Minchinhampton Golf Club Gains GEO Certification

Geoff Russellin Conservation & Ecology

Minchinhampton Golf Club has long shown an active commitment to providing positive environmental and social value. This commitment has now gained international distinction with the achievement of golf's global ecolabel, GEO Certified®, following an independent verification.

The 54-hole facility in Gloucestershire, founded in 1889, and located among several landscape designations including the Cotswolds 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty', 'SSSI' and 'Scheduled Ancient Monument Status', demonstrated high performance across the sustainability spectrum of Nature, Resources and Community.

Paul Worster, Course Manager, said: "Joining the GEO family has been an ambition for some time. It required all areas of the Club to come together and fostered a sense of ownership which has crossed over into our membership. The process was actually fairly simple with energy, water and fuel use tracked via invoices; providing an opportunity to develop clear policies in a number of key areas. The result is improved record-keeping and analysis of expenditures, which is exactly what is needed in today's business environment. Our operation has become more efficient as a result."

Several actions and policies were highlighted by Matt Johns, independent accredited verifier, during the site-visit, including:

  • Public common ground maintained according to National Trust and Natural England guidelines
  • Consultations with National Trust, DEFRA, English Heritage and the Forestry Commission have led to wide-scale landscape heritage conservation and a significant number of landscape assessments and surveys
  • A full energy audit has been undertaken and the club is part of an England Golf energy project looking at the potential for introducing renewable technologies
  • Zero-waste strategies and a full recycling policy adopted as much as possible
  • Wooden materials and logs from the course fuel a stove in the clubhouse, organic waste and manure is composted and used as top dressing
  • The membership model provides affordable golf to the local area, and charities are supported through golf days and other events
  • Machinery and staff time provided for conservation work around Minchinhampton and Rodborough commons

BIGGA Chief Executive Officer Jim Croxton added: All at BIGGA offer sincere congratulations to Minchinhampton Golf Club for achieving the GEO Certified ecolabel. Paul Worster and his team have dedicated many years to the sustainability cause and I'm thrilled that commitment has been recognised. Golf courses are at their best when they are a part of the landscape and natural habitat rather than sitting aside from it, I know that very many of our members are hugely committed to environmental excellence, this recognition gives us a great opportunity to demonstrate that."

Richard Allison from the GEO summarised the achievement: "Minchinhampton Golf Club has shown great practical action and positive impact in their initiatives throughout sustainability. GEO Certified® is a thoroughly deserved achievement and it's is our pleasure to congratulate Paul and the team on this. We look forward to seeing the club build upon its longstanding positive work and shine as a leading example to others."

GEO http://www.golfenvironment.org