Minchinhampton Golf Club
Matt Johns, GEOSA, Accredited Verifier Read verifier report.
Minchinhampton Golf Club is located in the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and implements a wide range of environmental and sustainability good practice measures across its course and club house operations. A wide range of evidence has been provided to document this, which has been reviewed and direct observations of its approach to golf course management were made during the site visit.
GEO Certified® Report
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Click below to read about the activities undertaken by this golf facility to operate sustainably.
- Golf Courses
- Avening (18 holes, 6350 yards, year opened 1973)
- Cherington (18 holes, 6450 yards, year opened 1993)
- Old Course (18 holes, 6000 yards, year opened 1889)
- 2 Clubhouse(s)
- 2 Maintenance Facility/Facilities
- 1 Pro Shop
- 1 Practice Facility/Facilities
- 1 Halfway House(s)
- 1 Other
The Minchinhampton Golf Club lies on two sites in the Cotswolds area of the UK and are referred to as the New Courses (36 holes Avening & Cherington Courses) and the Old Course (18 holes). Both are limestone downland, and the Old Course lies on a public common which has SSSI designation and also Scheduled Ancient Monument status due to the rare calcaeous grassland habitat and the plant and insect species it supports.
The club lies at around 700 feet above sea-level in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty referred to as the Cotswolds AONB.
The Common is owned by the National Trust and administered by Natural England. The New Courses lie on private land with a single Scheduled Ancient Monument on part of the site. There is an archaeological Watching Brief on the entire site.
Two man-made lakes dominate the Avening Course which is a parkland style course, whilst the Cherington course has been designed to have an inland links feel with long ecological rough bordering the holes and lots of rolling undulations.
Consultation & Surveys
This golf facility consults the following organizations regarding landscape heritage conservation:
- The National Trust
- Natural England
- English Heritage/ Historic England
- Forestry Commission
The following landscape assessments and surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility:
|Ecological Managment Plan for the Old Course||RS Taylor||2006/07/27|
|An Archaeological Management Plan for Minchinhampton Old Course||David Mullin||2004/08/02|
|Insect Species List||2013/08/12|
This golf facility consults the following organizations regarding ecosystem protection and enhancement:
- Sports Turf Research Institute
- Natural England
- Forestry Commission
No ecological surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.
Rare, protected and notable species occurring at this golf facility:
|Local name||Scientific name|
|Pyramidal Orchid||Anacamptis pyramidalis|
|Bee Orchid||Ophrys apifera|
|Early Purple Orchid||Orchis mascula|
|Common Spotted Orchid||Dactylorhiza fuchsii|
|Yellow Hammer||Emberiza citrinella|
|Adonis Blue Butterfly||Polyommatus bellargus|
|Green Woodpecker||Picus viridis|
|Pyramidal Orchid||Anacamptis pyramidalis|
|Bee Orchid||Ophrys apifera|
|Early Purple Orchid||Orchis mascula|
|Common Spotted Orchid||Dactylorhiza fuchsii|
|Yellow Hammer||Emberiza citrinella|
|Adonis Blue Butterfly||Polyommatus bellargus|
|Barn Owl||Tyto alba|
This golf facility does not monitor any species as indicators of environmental quality.
Habitats & Designations
This golf facility features the following landscape designations:
|Site of Special Scientific Interest||Natural England|
|Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty||Natural England|
|Scheduled Ancient Monument||English Heritage|
|Nitrate Vulnerable Zone||Envrionment Agency|
Area of habitats / vegetation types, and associated designations at this golf facility:
|Title||Estimated Area (Hectares)||Designation|
|Rough 'ecological' grassland||9||None|
|Open Water Features||0.9||None|
|Cotswold Dry-stone Walls||6.5km||None|
Size and estimated species composition of amenity turfgrass maintained at this golf facility.
|Estimated Area (Hectares)||Turfgrass Species||Sward Composition (%)|
|Greens||3.0 Hectares||Poa annua||60%|
|Agrostis tenuis / capillaris||40%|
|Tees||2.0 Hectares||Lolium perenne||50%|
|Fairways||40.0 Hectares||Festuca rubra||60%|
|Semi Rough||20.0 Hectares||Festuca rubra||60%|
These turfgrasses are optimal for the circumstances at this club because:
18 greens are on a public common - receive no water, no fungicide and very little fertiliser. They are mainly fescue with some poa annua and other grasses such as Yorkshire Fog and are highly sustainable with little management intervention required.
The other two courses have irrigated greens and are mainly poa annua with some bent. Management is tailored towards encouraging bent grass to colonise whilst managing the poa annua with the lowest possible inputs to maintain quality putting surfaces. All three courses are known for the quality of the greens.
Tees are a mixture of rye grass and fescue. Grass tees are required all year around therefore this mixture of grasses are ideal for tolerance to wear.
Fairwyas are largly rye-grass and fescue, which gives great tolerance to wear with some tolerance to drought provided by the fescue.
