Golfcentrum De Batouwe
Executive summary (English & local language)
Golf Centre De Batouwe has a well-documented overview of their GEO activities of the last three years. Based on the results and experience obtained over this period they have formulated their GEO goals for the GEO-phase 2016-2018 and beyond. They have a very capable GEO-committee, with experience and knowledge of most of the GEO-themes. The committee strongly interacts with local nature organisation, which has resulted in a good overview of species present on the course. During my visit it became clear that De Batouwe is highly motivated to become one of the top GEO courses in The Netherlands. Both landscape quality and species diversity increased over the years. With respect to water use De Batouwe scores very well for 27 holes course, and it is their intention to reduce water consumption, especially on the course, via a new up to date irrigation system. Further they communicate actively with neighbours, local authorities, schools.
Golf Centre De Batouwe has a surface of approx. 95 ha and consists of a 27 holes championships course and a short PAR3/4 9 holes course. Half of the total area consists of either woodland, natural grassland and surface water. In 2004 De Batouwe was the first course in The Netherlands that received the prestigious NGF Committed to Green certificate. Since than De Batouwe monitors an array of species, from plants, birds, bats, fish to finally butterflies, and due to their nature management species richness has increased over the years and now many endangered red list species are found (e.g. Twayblade, European Water Loach, common kingfisher).
In order to further improve the landscape quality and biodiversity of the course several measures like the creation of a butterfly corridor consisting of typical “butterfly plant species” were taken. The Betuwe region is famous for its fruit orchards, and already from the beginning onwards typical fruit tree species from the region have been planted on the course. Also nestboxes for specific birds and nesting facilities for bees have been installed.
Fairways and its surroundings largely consists of Lolium perenne, one of the better suitable species for this clay area with a relatively high groundwater table.
For the next three years De batouwe has the ambition to further strengthen the collaboration with nature organisations and local authorities as to increase the nature value of the course and analyse the possibilities as their role of stepping stone within the surrounding landscape. Even though De Batouwe has a good overview of the nature value of golf course, it is their intention to monitor flora and fauna in a more systematic way from 2016 onwards.
In order to further reduce the amount of irrigation water, the club uses standard management practises, like e.g. the application of wetting agents, and regular analyses of soil water content. For 2013 and 2014 the club used 25000 and 17000 m3 of irrigation water. This amount is highly acceptable for a 27 holes course, including a 9 holes practise course. With the installation of a new software program irrigation data for 2014 got lost. Chemical quality of the surface water used was analysed in 2014 and fairly high levels of several elements were observed. However, the data showed low levels of nitrogen and phosphorous. It is advised that the club analyses both the in- and outlet on chemical composition. This will allow them to analyse the impact of their water management more closely.
De Batouwe has to ambition to further reduce their water use, for the short-term (2017) 5% on irrigation, and for the long-term (2024) 10% for both potable and irrigation water. The installation of a new irrigation system is part of this ambition. Also a feasibility study for the further improvement of surface water via constructed wetlands is foreseen.
De Batouwe has a detailed overview of energy used in the clubhouse and the greenkeepers location. Since a few years they are replacing inefficient lighting by LEDs, and part of the electricity used in the greenkeepers location is generated by solar cells. Based on the outcome of the energy-audit they will gradually switch to a more energy-efficient clubhouse. It is their intention to have a first estimation of the CO2-footprint of the entire complex by 2017, and to have the electricity and gas use reduced by 15 and 5% by 2024, respectively.
All (local) suppliers are listed in their GEO document and it is their intention to use local products, like e.g. fruits, as much as possible. Also, fruits grown on their course will be used in the restaurant, and part of the fruit will be donated to the local Food Bank. Waste is separated as much as possible both in the restaurant and on the course (e.g. PET bottles). Waste from De Batouwe is collected by SITA, part of SUEZ Environment. In this way De Batouwe contributes to a CO2-neutral collecting and processing of waste. To underpin their ambition with respect to carbon dioxide emissions, De Batouwe will carefully analyse emissions of new machinery. The greenkeepers use standard rates of fertilization and pesticide for this type of course. They have experimented with reducing insect plaques using UV-light. This, however did not prove successful.
Chemicals and fertilizers are prohibited at De Batouwe within a 3 m buffer zone near surface waters. Also the woodlands and nature at De Batouwe are chemical/fertilizer free. All standard measures are used to prevent pollution and are in accordance with legislation. Except for the fuel tank, the greenkeeper location fulfils all the legislative criteria. The fuel tank has been inspected this year by an authorized organisation and passed for the time being. For the future, reduction of the CO2-emission at De Batouwe has a high priority. As part of this ambition De Batouwe will have an energy audit in 2016/2017.
De Batouwe organizes excursions both for members and non- members (e.g. neighbours, elementary Schools, local authorities) to make them more aware of the landscape- and ecological value of the course. De Batouwe communicates its nature/GEO-activities via the regular media , e.g. newsletter, club journal, website, TV screens in the clubhouse and occasionally via local and national news media (tv and newspapers). De Batouwe has the ambition to belong the top 10 best GEO courses in The Netherlands. To substantiate this ambition they will have a communication plan in action by 2016.
- Action Plans and Project Proposals
- Awareness Raising Materials
- Certification Report
- Environmental Data
- External Surveys and Reports
- Internal Reports
De Batouwe has great ambitions with respect to the GEO-themes for the (nearby) future. They have 15 years of experience with the Dutch Committed Program, and this has resulted in fine combination of golf-nature development-sustainability. I, Adrie van der Werf, recommend golf centre DE Batouwe be awarded for the GEO certificate.
- De Batouwe has a long term experience with the Dutch Committed to Green program. This clearly paid of, the biodiversity in and around the course clearly increased over the years
- A highly ambitious GEO-team with respect to the GEO-themes
- Despite their obtained results they still seek for improvements in their sustainability management