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Scottish Golf Environment Group


Golf and the Environment - Introduction

Golf facilities by their vary nature interact with the environment in a wide range of ways. Out on the course, issues such as nature conservation, landscape, cultural heritage, pollution prevention, water resources management, waste and energy management and environmental education and awareness are all relevant. Clubhouses, maintenance facilities, professional shops and other built elements are areas where waste management, energy efficiency and communication of environmental issues equally apply.

Golf course management is not simply about maintaining well presented turfgrass, it is about the overall integrated management of the golf course estate. This involves understanding the management of a wide range of habitats beyond the turf. Integration of sound environmental principles can ensure that Clubs:

  • Reduce over-management
  • Minimise maintenance costs
  • Look after important landscape features such a woodlands, heather and hedgerows
  • Enhance the aesthetic character, atmosphere and challenge of the course
  • Avoid unwitting environmental damage such as pollution incidents
  • Ensure all policies and practices meet relevant legislation
  • Raise member, visitor and local community awareness of the Clubs stewardship of the golf course

The conservation of biodiversity is one area where golf is already making real progress. With over 27,000 hectares of golf course nationally, golf courses contain a wide range of species and habitat diversity. More and more clubs are undertaking specific actions to conserve and enhance these species populations and their associated habitats. Many of these actions are drawn from Local Biodiversity Action Plans (LBAPs)– which highlight the priority species and habitats for regions of Scotland.

By contributing to an LBAP, golf clubs are helping the UK Government's commitment to Sustainable Development as set out in the Rio Earth Summit of 1992.

The Scottish Golf Environment Group is interested in developing holistic environmental management plans for golf courses, so that all relevant environmental issues are recognised for different parts of the golf facility. These management plans emphasise the process of AUDIT, EVALUATION AND ACTION, resulting in working plans from which successive committees and green-staff can draw more specific annual action plans.





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