This golf facility assesses mowing patterns every: 12. All mowing is carried out to a 12 month framework. Day to day decisions are based on performance data which is gathered by the team. months
This golf facility consults the following individuals / organizations regarding its grassing plan:
- Paul Worster
- Hawtree Ltd - Architects
- STRI Ecology
- Natural England
- National Trust
- Committee of Commoners
This golf facility is making the following efforts to manage the playing quality expectations of customers:
|Establishing clear internal policies for irrigation, fertilization, colour, cutting heights, overseeding etc||Member &visitor surveys are conducted from time to time - for example the recent Gloucestershire County Championship. Players were asked to rate greens, tees, fairways, bunkers and rough. This data is used to inform future management in conjunction with performance data.|
|Promoting the playing quality values of more naturalized turf, particularly fairways and semi-rough||The Old Course fairways don't receive any fertiliser, selective herbicides or worm control products. A scientific trial, investigating how the playing quality of the fairway surfaces could be improved sustainably without the use of such products has been concluded and the results applied.|
|Promoting the financial benefits of presenting sustainable surfaces||The difference between turf management of the Old Course and New Course greens is often used as an example. It can be shown that surfaces receiving low inputs require far less intensive and costly maintenance than those receiving higher inputs.|
|Improving customer understanding around greens maintenance||The Course Manager gives a powerpoint presentation at least once a year to members at an evening forum. He describes the greens turf maintenance programme and why certain tasks are carried out during the year and invites questions. External experts and other speakers often accompany these events.|
|Demonstrating the direct relationship between environmental best practice and year round high quality playing surfaces||During members presentations and committee meetings we explain how using low input levels and organic products benefits the agronomic health of the the playing surfaces. We also produce our own compost which is used as a dressing for tees and pathways and for divot filling - this represnts a large financial saving.|
Conservation & Enhancement
This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to conserve landscape character:
|Allowing seasonal variation of course coloration and texture||Fairways are not watered and with only a thin covering of soil over the limestone beneath they do dry out in hot weather, which adds to the links feel of the Cherington Course especially. Areas of long rough are cut and the biomass removed during winter on a rotation to thin the sward and increase biodiversity.|
|Appropriately matching mowing lines to contours||On the Cherington course especially, the use of contour mowing allows the fairways to be narrowed in areas where low handicap players are likely to drive the ball, whilst being wide enough in areas likely to be used by higher handicap players. This adds strategy and playability to the course for golfers of all abilities.|
|Protection and restoration of historic features||There is a Regionally Important Geological feature on the Old Course which is an exposed limestone rock face in one the many abandoned quarries. The rockfaces had become overgrown with scrub but have been re-exposed as part of a scrub thinning project by the golf club.
At the New Course there is a Long-barrow which is protected from development of golf course features, erosion and damage from scrub roots.
|Discreet on-course signage and furniture||The Operation Pollinator area on the Avening Course has a sign informing players and the public using the adjacent footpath about the project. It also provides a link to the ecology page on the golf club website. Signs welcome walkers to the courses at both ends of the footpath and signs on gates to the courses also inform walkers that use the perimeter tracks for dog walking of the presence of golfers. All signage is kept to a minimum. Benches are provided on the par 3 holes and bins & golf ball washers are provided around the courses for the benefit of golfers.|
|Conservation of specimen trees||There is a tree advisory group which comprises of an arboricultural expert, a landscape expert (both club members), chairman of greens, course manager and ecology co-ordinator. An annual meeting takes place and tree work (thinning and planting) for the coming winter is discussed and viewed on site. Several trees have been planted to commemorate special occasions - a Lime was planted by HRH Princess Royal to commemorate the Diamond Jubliee of HM Queen Elizabeth II and a Norway Maple was planted to mark the club's 125th anniversary.|
|Screening and softening unsightly man-made features||The New Course car park is enclosed by hedges. Although some are ever-green there is also a mature beech hedge and a newly planted beech hedge which in time will screen the rear of the driving range building. The Old Course clubhouse has mature Yew trees around it, softening it considerably in the wider landscape.
Leyland Cypress trees planted in the past have in the main been removed.
This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to improve the landscape ecology of the golf course:
|Minimizing the amount of amenity grass||Grass is cut to provide playable golf courses where pace of play is an important consideration. Efforts are being made through cutting and scarifying to thin the swards, which will in time allow for a decrease in the area of rough that needs regular mowing.|
|Increasing the size of habitat patches||Through the Operation Pollinator project the ecology rough either side of the Par 3 Avening 6th hole has been brought further in towards the playing line as the sward has been thinned out. This has inceased the size of the ecology rough habitat in this area of the course.|
|Connection of internal habitat patches||Cutting of the grassland between the golf course feature is kept to a minimum and to only allow the passage of golfers and greenkeeping machinery around the golf courses.|
|Connection of patches with external habitats||The boundaries of the golf course are kept as natural as possible. Where management has taken place the needs of the environment are considered e.g. when a section of stone wall was rebuilt the established animal run was maintained by forming a tunnel through the wall.|
|Creation of habitat corridors||The course provides a network of habitat corridors that allow species to travel on and off the site. Boundary features such as walls and hedges are provided and these link to ecology rough grassland and verge habitats. A good example of a boundary habitat is to the left of the Cherington 8th hole where the stone wall has collapsed and the has been colonised by mosses, wildflowers, grasses and scrub - the feature is rich with wildlife.|
|Avoidance of habitat fragmentation||Fragmentation within habitat patches is avoided wherever possible.|
|Improving and diversifying habitat edges||Hedge laying has taken place at the New Course. Training in the traditional method of hedge laying was provided for two staff who have since gone on to lay hedges around the site. These features have both restored landscape views and improved the hedge/boundary features for wildlife. Not all hedges have been laid to ensure a diversity of habitats exist within the boundaries.|
This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to improve the quality of habitats on the golf course:
|Creation of botanically rich rough grassland||An Amazone was first used to cut, scarify and collect the ecology rough areas about 15 years ago and has been an annual task ever since. Many notable plant species now exist on the site starting with cowslips in the spring which are followed by orchids in the early summer.|
|Ecologically informed management of scrub vegetation||Scrub is managed to keep the grasslands open. However it is appreciated that scrub is important for many species and so patches are maintained where appropriate. On the Old Course the golf club contributes labour and machinery towards the National Trust's Scrub Management Plan each winter.|
|Promoting species and structurally diverse woodlands||There are no mature woodlands on the golf courses. An understory of vegetation is allowed to establish within the tree plantations at the New Courses in out of play areas. Plants represented in these areas include Hawthorn and Hazel.|
|Establishment of littoral shelves and marginal vegetation in wetland areas||The new lake built in 2006 was planted with aquatic vegetation and this has colonised the edges well. The older lake was not planted but now has a margin with soft rush, flag iris and water mint well represented.
