The winners of the 2020 Golf Environment Awards (GEA) were announced at The Crown, Harrogate, in a ceremony hosted by STRI Group. The R&A, as Lead Partner of the GEA, is proud to be associated with this event which recognises the valuable work done by golf clubs and their staff to improve their environment.
Here is a short description of the reason why the winners came out on top, with that choice made difficult by the standard of the nominees in all categories.
Environmental Golf Course of the Year 2020 – Warrington Golf Club
Consistently showing innovative and direct solutions to reducing damaging environmental practices, Warrington has developed a team of experts to show that a course can be sustainable in relation to inputs, environmental impacts and water usage, whilst also being ecologically diverse.
Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year 2020 – Neil Sherman – Ipswich Golf Club, Purdis Heath
Neil Sherman has led a programme which has developed ecologically diverse and fantastically beautiful rough areas at Purdis Heath. Neil and his team have renewed the heathland characteristics of the course.
Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year 2020 – Dundonald Links
Amanda Dorans and the team at Dundonald Links have created a partnership between multiple golf courses and other sectors, including industry and local authorities, to create a network of linked pollinator habitats through North and South Ayrshire. This has achieved amazing results in boosting numbers of the small blue butterfly, which had previously become extinct in the region.
Operation Pollinator 2020 – Banchory Golf Club
Banchory Golf Club has vastly increased the areas on the course dedicated to wildflowers. Naturally seeded areas and also areas sown with species that are appropriate to the local region are both present, supporting a diverse range of invertebrate species.
Home Unions National Award 2020 – Market Harborough Golf Club
Market Harborough is the inaugural winner of the Home Unions National Award. The club management and greenkeeping staff have driven environmental and ecological conservation as a combined force. This has manifested itself through the introduction of a sustainability group which has created policies, action plans and projects that have resulted in direct improvements on the course.
STRI head of ecology, Bob Taylor, said, “The Golf Environment Awards were set up 25 years ago to showcase golf’s positive environmental footprint amongst a backdrop of social negativity. It has been great to see the way in which such small beginnings have now swelled to what is a major movement, delivering and working towards ecological and environmental best practice throughout the length and breadth of the UK.
Steve Isaac, Director – Sustainability at The R&A, said, “The GEA is a special occasion where the commitment and passion of golf towards sustainability and positive environmental management is infectious. Our congratulations to the winners and to everyone who enters the GEA, all demonstrating one of the benefits that golf can bring to the environment and local communities.”
Entries for the 2021 Golf Environment Awards are now open and we encourage all golf clubs, big or small, to enter and be recognised for their efforts. Enter today at www.golfenvironmentawards.com
For more information contact Bob Taylor or Rowan Rumball in STRI’s ecology department, on +44 (0)1274 565131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org