Tuesday, October 06, 2009

St Andrews Links wins award for protecting

the ecology of historic land at Home of Golf

St Andrews Links has received national recognition after winning a prestigious award for protecting the ecology of the historic land at the Home of Golf.
The Golf Course Environment Awards aim to promote and reward the highest standards of environmental management in golf and the Links Trust was the Overall Winner. The awards are run by the Sports Turf Research Institute and are sponsored by Syngenta, Scotts, Ransomes Jacobsen and Golf Monthly.
The award particularly highlighted the creation of a reedbed washdown area by the greenkeeping team on the Jubilee and New courses led by course manager Graeme Taylor . The reedbed on the 17th hole of the Jubilee Course enables water that has been used for washing machinery to be fed through two gravel beds which have been planted with common reed. The reeds filter out the impurities, allowing clean water to be discharged to a soakaway.
A number of other conservation projects carried out by the Links Trust’s greenkeeping teams on all seven courses, including the Old Course and The Castle Course, were also recognised. These included dune reinstatement, grassland management, coastal protection, wildlife habitats and water resource protection.
Alan McGregor, Chief Executive of St Andrews Links Trust, said, “This is a great achievement and is testimony to the hard work of our greenkeeping staff in ensuring that the maintenance of the Links is as environmentally sustainable as possible.
“The innovative conservation projects we carry out on the Links are designed to protect the natural ecology of the land and maintain this wonderful asset for Scottish golf for future generations.”
St Andrews Links has received support from its global partner Allianz in its efforts to maintain the ecology of the Links. Steven Althaus, Senior Vice President Global Brand Management and Strategic Partnerships, Allianz, said, "An important part of Allianz's partnership with St Andrews Links Trust is our shared commitment to sustainability. The Trust has a huge amount of knowledge and experience in minimising the environmental impacts of course management. Everyone at Allianz is delighted their leadership has been recognised by this award."
Examples of the conservation projects include the dune reinstatement work at the Links involved stripping gorse, rosa and bramble from the network of dunes running through the Jubilee Course and allowing dune grasses, such as sea lyme and marram, to regenerate naturally.
The grassland management project sees the cutting and collecting of long grass in the autumn and then the scarification of these areas in spring to allow wispy open rough to grow. These areas form ideal habitats for hares, skylarks and partridges.
Soft engineering work for coastal protection was carried out on the dune system at the outhead of the Jubilee Course last winter and gabion baskets were installed to protect the coastal wall at the Eden Course.

St Andrews Links Trust is a charitable organisation responsible for the management and maintenance of the Links courses at St Andrews , including the famous Old Course, host of the 2010 Open Championship. The Trust was established in 1974. It employs more than 250 permanent staff and seasonal workers during the high season. It manages a number of additional facilities including three clubhouses, a golf practice centre and four shops.
More than 200,000 rounds are played over six public courses, which feature two additional championship courses (the New and the Jubilee), two 18-hole courses (the Eden and the Strathtyrum) and a nine-hole course (the Balgove).
A seventh course, The Castle Course, opened for play in 2008 on a site to the south-east of St Andrews and has already won several international awards including being named by Travel & Leisure Golf magazine in America as the New Course of the Year and International Development of the Year by Golf Inc magazine in America. The course was also included in the prestigious Golf Digest Top 100 Courses in its first year.
For more information visit www.standrews.org.uk



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