The Greenkeeping Team, led by Stuart Mason, is committed to achieving the highest standard of course maintenance whilst enhancing the natural beauty and ecology of the course. A number of chemicals for controlling fungus and worm casts have been revoked recently and this has accelerated the introduction of more natural turf management. Together with investment in further initiatives, the club can be proud of its progress to be in the forefront of environmentally-friendly clubs.
Below are some of the recent developments.
• Tree management Sun and airflow over greens are vital to produce a sustainable golf course. Selected trees around greens and tees have been trimmed or removed to provide early morning sunshine and airflow to greens. This helps to prevent fusarium fungus and worm casting. It also improves frost clearance on winter mornings. All tree work is fully supported by the agronomist from the Sports Turf Research Institute.
• Wood usage We have a partnership with Chester Zoo to collect any removed branches and use them to feed elephants and giraffes. This supplements their diets and provides them with a realistic feeding experience. The logs are sold and the monies raised have been used to purchase hand mowers to use in the winter to avoid greens damage.
• Recycling washdown system A system has been installed to conserve water and to prevent any ground water pollution from machinery cleaning products.
• Organic greens treatment The greens are treated with compost teas, organic fertilisers and seaweeds. The use of chemicals is decreasing annually. The best wetting agents are used to limit the water applied to the greens.
• Eco-rough Rough is cut and the grass removed to impoverish the soil. In the longer term the frequency of cutting can be reduced conserving fuel. The rough also provides corridors for wildlife.
• Equipment The club is about to start trialling battery-operated machinery to further reduce use of fossil fuels. A weather station has been purchased to record weather patterns and help planning maintenance procedures.
• Wildflower area Two areas have been developed. The first was developed after tree clearance by the third green and the second after clearance of a scrub area alongside the first tee. The areas attract bees, butterflies, invertebrates and birds