The game of golf often gets bad press when environmental matters are discussed. More often than not this is far from the truth and some years ago the English Golf Union and STRI (Sports Turf Research Industry) set up an awards scheme to encourage clubs to improve their local environment.
Oswestry was one of the first Clubs to take advantage of the scheme and STRI Environmental Officer Lee Penrose visited the Club on a number of occasions. He recommended ways in which the Club could improve its ecological environment and at the same time enhance the overall appearance of the course. The work undertaken over a few years was assessed by EGU and STRI and the Club achieved the English golf Environment Award in 2004. The Head Green Keeper and his team were delighted to help implement the environmental policy and are very proud of how the course is presented. Actions taken to achieve the award included:
- Introducing deeper rough to more areas of the course to provide habitat and ‘highways’ for wildlife. These areas are usually well away from normal play and the sowing of wild flower seeds and planting of bulbs enhance the appearance of the course, especially in spring and summer when there is that special meadow effect as the long grasses and flowers gently wave in the breeze. An added benefit is the greater definition to individual holes.
- Locating bird nesting boxes throughout the course.
- Rather than burning logs from fallen trees, placing these logs in key locations to rot down and provide habitat for insects and small mammals; thus providing food for birds etc.
- Continuing the ‘Tree Programme’ by managing the trees on the course to take out the none natural trees and plant feature trees and hedges which provide improved habitat for wildlife.
The whole of the Environmental Programme is long term and is one of which the Club is proud. Work continues year on year to make further improvements.
When you next play the course or visit the Club hopefully you will be a little more aware of the work that has been going on behind the scenes for many years, the benefits of which have been evidenced by a gradual improvement in our environment and in providing a Club of which we can all be proud.