Environmental excellence at Abergele Golf Club

Jenny Yu
By Jenny Yu July 7, 2018 08:30

The Welsh facility has changed a disused former hole into a haven for birds, bugs, bees and other wildlife. And, in doing so, it has won a national award

A golf club in north Wales has won a national award for changing part of the course from a hole for birdies into a haven for birds, bugs, bees and other wildlife.

Abergele’s golf course manager Darren Anderson, along with his team and club members, used available materials to transform a disused hole into a mini wildlife area.

Their efforts were rewarded with the ‘Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year’ at this year’s STRI Golf Environment Awards.

Anderson said his team at Abergele were delighted to get recognition for their project which has had a substantial impact over the last couple of years.

“There was an old golf hole that was no longer used after changes to the course 30 years ago and we re-configured it to encourage nature,” explained 42-year-old Anderson, who followed his father and grandfather into greenkeeping.

“We have called it Tir Gwyllt, which is Welsh for ‘Wild Land’. There are now bee hives on the back boxes, a house for dormice and corrugated sheds for reptiles as we decided to make something of it rather than just let it grow.

“It had become overgrown with rye grass, when we took that out we started to see orchids coming through.

“We started with a log pile for beetles and then we started to get our teeth into it. We did not have money to invest in that area so we used what we had on site which meant we had to be innovative.

“We used wood from trees cut down or trimmed on the course and made a sort of bug hotel for the bugs, ladybirds and mice.

“We put something on the noticeboard to explain to the members and one was a beekeeper so we now have four hives in that area.”

Anderson, who is the only master greenkeeper in Wales, is completing a masters degree in sustainable golf course management at the University of Lancashire.

His grandfather was the greenkeeper at Nairn and Stonehaven, his father moved to Abergele before returning to Aberdeen and Murcar Links.

“The whole idea of Tir Gwyllt was we wanted to improve our environmental standing and encourage ecology with the resources we had really as we didn’t have money to spend.

“A massive thank you to the Abergele Golf Club and all the staff for their support and enthusiasm on the subject of ecology. Lastly a huge thank you to my wife Sali who gave the name Tir Gwyllt to the ecology area, and our four-year-old son Hari as they both love coming out to see the ecology area and always give full support.”


Jenny Yu
By Jenny Yu July 7, 2018 08:30
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