The Operation Pollinator Awards 2016 are now open for entries. The competition seeks to reward golf clubs that have created ecological features that are managed to attract our essential pollinating insects and other wildlife.
Operation Pollinator has proven that it is possible to proactively manage areas of the course for wildlife, alongside the playing areas intensively manged to provide the best possible surfaces for golf.
The initiative promotes that golf courses that are managed to enhance their ecological features can be more attractive for both wildlife and players.
The Awards are open to all courses taking positive action for pollinators - including creating wildflower habitats, protecting nesting sites and introducing new features.
Syngenta Operation Pollinator Manager, Caroline Carroll, highlighted that all courses have the potential to integrate many of the measures championed by the initiative.
"The Awards have shown that even relatively small clubs have great capacity to make a real difference. It is incredibly exciting to see what they have achieved, and the immense passion that it generates for all involved with the Club," said Caroline.
"They are designed to reward both the Club, and especially the greenkeepers who make it happen."
Entries are open until the end of September with a simple on line form, followed by the judging, but greenkeeprs are advised to take plenty of pictures now whilst wildflowers are in bloom and pollinating insects most active, added Caroline.
"Previous Operation Pollinator Award winners have pioneered so many great ideas, which others can integrate into their course management," advocated STRI Ecologist and Award's judge, Sophie Vukelic.
"It is so important that we inspire others to play a part in conserving vitally important insects through creating the wildflower habitats promoted by Operation Pollinator.
"It is really encouraging to see that Operation Pollinator has been taken on board by so many golf clubs around the UK," added Sophie.
She believes it really highlights how the golfing industry has changed over the past decade, with far more emphasis on the ecological value of golf courses and their ability to provide a wildlife resource within the wider landscape.
"I would urge everyone to enter the Awards, and chance to be recognised for what they've achieved."