Two other small ponds have been created purely for the benefit of wildlife with aquatic plants allowed to colonise these feature naturally, which has happened successfully.
|Maintenance of an appropriate balance of open water and aquatic vegetation||The older lake has problems with weed which can cause problems and an aerator has been fitted which has eliminated the need for mechanical clearing. The water is used for irrigation.|
This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to conserve and enhance biodiversity on the golf course:
|Provision of nesting and nectar for pollinators||The ecology grassland provides a large amount of nectar for pollinators. This grassland is managed through an annual or biannual cut, scarify and collection treatment. There is also an established Operation Pollinator area at the New Course and the club is one of the 'Champion Clubs' helping with the project thorugh participation in plant and insect species monitoring, whilst highlighting the project to other clubs.|
|Installation of nest boxes||There are some 20 nest boxes located around the New Courses. These are cleaned and repaired each autumn. There are plans for a range of nest boxes suitable for different species, along with bat boxes and a new barn owl box.|
|Provision of feeding tables||Several pirches have been erected within a large area of ecology rough at the New Course. These can be used by birds that feed on small mammals that live within the grassland habitat.|
|Control / management of alien species||Pine trees could be considered an alien species in relation to the cotswold landscape. Pines (Scot's and Corsican) were planted on the Avening Course when it was built in the early 1970's to act as nurse trees for the deciduous trees planted amongst them. Deciduous trees have always been the intended long term specimen trees and there is a programme of pine thinning which is on-going.|
|Provision of hibernation areas||There is a reptile hibernacular in a quiet corner of the Cherington Course. It is hard to determine the use of this feature without distrubing it and so it has been left alone.|
|Creation of micro-habitats (eg log and stone piles)||Log piles are placed around the New Courses from winter tree thinning work. In some areas tree stumps that have been dug up have been piled up along with short logs and covered with soil to provide a different type of log pile with many gaps and voids within them|
Water is abstracted from two boreholes on the New Course site. No mains water is used on the golf courses, and holding lakes have been built on the courses as a backup facility in case of borehole or abstraction problems. Both boreholes have an abstraction licence from the Environment Agency with a maximum allowance of 590m3 per day or 65000m3 per year. Close monitoring ensures compliance. A constant rate pump test was conducted in 2008 where springs in the area were monitored to ensure abstraction from the boreholes wasn't depleting them. We use minimal water where possible as this is proven to be best for overall turf health and application is made via state of the art irrigation equipment.
There is no irrigation system on the Old Course and watering of the greens only takes place during prolonged dry weather using a tanker which is filled with borehole water at the New Course.
Both clubhouses and maintenance facilities use mains water...
Sources & Consumption
No water audits have been undertaken at this golf facility.
The water used at this golf facility is drawn from the following sources:
|2016||Source(s)||% of supply||Total Consumption|
|Golf Course||Public / Potable||0%||9,476,000 Litres|
|2015||Source(s)||% of supply||Total Consumption|
|Golf Course||Public / Potable||0%||16,764,000 Litres|
|2014||Source(s)||% of supply||Total Consumption|
|Clubhouse(s)||Public / Potable||100%||1,609,640 Litres|
|Golf Course||Groundwater||100%||12,984,000 Litres|
Irrigation & Efficiency
The following areas receive irrigation at this golf facility:
|Greens||Daily in season|
|Tees||2-3 days per week|
The irrigation system at this golf facility is:
Fully computer controlled
The irrigation system at this golf facility is:
Serviced every 6 months
Upgraded every 10 years
Re-calibrated and checked for efficient application every 1 years
This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to maximize irrigation efficiency:
|Selection of grass species||Fescue has been used on the aprons at the new course to replace rye-grass. The aim of this exercise was to improve playability of the aprons whilst using a grass with lower demands of water and nutrition. The Old Course greens have a high percentage of fescue in them to reduce the need to irrigate, as irrigation can only be done by hand using a tractor and water tanker.|
|Soil decompaction and thatch management||The soil under the greens and tees is regularly aerated as part of the golf course management strategy. Thatch is controlled through hollow coring, linear aeration and regular spiking as required. Water applications are carefully controlled through regular moisture monitoring so as not to encourage thatch development. Venting of greens using slitters and a pencil tiner is ongoing all year around in conjunction with deeper aeration and applications of sand to limit thatch development.|
|Timing and dose of water application||Water is only applied when it is necessary due to weather conditoins. Evapo-transpiration data is used to help calculate the amount of water to be applied, as is a soil moisture meter and site experience.|
|Analysis of soil moisture||Delta T Soil Moisture Meter is used to measure % moisture in greens during dry conditions to inform irrigation decisions.|
|Incorporation of evapotranspiration rates and weather data||The onsite weather station records rainfall, temperature and evapotranspiration rates. This data is used to inform irrigation decisions. The data alone does not currently control the irrigation. The system monitors rainfall and switches off in the case of an unexpected rain event.|
|Use of wetting agents||Wetting agents are used regularly through the year to maintain moisture levels and also as a penetrant to move water through the soil profile.|
|Overall reduction in irrigated area||When the new irrigation system was installed in 2006 the greens and surrounds were given separate irrigation heads so that water can be directed much more efficiently and only on the target areas i.e. the greens can be watered without having to water the surrounds also - and vice versa.|
|Targeting of sprinkler heads||The irrigation system was designed by an irrigation professional and fitted by a qualified and experienced contractor. Regular monthly visual checks are carried out to maintain effectiveness and prevent wastage.|
|Optimizing system pressure||The system is serviced and maintained twice a year by an irrigation contractor to ensure it is operating efficiently.|
|Adoption of cutting edge nozzle technology||All nozzles are less than 7 years old, were specified by a Consultant, and have been fitted to ensure as even a coverage as possible.|
This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to conserve / reduce / minimize water consumption:
|Low-flow urinals and toilets||Cistermiser urinal controls are fitted at the New Course.|
|Use of water efficient appliances||Appliances are replaced with the most efficient models available at the time.|
|Use of efficient shower technology||This is fitted to the New Course|
|Repairing leaks||Leaks are dealt with quickly by isolating the area of the leak in the system immediately and getting a repair made asap.|
|Water awareness signage||There are various - "please turn off the tap" signs|
Minchinhampton Golf Club is committed to reducing energy consumption. A full survey of the business electricity and gas usage was conducted in 2008 and since then investment has been made in energy reduction technology.
