Golf Course Ecology Visits - May 2021
Market Harborough Golf Club, Leicestershire, is about to embark on a wetland project that will see both the wildlife and aesthetics of the course taken to the next level.
The course itself is already quite environmentally minded, where Head Greenkeeper Chris Weir, Bob Roberts, Chair of the Environmental Steering Group, and Club Chairman, Bruce Gillanders have been instrumental in researching and then carrying out excellent initiatives such as a next box programme, recycling organic matter, bug hotel development, hedgerow layering (obscenely important) and of course the reason for this blog, pond management.
This beautiful course has 10 ponds of differing sizes, however, a number of these are beginning to become crowded with aquatic and semi-aquatic floras. In an ideal world, where small ponds golf course ponds are concerned, you should have approximately 2/3rds of vegetation and 1/3rd water showing.
Of course, we are talking about nature here and exact dimensions are difficult to achieve as it’s always shifting and evolving. Anyhow, the team now have a first-class wetland recovery report to guide them
An example of their wetlands is shown here. As you can see, we have a selection of flora showing, and these are in good condition, however, water flows into this pond from outside the club’s property and as such has an undesirable amount of fertiliser and other chemistry attached to it.
The aim and objective of this particular pond is to remove the anaerobic matter, leave it near the pond so any wildlife can find its way back, and then allow natural, and native types to return. Simple!
Great work Market Harborough and let us know how the plan unfolds.
James Hutchinson is BIGGA’s Ecology and Sustainability expert. With over 30 years greenkeeping and ecology experience, including two years at St Andrews Links Trust as their Environmental Officer, he is well placed to offer guidance and advice to BIGGA members