Pretty much every club I visit is now doing some fantastic environmental work, alongside managing the day-job of providing ever better playing surfaces. It’s a real industry success story and one we should all be incredibly proud of.
In the West Midlands, Andy Laing is doing some great work with wildflowers at Gaudet Luce. It provides an immense resource of pollen and nectar to attract insects – which in turn supports a wealth of other wildlife. And it also makes the golf course a welcoming and attractive place to visit and play.
But when his latest Operation Pollinator wildflower sown area looked like it was going to be overgrown and lost beneath an invasive carpet of coarse grass weeds ….
…… the intervention with an application of Rescue knocked out the predominant Barnyard Grass and let the wildflower seedlings see the light of day:
Now the area is a riot of colour and alive with insects:
It’s a further testament to Andy’s skills and the Club’s commitment to balancing the provision of cost-effective, attractive golf for members and visitors, along with a thriving and extremely valuable ecological resource.
You can see more of Andy’s work and comments on his environmental initiatives here: https://www.greencast.co.uk/news/operation-pollinator/wildflowers-bring-gaudet-luce-life
It’s now time to start planning where around the course you could consider introducing wildflower areas in the autumn, and the sort of mixtures you might look to introduce. Autumn sowing of annual seed mixtures can be successful, providing there’s sufficient soil moisture and whilst there’s still residual warmth to get seedlings up and away for winter; extended mild autumn conditions have been particularly good in recent years.
We always enjoy seeing and sharing Operation Pollinator successes, as well as hearing how greenkeeping teams are using the information and resources to engage and communicate with Clubs on what they are doing. Please keep sending in your stories and experiences.