Minchinhampton has also participated in the 'Keeping Golf Green & Profitable' project run by England Golf, which involved a further survey of the business to focus on the potential for renewable energy generation technology. Voltage optimisation was also investigated but unfortunately after a survey by a specialist it was deemed that the site was not suitable for this.
Fuel use is continually monitored and the machinery replaced by modern fuel efficient machines on a regular replacement cycle. A specialist mechanic is employed to service and maintain the machines to ensure they are running as efficiently as possible.
Sources & Consumption
The following energy surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility:
|Target 2050 Energy Survey||Mike Brain, Severn Wye Energy Agency||2008/04/08|
This golf facility does not consume any renewable energy or resources.
Consumption of non-renewable energy and resources at this golf facility:
|Heating Oil (Litres)||2250||1950|
|Hydraulic Oil (Litres)||400||400|
|Natural Gas (Litres)||3992||4214|
|Non-renewable Grid (kWh)||44061||44264|
This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to diversify energy and fuel supply:
|Installation of small scale wind turbine||This was looked in to but was not financially viable.|
|Installation of photovoltaic and / or solar panels||This was looked in to but was not financially viable.|
|Use of geothermal and / or ground sources||Ground source heating was quoted for in the greenkeeping facility and it is under consideration for use in the clubhouse when the existing gas boilers reach the end of their efficient life.|
|Use of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG)||LPG was trialled in a Toro 3100 greensmower, a Toro Workman and an E-Z-GO golf buggy. Unfortuantely this trial found LPG to be unreliable as it performed poorly when the engines were cold. This made driving the golf buggy difficult for golfers as you needed to be used to it and understand how to drive on it, rather than just jumping in and driving off. It was also found to be unreliable in the mower and Workman Utility and so the project was not taken any further.|
|Use of biodiesel and /or ethanol||Bio-diesel makes up a percentage of the diesel mix purchased to run the golf course maintenance fleet.|
|Use of electric hybrid vehicles||Two diesel greens mowers have electric reel motor systems which reduces the amount of hydraulic oil used and lowers exhaust emissions when compared to a conventional diesel hydraulic machine.|
|Use of recycled oils||Hydraulic oil is tested for structure and impurities at each service. Oil which is shown to be in good condition is NOT changed as a matter of course. It has been shown that oils will last for three or four service cycles without causing harm.|
This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to reduce energy consumption:
|Investment in low-energy heating and air conditioning systems||A low energy cooling system has been considered for the Clubhouse at the New course.|
|Optimizing thermostat levels for heating and refrigeration||Heating is managed by the General Manager and refrigeration by the Head Chef.|
|Enhancement of natural ventilation opportunities||Several large windows open to provide ventilation to the clubhouse in the summer months. High ceilings and thick walls ensure that one half of the first floor of the clubhouse is always cool during hot weather. Air conditioning is only used behind the bar and in the main office at the New Course for staff comfort.|
|Upgrading of building insulation||Both suspended ceilings within the first floor rooms of the New Course clubhouse have been replaced. The new ceilings have insulation built in to them to prevent heat escaping up in to the large roof space above.|
|Use of natural light (e.g. sunlight pipes)||Large feature windows throughout the first floor of the New Course clubhouse reduces the need for lighting. There is also a large atrium style glass roof above the stairs which further reduces the need for artificial light.|
|Installation of low-energy lighting||Lighting in the changing rooms have been upgraded to low energy bulbs and the lights within the new suspended ceilings are also low energy.|
|Use of motion sensor lighting||Lights in the changing rooms have motion sensors and so does the tool store in the greenkeeping facilty.|
|Transition to energy efficient appliances||When replacing equipment the club is committeed to purchasing energy efficient models wherever possible.|
|Use of timers with appliances, heating and lighting||The heating systems are controlled by timers and the external lighting on the New Course clubhouse is also on a timer.|
|Educating staff and customers||All staff are reminded to turn off lights and appliances when they are not needed. Several staff check that energy is not being wasted.|
Vehicles & Transport
The maintenance fleet at this golf facility uses the following fuel sources:
|Ride-on Mowers||Walking Mowers||Utility Vehicles|
Additional vehicles operated by this golf facility use the following fuel sources:
This golf facility has established the following schemes to encourage reductions in staff and customer transport emissions:
|Car sharing incentives||No incentives are currently provided but 4 members of the greenkeeping staff share transport to and from work.|
|Group transportation (e.g. buses)||Rural location makes using public transport difficult.|
|Secure cycle parking||Several staff cycle to work and their bikes are secured whilst they are work.|
|Promoting public transport routes and timetables||Rural location makes using public transport difficult.|
|Increasing equipment storage (e.g. lockers)||All staff have access to lockers to store their belongings whilst at work. Coin operated lockers in the changing rooms are available for use by all.|
|Staff showers||There are showers in the staff rooms and in the changing rooms.|
|Promotion of walk to work campaigns||Staff who live nearby walk to work.|
The main products and services used are golf course management products, retail products and hospitality products (food and beverages). Minchinhampton Golf Club endeavors to use local products and services where practical and is always looking for ways to reduce the resources it needs without compromising the quality of the product (golf courses, clubhouses and overall member/visitor experience).
This golf facility undertakes the following ethical / environmental purchasing activities:
|Measures to avoid waste at source||Request minimal packaging
Return pallets to supplier or forward on to a local contractor for re-use
Retain bubble-wrap packaging and re-use when posting our own samples etc.
Waste to landfill has been reduced by one third in the last five years
As regards the golf shops - there is significant customer demand for next-day products which inevitably increases packaging and deliveries.
|Use of local suppliers||The business tries to use local suppliers for practicality and the relationships that can be built locally.
