Excellence Award from SGEG, the courses lead the way internationally in the environmental management and development of their golf course.
Many other courses across Scotland and throughout Europe are now working towards this standard. Colin Wood, chairman of SGEG said: “Scotland’s golf facilities contribute to the conservation of Scotland’s environment. A number of courses across the country are leading the way in this, not only nationally, but also internationally.
“Golf’s governing bodies and various professional associations are fully supportive of this work, highlighting the fact that the sector as a whole is committed to improving its environmental performance. We are delighted to report back such strong progress and provide the opportunity for people to make suggestions on work which should be undertaken in the future.”
Hamish Grey, chief executive officer of Scottish Golf Union Limited (SGU) said, “The SGU, alongside our partner organisations, is proud to lead such an innovative initiative, as we have done since 1996. SGEG continues to deliver practical benefits to our member golf clubs on the ground, as well as coordinate and disseminate valuable research and guidance.
“Scottish golf and the quality of our golf courses are better as a result of this work. We view environmental best practice as an important component of achieving high quality golf courses.”
The Scottish Golf Environment Group is a partnership of the Scottish Golf Union, the R&A and Scottish Natural Heritage, with additional project funding from the Scottish Executive. SGEG has undertaken a wide range of work to assist golf clubs implement best environmental practice.
The group provide free advisory visits to all golf courses in Scotland, are involved in the training of green-keepers and golf course architects, manage strategic research and guidance projects into a range of environmental issues and raise awareness of golf’s relationship with the environment. SGEG’s work is equally geared towards improving the quality and standards of golf courses for the benefit of golfers.
For further information, please contact Jonathan Smith, Scottish Golf Environment Group on 0131 660 9480 or email email@example.com
Scottish Golf Environment Group www.sgeg.org.uk
Scottish Golf Union www.scottishgolfunion.org