The winners of this year's 2020 Golf Environment Awards were announced last week at The Crown Hotel, Harrogate, in a ceremony hosted by STRI Group.
STRI head of ecology, Bob Taylor, said, "The Golf Environment Awards were set up 25 years ago to showcase golf's positive environmental footprint amongst a backdrop of social negativity. It has been great to see the way in which such small beginnings have now swelled to what is a major movement, delivering and working towards ecological and environmental best practice throughout the length and breadth of the UK.
"I'm delighted to see there was so much enthusiasm and passion for ecology and the environment in golf at the 2020 GEAs. Every year the awards get bigger and better in providing aspirations and goals to both individuals and golf clubs delivering sustainable working."
Warrington Golf Club (left) and Ipswich Purdis Heath
Environmental Golf Course of the Year 2020 - Warrington Golf Club
If you are looking for a golf course that has consistently shown innovative and direct solutions to reducing damaging environmental practices, then Warrington is the cream of the crop. From developing a team of experts Warrington has shown that a course can be sustainable in relation to inputs, environmental impacts and water usage, whilst also being ecologically diverse.
Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year 2020 - Neil Sherman, Ipswich Golf Club, Purdis Heath
Neil Sherman has been a fundamental part of Ipswich Golf Club, Purdis Heath and that can be seen through its ecologically diverse and fantastically beautiful rough areas. Neil has performed positive and interesting work in renewing the heathland characteristics of the course and it is rare to meet a greenkeeper with quite as much ecological knowledge as him.
Dundonald Links (left) and Banchory Golf Club
Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year 2020 - Dundonald Links
Amanda Dorans and the team at Dundonald Links have done something truly rare, they have created a partnership between not just multiple golf courses but multiple industries to create protected sites across Scotland. Not only that, that they have achieved amazing results in boosting numbers of the small blue butterfly.
Operation Pollinator 2020 - Banchory Golf Club
Banchory Golf Club has gone from strength to strength during 2019 vastly increasing the areas dedicated to wildflowers. Naturally seeded areas and also areas sown with species that are appropriate to the local region are both present. STRI ecologists saw a diverse range of invertebrate species that can only be explained by a course that has been managed appropriately.
Market Harborough Golf Club
Home Unions National Award 2020 - Market Harborough Golf Club
Market Harborough GC are the inaugural winners of the Home Unions National Award. The club management and greenkeeping staff have driven environmental and ecological conservation as a combined force. This has manifested itself through the sustainability group which have created policies, action plans and projects that have importantly started to create direct improvements on the course.
The STRI's Bob Taylor and Rowan Rumble
The GEAs provide the platform from which the golf industry can demonstrate environmental excellence in all its forms. This has been demonstrated by past finalists and can range from relatively simple but effective projects, to grand scale schemes.
All finalists receive free entry into the Foundation Award in Amenity Horticulture course, recognised by BASIS, as well as CPD points, and the lucky winners will be able to enjoy a European Golf & Environment Trip of a Lifetime to Portugal.
STRI is indebted to lead partner, The R&A, and the sponsors - Ransomes Jacobson, Aquatrols, Syngenta, Tillers Turf and Wiedenmann and would like to thank them for their continued support. The R&A's involvement in the GEAs does not elicit its endorsement for the sponsors' products or services.
Fancy having a go? Entries for the 2021 Golf Environment Awards are now open and we encourage all golf clubs, big or small, to enter and show off their hard work. Enter today at www.golfenvironmentawards.com
For more information contact: Bob Taylor or Rowan Rumball in STRI's ecology department, on +44 (0)1274 565131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org