Sands and dressings have to be brought in from further afield, but are always purchased in bulk loads to reduce transport
The Golf shop has three suppliers within ten miles
The Course supplier has two retail outlets within twelve miles
|Use of local products||Gravels are purchased locally in returnable bags - the gravel itself is produced locally from limestone deposits
Wall stone is purchased from a quarry 2 miles away from the club
Always specify British products where possible
The Managers regularly meet and there is always a consideration as to how packaging may be reduced - e.g. returned or reused.
|Selection of certified products||Certified compost is used in top-dressings - produced to pas100\2005. This prevents the need to continue to strip peat and soil from traditional sources|
|Use of recycled and recyclable products||All golf course arisings such as turf, sand, shredded branches, grass clippings, leaves, bunker edgings and cow manure is incorporated into compost and reused on site. This runs into approx 250 tonnes per year and is used in bunker reconstruction and tee extensions. Some of this is made available to members for their own use from time to time.|
|Selection of products that feature minimal packaging||Bulk gravels purchased in returnable tonne bags.
|Use of accredited suppliers (e.g. ISO 14001)||Whitemoss Amenity
An overview of the supplier network at this golf facility:
|Total number of suppliers||Total number of suppliers within 10 Miles||Total number of suppliers within 100 Miles|
|Trade & Contractors||11||7||4|
This golf facility undertakes the following IPM activities:
|Encouraging drought and disease tolerant grasses||Judicious use of irrigation including remote computer access to irrigation system.
Regular overseed with bent seed in conjunction with organic fertilisation system
Overseed with fescue on the 18 greens which don't receive regular irrigation
|Managing stress and wear||Regular hole-change and marker placement before heavy wear occurs therefore minimising inputs and repairs
Regular course inspections and adjustments
Good communications with members to ensure the course is looked after
|Enhancement of soil structure||Use of aeration in conjunction with compost teas and other natural products
Regular inspection and testing
Maintaining good drainage by aeration and minimising chemical input
Twice-annual hollow tining and thatch removal
optimal watering to prevent structure damage
On-going performance monitoring
|Optimization of the growing environment||Use of compost tea and organic products and a lesser reliance on chemical inputs.
One set of 18 greens does not receive any fungicide or other chemicals
Weeds are dug by hand or in the worst case spot sprayed
Where there is a choice of products the least harmful is always used
Low-volume products are always given consideration over higher volume
|Managing thatch levels||Regular monitoring of thatch levels and timely intervention without putting the sward under undue stress. Management aims to not encourage the rapid build up of thatch in the the soil profile.
Hollow coring takes place once/twice a year depending on thatch levels.
|Managing surface moisture||A moisture probe is used as a tool to help assess the need for applying irrigation water.
Rootzones are regularly aerated to reduce compaction and aid drainage to ensure water can drain through them efficiently.
Wetting agents are also used to manage surface moisture.
|Establishing thresholds for pests and disease||This is carried out by eye and based on feedback from the playing customers
Disease will be monitored, and if necessary photographed and logged. Spray records and the results of treatments are recorded in a diary to determine the effectiveness and efficacy of chemical and fertiliser applications
|Scouting for pests and diseases||Staff are expected to be vigilant for signs of pests and disease during their routine working day and report any findings to the senior staff. This includes photography|
|Monitoring / improvement of plant health||Turf playing surfaces are monitored regularly as part of the normal course maintenance. Greens are monitored closely for signs of nutrition deficiency, water deficiency, disease and general turf health.|
Fertilizer use at this golf facility in the last three years (kg):
|Fairways - K - Inorganic||8||8||25|
|Fairways - N - Inorganic||56|
|Fairways - P - Inorganic||4||4||4|
|Greens - K - Inorganic||111||90||81|
|Greens - N - Inorganic||140||131||114|
|Greens - N - Organic|
|Greens - P - Inorganic||0||0||5|
|Rough - K - Inorganic||0||0||0|
|Rough - N - Inorganic||0||0||0|
|Rough - P - Inorganic||0||0||0|
|Semi-Rough - K - Inorganic||1||1||25|
|Semi-Rough - N - Inorganic||2||2||56|
|Semi-Rough - P - Inorganic||0||0||4|
|Tees - K - Inorganic||60||60||69|
|Tees - N - Inorganic||90||90||111|
|Tees - P - Inorganic||6||6||10|
Pesticide use at this golf facility in the last three years (kg):
|Fairways - Fungicide - Active Ingredient||0|
|Fairways - Fungicide - Total Weight||0|
|Fairways - Fungicide - Number of applications per year||0|
|Fairways - Herbicide - Active Ingredient||15|
|Fairways - Herbicide - Total Weight||60||60||60|
|Fairways - Herbicide - Number of applications per year||1|
|Fairways - Insecticide - Active Ingredient||0|
|Fairways - Insecticide - Total Weight||0|
|Fairways - Insecticide - Number of applications per year||0|
|Greens - Fungicide - Active Ingredient||11|
|Greens - Fungicide - Total Weight||0.4410|
|Greens - Fungicide - Number of applications per year||3||3||3|
|Greens - Herbicide - Active Ingredient||0||0||.02|
|Greens - Herbicide - Total Weight||0||0||0.25|
|Greens - Herbicide - Number of applications per year||0||0||1|
|Greens - Insecticide - Active Ingredient||0||0||0|
|Greens - Insecticide - Total Weight||0||0||0|
|Greens - Insecticide - Number of applications per year||0||0||0|
|Rough - Fungicide - Active Ingredient||0|
|Rough - Fungicide - Total Weight||0|
|Rough - Fungicide - Number of applications per year||0|
|Rough - Herbicide - Active Ingredient||10|
|Rough - Herbicide - Total Weight||40|
|Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year||1|
|Rough - Insecticide - Active Ingredient||0|
|Rough - Insecticide - Total Weight||0|
|Rough - Insecticide - Number of applications per year||0|
|Semi-Rough - Fungicide - Active Ingredient||0|
|Semi-Rough - Fungicide - Total Weight||0|
|Semi-Rough - Fungicide - Number of applications per year||0|
|Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Active Ingredient||2.5||2.5||2.5|
|Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Total Weight||10||10||10|
|Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year||1|
|Semi-Rough - Insecticide - Active Ingredient||0|
|Semi-Rough - Insecticide - Total Weight||0|
|Semi-Rough - Insecticide - Number of applications per year||0|
|Tees - Fungicide - Active Ingredient||0||0||0|
|Tees - Fungicide - Total Weight||0||0||0|
|Tees - Fungicide - Number of applications per year||0|
|Tees - Herbicide - Active Ingredient||500|
|Tees - Herbicide - Total Weight||2.0||2.0||2.0|
|Tees - Herbicide - Number of applications per year||1||1||1|
|Tees - Insecticide - Active Ingredient||0|
|Tees - Insecticide - Total Weight||0|
|Tees - Insecticide - Number of applications per year||0|
This golf facility undertakes the following actions to optimize pesticide use:
|Selection on the least toxic and lest persistent products||Use of 20 litre per hectare fungicide products discontinued in favour of lower rate products
Use of 5 litre per hectare herbicides discontinued in favour of 2 litre products
Spot treatment carried out where possible with all pesticides.
