The winners of the 2017 Golf Environment Awards (GEA) have been announced at the Hotel Du Vin, Harrogate, in a ceremony hosted by STRI Group.
- Environmental Golf Course of the Year 2017 – Greetham Valley Golf Club
- Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year 2017 – Edward Ainsworth
- Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year 2017 – Frilford Heath Golf Club
- Operation Pollinator 2017 – John O’Gaunt Golf Club
Greetham Valley Golf Club astounded the judges with their whole team effort to create a sustainable golf course. Adi Porter, course manager of the 45-hole course has been the driving power to implement a number of ecological initiatives around the site along with the use of holistic greenkeeping techniques in the day-to-day management of the playing surfaces.
Conservation Greenkeeper Edward Ainsworth, of Avro Golf Club, impressed with his vivacious passion for wildlife conservation, not only on the 9-hole course that he manages, but within the wider landscape.
Frilford Heath Golf Club amazed with their extensive fen restoration works, a result of true determination. Their efforts have seen the return of a number of fen indicator species which haven’t been seen for many years. In partnership with Natural England, and with the help of Abingdon Green Gym, the greenkeeping team have worked to enhance this nationally important habitat for the future of the SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).
The Operation Pollinator award went to bee and butterfly-friendly John O’Gaunt Golf Club for their mosaic of nectar and pollen-rich habitats created by greenkeeper Stephen Thompson.
STRI ecology consultant, Sophie Vukelic, said: “For 22 years the Golf Environment Awards has highlighted the biodiversity value of golf courses around the UK, rewarding the people who manage the land as sustainably as possible, for both golf and wildlife. A huge congratulations to the winners and finalists of this year’s awards, you truly are the future of golf course management.”
The GEA provide the platform from which the golf industry can demonstrate environmental excellence in all its forms, and from next year The R&A will become a lead partner.
STRI is also indebted to its existing sponsors – Ransomes Jacobson, Farmura, Syngenta, Tillers Turf and Wiedenmann and would like to thank them for their continued support.
Fancy having a go yourself? The entries for the 2018 Golf Environment Awards are now open and we encourage all golf clubs, big or small, to enter and show off their hard work. Be a #keenbean and enter today here.
For more information contact: Bob Taylor or Sophie Vukelic in STRI’s ecology department, on +44 (0)1274 565131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org