UK course operator Burhill Golf and Leisure has introduced a new policy designed to enrich the environments of its ten courses and promote sound, sustainable management of its facilities.
The policy covers all aspects of on and off-course operations and sets out clear guidelines on the management of water, habitat and waste, as well as introducing an action plan to reduce the group’s energy consumption by 15 per cent within six months.
Golf & leisure development manager Hugh Knowles said: “There is a common perception that golf is bad for the environment, but this is simply not the case. With responsible management, golf can positively enrich environments and that is something we have always aimed to achieve across our golf courses.
“The environment policy effectively formalises many of the sound practices we were already carrying out, as well as introducing some new elements, and, importantly, gives clear guidance to all our staff on the best way of managing our golf facilities in a responsible, sustainable way. The policy will also enable us to directly protect the environment through instigation of our integrated pest management policies.”
Among the initiatives already underway are heather restoration and waste water recycling for machinery wash down at Burhill Golf Club; ornithological surveys and the addition of bird boxes at Abbey Hill Golf Centre, Milton Keynes; a new reservoir at Hoebridge Golf Centre, Surrey; plus integrated supplier plans to reduce packaging and haulage.
An immediate energy reduction plan was put in place at the beginning of 2009 with energy audits being carried out at all ten facilities, resulting in boiler efficiency improvements, new insulation of heating systems and roof spaces, overnight charging of electric buggies, complete re-lamping of internal and external lighting with energy efficient bulbs, plus the introduction of ‘motion detector’ light switches.