When spot treatment is not possible - the least toxic and lowest does-rate products are selected.
Herbicides are generally applied in alternate years in the rough, and this year the semi rough. Trials are on-going to demonstrate how fairways may be maintained with minimal pesticide inputs
|Selection of appropriate products for specific pests and diseases||Best advice taken from retained agronomist
No unnecessary treatments
|Spot-treatment with handheld sprayers and wipers||Vitax Garden aerosol weed-sprays in use on greens where hand-weeding not feasible.
|Calibration and testing of sprayers||Annual MOT on both sprayers
Annual calibration of knapsack sprayers
|Use of shrouded sprayer and anti-drip nozzles||Gambetti shrouded truck-mounted 600 litre sprayer
Scorpion 50 litre shrouded electric sprayer
No other sprayers currently in use
|Non-chemical weed control||Hand-weeding and a heat gun|
|Use of organic and biological products to improve plant health and resistance.||Cold-pressed Seaweed
No waste audits have been undertaken at this golf facility.
This golf facility manages key waste streams as follows:
|Paper & Cardboard||false||true||false||false|
|Cores & Turf||true||false||false||false|
|Wood / Timber||true||false||false||false|
This golf facility undertakes the following activities to continue the lifecycle of materials and resources:
|Separation of recyclable materials||All course waste and office waste is separated - plastic bottles, paper and cardboard are recycled via Printwaste of Cheltenham, and other rubbish currently goes to landfill but may shortly be processed on site.
All workshop waste is recycled via Course Care of York.
|Establishment of recycling centers||There is good local kerbside collection so limited interest from members to dispose of garden waste or Christmas trees etc.
Members are encouraged to separate their waste within a segregated unit close to the main entrance
|Returning clipping to fairways and walkways||All organic waste is composted, shredded and screened. This is used as top-dressings for fairways and tees, and also as a finishing material for our bunker reconstruction programme. Around 250 tonnes a year are produced.
Cow manure from the Old Course is also incorporated.
|Education of staff and customer education||Regular presentations to staff and members on the importance of being responsible
Regular meetings with local officials relating to the Minchinhampton area to highlight the importance of golf course work to the community
|Waste awareness campaigns||Staff are encouraged to recover all materials from the course. None of it is dumped.
Switch off and make a difference campaign on taps and lights
Reducing the risk for pollution is very important to Minchinhampton Golf Club and all reasonable measures are taken to protect against pollution incidents from happening.
- All hazardous products are securely stored inside buildings.
- Chemicals are stored within a locked bunded metal cupboard.
- Fuels are stored in locked bunded tanks with re-fueling taking place within bunded areas to protect against spillage.
- Washing of machines and equipment takes place using a closed loop washdown system.
- All hazardous waste such as workshop waste is collected separately and sent to a specialist for proper disposal.
- Buffer zones around water features are observed when spraying.
- Spraying of pesticides is kept to a minimum but when necessary they are always applied through a shrouded boom sprayer to eliminate the potential for drift.
- All chemical containers are double rinsed and sent to a specialist for disposal.
- Staff are educated to reduce the risk of pollution through use of approved practices and these are outlined within the Standard Operating Procedures handbook, which is issued to all staff.
This golf facility monitors water quality with the following frequency:
Waste water from this golf facility is managed as follows:
|Discharges to||Formal Discharge Agreement|
|Maintenance Facility||Septic Tank||N/A|
|Wash Pad||Closed Loop Recycling||N/A|
Hazardous materials at this golf facility are handled and disposed of as follows:
|Secure Storage||Registered Uplift|
This golf facility undertakes the following activities to prevent pollution from its maintenance facility and clubhouse:
|Storage of equipment and hazardous products on covered, sealed impervious areas||All fertilisers and pesticides are stored in a secure metal cupboard or inside a secure building with a concrete floor. No drains or water courses are nearby to the storage of any hazardous product. Run-off from the maintenance facility is intercepted into a holding bed which is clay lined.|
|Maintenance of equipment on covered, sealed impervious areas||All machines are stored and maintained within purpose built buildings. Aggregates are mainly stored inside to protect them from contamination or them contaminating the environment through wind-blow or water run-off.|
|Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers in covered areas||Measuring of chemicals and decanting from large containers takes place inside on a concrete floor.|
|Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers over impervious surfaces||Mixing of pesticides takes place either within the bunded area of the washdown pad or on an impervious concrete surface.|
|Installation of above-ground fuel tanks||The diesel tank is a bunded tank and is located within it's own secure block built building.
