Practical measures to increase biodiversity on golf courses

Summary

Biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse are major threats facing humanity in the coming decade. The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 proposes a more holistic approach to biodiversity policy. Protecting and restoring nature cannot be solely imposed by regulation and must include all relevant actors in the peri-urban and rural landscape. Golf courses could contribute to produc¬tion of biological diversity, conservation of natural and cultural environments and retention and expansion of ecosystem services in peri-urban environments and the cultivated landscape.

The project includes several measures to promote biodiversity, each adapted to con¬ditions at the specific golf club. The project aims to benefit insects by creating flower-rich soils with exposed sand. Measures and maintenance efforts can be adapted to a golf course anywhere in the municipality, region or country. The goal is for final inventories in 2023 to show improved flora and insect diversity on participating golf courses. Individual action plans have been drawn up for five golf courses: Falkenbergs GC, Ullared Flädje GC, Harabäckens GC, Hofgårds GC and Vinbergs GC. These action plans describe what, where and when measures for biological diversity can take place on each individual course and include an assessment of the time required and the costs. During the 2021 growing season, the individual plans were implemented in practice:

• Grass surfaces were burned off.

• Grass surfaces were cut and material was removed. A challenge encountered, which will be a problem when these measures are implemented on a larger scale, is to get rid of the existing grass material in an economically and environmentally correct way.

• Sand areas were produced by excavating and/or adding sand in order to support seed and establish new meadow plants that have good functionality for pollinating insects.

• Information material, such as signs etc., was produced for different habitat types.

• During autumn 2021, each facility was visited. The 2021 season was then reviewed and individual action and maintenance plans for 2022 were corrected or designed.

• Release of larger solitary trees and brow environments (thinning and clearing).

• Parts of bunkers are managed and designed so that certain insects will find a place to live in edge zones.

During summer 2021, a dialogue was held with the Golf Federation and course staff at each golf club, to ensure that the action proposals can be coordinated with the game of golf itself.

Contact
Peter Edman

Peter Edman, Swedish Golf Federation, Box 11016, 10061 Stockholm. Tel +46 70 266 5686. Email: peter.edman@golf.se

FACTS
Category: Multifunctional golf facilities
Status: Ongoing
Project period: 2020 - 2023

Fundings (kSEK)

 

2020

2021

2022

2023

Total

STERF

 0

 0

 0

 0

 0

Other sources

790

390

197

200

1577

Total

 790

 390

 197

 200

1577*

* 50% in SEK and 50% in in-kind funding

Project objectives

  • To create a model for local collaboration between the golf club, the municipality and other actors in the community, with the aim of creating rich plant and animal life.

  • To improve biodiversity on golf courses through increased knowledge of how different measures and maintenance routines on the golf course can contribute to creating rich plant and animal life.

  • To study the effects of different care routines to increase the number of pollinating insects and the playability of the golf course’s roughs

  • To evaluate how different care routines benefit specific insect species.

  • To spread knowledge and experience to golf clubs, municipalities and other organisations in society nationally and internationally.