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From the blog

Greetham Valley Golf Course is above par with its sustainability

by Laura Fanthorpe

Greetham Valley, in Rutland, has been working hard to achieve various environmental objectives over recent years and has now won the national 2017 Environmental Golf Course of the Year award for all the green improvements that it has made.

The venue was delighted with the success and Robert Hinch, the Managing Director commented: “We attended the awards for the first time and were absolutely astounded when we were announced the winners. Our success is in recognition of a great team effort with everyone in the business working towards the same goals.”

The Environmental Golf Course of the Year award recognises venues that demonstrate environmental best practice, with the aim of rewarding those that are making real improvements to their local environment and to the quality of life for the future. It is a great example to look at for sharing best practice with other organisations.

Recently measures have been taken to improve Greetham Valley’s overall resource efficiency, which have not only resulted in national recognition for the venue’s achievements but also overall long-term financial gains. Last summer two bio mass boilers were installed, which are proving to be very cost effective, and the installation of LED lighting is being rolled out, providing excellent short term payback opportunities.

With sustainability being at the forefront, significant environmental highlights of the Golf Course include the planting of over 26,000 trees across the estate since 1990. In addition, it has seen a reduction of water usage by 75% over the past two years through taking steps such as identifying waste through leakage, recycling rainwater and fitting more sustainable and efficient sanitary equipment in public areas, whilst the machinery wash-down system is an environmentally sealed recycling loop.

Greetham Valley believes that it is not only important to measure and reduce its own impact on the environment but also as having a responsibility towards wildlife. Therefore over the 25 years that the golf course has been established there has been a focus on increasing biodiversity through the provision of suitable habitats for small mammals and insects.

Adi Porter, Course Manager at Greetham Valley said: “We have a passion for producing the finest playing surfaces whilst also encouraging best practice for the environment, demonstrating how golf and ecology can thrive together in harmony.”

Some of the initiatives that have been implemented include: establishing wildflower meadows on the complex, a wildlife-friendly drystone and log wall for hibernating and shelter, a bug hotel, a bird of prey feeding tower, bird feeders outside the newly erected hides and a floating bird island.

The projects are always expanding and evolving, with one project in particular focusing on the 17 ponds and lakes across the estate, using environmentally friendly Bentile clay, to attract a diversity of flora and fauna. These ponds have been populated with fish and are very attractive to the local Rutland Water ospreys in particular.

Greetham Valley also invests in projects of national significance, such as Operation Pollinator, a national scheme to encourage golf courses to provide essential sanctuaries for bumblebees. The Golf Course has now installed a solitary bee tower, alongside wildflower meadows to provide the essential food sources and nesting sites required for pollinating insects.

Overall the management and staff at Greetham Valley are in full support of the programme of ecological works and the benefits provided and have taken steps to ensure that they continue to monitor all resources to maintain its progress.

And it is not just the staff who are embracing the culture, but members of the club are also now getting on board and showing their passion for helping the course to be even more environmentally friendly through suggesting new project ideas.

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