The heating oil tank is a bunded tank and is located within a secure building.
|Installation of sufficient secondary containment for fuel||The diesel tank is located within the bunded washdown area. If a spillage was to occur the fuel would be contained within the closed loop water recycling system. Any minor spills from routine refuelling of machines takes place within the bunded area, thus eliminating any soil/ground water contamination.|
|Provision of containment booms and absorbent materials||Spill kits for machines are available.|
|Washing of Machinery||Machinery is washed after each use using a closed loop washdown system within a bunded area. The system uses naturally occurring bacteria in a series of aerobic and anaerobic chambers within a 3000 litre underground tank. Once the water has been treated it is pumped up to a holding tank for re-use. It also passes through a series of filters before being used to remove particulates, odour and finally a UV light tube to kill any harmful organisms. Water is collected from a nearby roof to keep the system topped up as water is lost due to evaporation and splashing.|
This golf facility undertakes the following activities to prevent pollution on its golf course:
|Eliminating leachate and run-off through careful timing of turf inputs||The weather forecast is monitored to identify suitable windows for the application of inputs. Granular fertiliser applications to the fairways have been largely replaced by liquid fertiliser applied through a computer controlled shrouded boom sprayer to give more control of nutrition and to ensure only the target areas are treated.|
|Establishment of vegetative buffer strips around water bodies||No chemicals or fertilisers are applied within a buffer zone of 3 meters from the edge of the lakes. A grass buffer is also set to be introduced around the new lake.|
|Establishment of emergency spillage response plan||Spill kits are available for use and staff are instructed to inform a senior member of the team should a spill occur.|
|Controlling erosion and sediment discharge||There is no direct discharge of water from the site. All run-off passes through long rough grassland and then drains down slowly through the limestone geology.|
|Establishment of pesticide-free zones||All ecology rough grassland areas are pesticide free zones at the New Course.
Everything outside the semi rough at the New Course is free of pesticide execpt for areas of maintained rough which receive a selective herbicide to control weeds on a very infrequent basis. Spot treatment is always preferred instead of blanket spraying - this makes both environmental and economic sense.
The only pesticide applied to the Old Course is a spot treatment for weeds on tees and collars once a year, but only if necessary and before the cows are put out.
|Use of swales and bio-filters to slow and treat surface run-off||Due to the topography and drainage characteristics of the site it would be very rare for water to leave by surface run-off. Vegetation exists around the boundaries of the site which intercepts and contains surface run-off and the limestone geology drains extremely efficiently.|
Minchinhampton Golf Club's mission statement says that the aim of the club is to provide high quality of golf courses to local people at an affordable price. Membership of the Old Course is under half the cost of a typical golf club membership and is a great place for people to get in to playing the game affordably in a relaxed atmosphere.
The club employs local people and supports local charities through golf days and contributions from events during the year.
The golf club provides labour and machinery for conservation work on Minchinhampton & Rodborough commons for the benefit of the local community and environment.
Employment & Education
Typical staffing levels at this golf facility are:
|Full Time||Part Time||Seasonal|
|Food & Beverage||5||20|
|Retail & Leisure||2|
The sustainability working group at this golf facility is comprised of:
- General Manager
- Course Manager
- Committee Members
- Tree programme controller
Employees at this golf facility receive the following formal and informal environmental education:
|Storage, application and disposal of pesticides||Only qualified (NPTC PA1, PA2, PA6) people are allowed to handle chemical products. All other employees are told at their induction that they must not touch pesticides and products for which they are not qualified to do so or go near the chemical storage cupboard.|
|Efficient water management||Only senior staff have access to the irrigation control computer, pumphouse and borehole controls.
Staff are instructed to report any leaks or damaged/malfunctioning sprinklers to a senior member of staff who will act to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
|Management of accidents and emergencies||Several staff from all departments of the club are first aid trained and first aid kits are available from marked cupboards.
A mobile defribulator is kept on site and staff have been trained to use it.
Staff are asked to assist anyone taken ill or injured on the courses by arranging first aid, medical attention or transporting the person back to the clubhouse.
|Management of habitats and vegetation||The Club aims to have a competent person in charge of Ecology. The staff team have delegated responsibility for the appropriate management of all habitats and vegetation. They are coordinated and educated through presentations, reports during weekly staff meetings, informal conversations during work and attendance of members presentations.|
|Waste minimization, separation and recycling||Staff are expected to separate plastic bottles from the on course bins. Recycling facilities for cardbaord, office paper, glass bottles, plastic bottles, aerosol cans and metals are provided. Used chemical containers and fertiliser bags are stored separately for collection by a specialist waste contractor.|
|Health & Safety||All staff read the Health & Safety Policy document and sign to say they understand it. Each task on the golf has a Standard Operating Procedure and each member of staff has a copy. They read and sign that that they understand and indicate which tasks they are competent, qualified, in training or not allowed to do - this is done with their senior staff mentor.
All accidents and "near misses" must be reported to the relevent department line manager.
Recently, Xact have been brought in to carry out a full Safety Assessment and the results of which are currently under consideration.
|Energy Saving||Staff are requested to turn off lights and electrical equipment when they are not needed.
Staff are instructed to take any tools and equipment they need and drive around the site by the most efficient route to keep journeys short and fuel use low.
|Understanding of landscape and cultural heritage||Staff are informed about the landcape and heritage of the sites during staff meetings, meetings with other organisations e.g. annual ecological management plan meeting and through informal conversations.|
|Environmental management planning||All environmental management is the responsibility of the Course Manager who liaises with Club Management to address environmental needs.|
This golf facility engages with local community groups in the following manner:
|Neighbours||Regular communication takes place with several neighbours who have properties near the course. The 4th green on the Cherington Course is alongside a house and so as not to cause disturbance no maintenance (cutting, rolling, hole changing etc) takes place or the property driven past by any machines until 8am on weekdays and 8.30am at weekends and bank holidays.
