Once again we have been amazed by the standard of entry to the Golf Environment Awards and have had a great deal of trouble, and loss of sleep, while whittling down entrants to a 24 club longlist for 2018.
Along with my colleagues, Bob Taylor, Teneille Barwick and Nicole Beckett, we have almost completed our assessment visits to the golf clubs and aim to announce the shortlist of finalists for the Awards in November.
Take a look below at our visits to the first twelve courses, eager to promote their environmental initiatives.
1. An aerial image of Tir Gwyllt (wild land) at Abergele Golf Club on the North Wales coastline. Sympathetic parkland course management and environmental initiatives are great for the members and wildlife alike. Visit abergelegolfclub.co.uk
2. There is a haven for wildlife at Lee Park Golf Club in Liverpool with fourteen species of damselfly and dragonfly, bent carries galore, and bountiful fruits for birds. Visit leepark.co.uk
3. We spent a glorious afternoon on the chalkland course at Hockley Golf Club in Winchester, wandering through the downland wildflowers & seeking out galls and chalkhill blues. Visit hockleygolfclub.com
4. An adventure with the winners of Environmental Golf Course of the Year award in 2016, Pyecombe Golf Club, where we were treated to abundant wildflowers, magnificent oaks and lots of hills. Visit pyecombegolfclub.com
5. We lurked around with the greenkeeping team on the 18-hole course at Lingfield Park Golf in Surrey. The course sits within a wooded haven with a real diversity of wildlife and great environmental initiatives. Visit lingfieldpark.co.uk
6. Can you guess the fungi we found during our GEA visit to Notts. Golf Club (Hollinwell). We had a great day on the championship course with the team who are responsible for excellent heathland management. Visit nottsgolfclub.co.uk
7. I had a wonderful day with Richard at Burnham and Berrow Golf Club, situated within the sand dunes in Somerset, taking a look at their efforts to knock back natural succession and retain the dunescape. Visit burnhamandberrowgolfclub.co.uk
8. Next was a visit to the new and old course at Minchinhampton Golf Club to see the substantial wildflower grasslands and skilled hedge-laying of both dead and alive hedgerows. Visit minchinhamptongolfclub.co.uk
9. I headed to Cumberwell Park Golf Club , a 45 hole course in Wiltshire to check out the brilliant conservation work being undertaken by Head of conservation, Jon Keepen, and the greens team across 400 acres. Visit cumberwellpark.com
10. Bees, birds and bold grasslands at Lymm Golf Club where the greenstaff have turned their hand to woodwork to create attractive timber tee banks. Visit lymmgolfclub.co.uk
11. A trip down the road to Warrington Golf Club where sustainability is key in all areas of working, from cleaning products to grassland management. Visit warringtongolfclub.co.uk
12. I headed across the channel to La Moye Golf Club in Jersey, which sits atop 250 foot of dunes and hills. The team has had an environmental focus for many years and has created a fantastic sandy waste area on the 12th. Visit lamoyegolfclub.co.uk
Visit the Golf Environment Awards website for more information.
To register your interest in attending the Golf Environment Awards on 24 January 2018 in Harrogate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.