Boundaries are maintained to the satisfaction of the neighbours e.g. low sections of hedges are managed to maintain natural light to houses on the boundary. Efforts are made to keep the boundary growth in check while remaining natural.
|Local Government||Natural England and the Forestry Commission are consulted for all statutory work that is undertaken on the golf courses.|
|Local Environmental Groups||OLD Course. During the consultation stage of the Old Course Ecological Management Plan the Course Manager and the then Ecology Co-ordinator made several presentations to local environmental groups to gain feedback and communicate with the local community. Relations have improved immensely and a real rapport established which sees the Club entrusted with Environmental Project work around the Common as well as on the actual Golf Course.|
|Local Community Groups||The Course Manager has given numerous presentations about the golf course environment to local groups and clubs such as The National Trust, Rotarians, and Gardening Clubs.|
|Media||We have participated in local media stories, such as the 140th anniversary of the invention of the cylinder mower by Edwin Budding in Stroud. The local BBC television news came to the Old Course where we demonstrated the latest Toro greens mower and the Course Manager was interviewed on modern golf course management. This was followed up by the Ecology Co-ordinator being interview live on BBC local radio about the environment of golf courses.
The Course Manager was interviewed live on local radio in 2016 talking about water-saving measures for grass.
|Local Businesses||Products are sourced from local businesses wherever possible|
|Schools & Colleges||Local school students receive golf coaching from the golf professionals at Minchinhampton and fliers advertising the junior golf academy are periodically sent out to schools in the area.
The Club always offers Work Experience places to local Schools. Many local young people have come into contact with golf in this way - and several have gone on to gain temporary and full time positions with the club staff team.
Land Use & Cultural Heritage
This golf facility provides access and diversified land use for others through:
|Maintenance of existing public paths||A public footpath runs through the New Course site and this is maintained by cutting and checking the condition of stiles, signs & way markers regularly. Signs welcome footpath walkers to the course and give advice. Other signage to deter people from walking in potentially dangerous areas is also displayed.|
|Creation of new paths and nature trails||The local public are allowed to walk around the boundary tracks of the New Courses.|
|Installation of effective and welcoming signage||Signs welcoming the public to the site are located at either end of the public footpath and inform them of the presence of golfers and requesting that dogs be kept on a lead.
Signs are displayed for golfers on holes crossed by the footpath informing them that walkers have priority.
The Operation Pollinator area is marked with an information sign with a link the the club's ecology webpage.
|Providing opportunities for other recreation (e.g. fishing)||Local people are allowed to walk around the perimeter tracks of the New Course.|
|Partnership conservation and access projects (e.g. community woodland)||The club works with the National Trust on several projects;
- Restoration of a species rich hay meadow that borders the Old Course. The long term aim is to produce seed and turf that can be used to repair areas of the Old Course and wider common.
- Participation in the National Trust Scrub Management Plan which involves thinning scrub on the Common both on and away from the Golf Course.
|Continuation of traditional agricultural activities||Grazing of the grassland by cattle takes place on the Old Course and this is organised & managed by the Minchinhampton Committee of Commoners as it has been for hundreds of years. Cattle are free to roam accross the whole site, including the golf course. Greens are occasionally temporarily fenced to allow recovery from trampling but this is kept to an absolute minimum.|
No archaeological or heritage surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.
This golf facility consults the following organizations regarding the conservation of cultural heritage:
- National Trust
- Natural England
- Historic England
This golf facility undertakes the following activities to conserve cultural heritage features:
|Buildings (Listed Buildings / Ancient Monuments etc)||There are several scheduled ancient monuments on the Old Course and a long barrow at the New Course. Scrub control takes place above archaeologically senstive areas to prevent damage from roots.|
|Archaeology (Settlements / Agricultural System etc)||There is upstanding achaeology on the Old Course belived to be Iron Age field enclosures and rabbit warrens, amongst many others, with the most recent being anti-glider trenches that were dug during WWII. All of these are identified in the archaeology report and are protected from erosion and damage from scrub roots.|
|Historic Features (Hedgerows / Dykes / Moats / Cairns etc)||Hedges and dry-stone walls are features of both the New Courses. The Cherington Course retains all of the internal field walls that were present when the land was purchased by the club in the early 1990's. The walls were used in the golf course design and act as hazards. Sections are rebuilt each winter to keep the walls in a good state of repair. Hedges around the Avening course are old and wide in many areas. They are managed through infrequent cutting to maintain their shape. All three sides of the hedges are never cut at the same time.|
This golf facility undertakes the following internal environmental communications:
|Provision of newsletters, notice boards & poster display||Environmental news is often posted on the club notice board.
An environmental display board has been put together and was put on display in the clubhouse. It is now used during member and visitor events to inform and show people what environmental work happens on the course and displays pictures of notable species. HRH the Princess Royal was involved in a tree-planting to mark the Queens Diamond Jubilee.
|Members evenings and course walks||The Course Manager makes an annual powerpoint presentation during member information evenings - an external local speaker is generally invited for interest and information. The Course Manager leads an annual Green Committee course walk.|
|Course guides / brochures||Course brochures feature a section on ecology and there are also numerous pictures of ecological interest.
The Club websites both have sections devoted to Ecology.
|Interpretation panels & course signage||Operation Pollinator signage is displayed where it is visible to players and the public footpath.|
This golf facility undertakes the following social and environmental advocacy activities:
|Website, press releases & brochures||The club website has an ecology page which details some of the ecological projects undertaken. Club brochures include a section on ecology and pictures of ecological interest are published throughout the brochures.|
|Supporting campaigns||Minchinhampton is a "Champion Club" in the Operation Pollinator scheme and works to encourage other clubs to take up the scheme, whilst participating in plant and invertebrate monitoring.|
|Course walks / open days||Course walks have been organised but this has been aimed largly at members of the golf club and their relatives.|
|Attending community meetings||During the liason period of the ecological management plan for the old course, the course manager and ecology co-ordinator attended several local meetings to discuss the plan and get public feedback.
The Old Course Administrator attends the National Trust Advisory Group meetings to represent the golf club and feedback to the management matters relating to the Old Course and Minchinhampton Common.
|Joint practical projects with community||The golf club regularly provides resources to help with practical management/conservation projects on Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons. Examples include cutting, scarifying and collection of biomass from long grassland areas to encourage grazing and scrub control around sensitive sites.|