The R&A - Working for Golf

The R&A and the RSPB working together

The R&A has signed a 3-year agreement with the RSPB to fund the post of RSPB Business Conservation Advisor. In January 2020, Dr Marie Athorn took up this position, which will see her working closely with The R&A to support golf in the UK. 

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                                        Dr Marie Athorn began her role as RSPB Business Conservation Advisor in January 2020.

The focus of this work will aim to improve the habitat management and wildlife value of our golf courses and support golf in promoting its good work to the environmental lobby and government.

Marie will deliver a work programme across the UK that:   

  • Identifies areas where species conservation actions on golf courses can offer significant opportunities for rare and threatened species.
  • Provides face to face advice and training seminars.
  • Creates networks connecting course managers with local specialists.
  • Develops case studies of existing good practice and ‘how to’ guidance notes.
  • Supports courses aiming to gain GEO Certified® accreditation.
  • Delivers presents and hosts webinars for sector audiences.
  • Produces articles for the sector media and for the general media.
  • Jointly promotes golf to political decision makers on the scope of the sector’s achievements and potential.
  •  Makes connections between course managers with a proven track record and conservation organisations, volunteer surveyor networks, etc.

For more information you can contact Dr Marie Athorn by email.  Also look out for Marie on Twitter where she shares what golf clubs are doing to help nature up and down the UK and provides hints and tips on how you can help wildlife on your golf course.

Email marie.athorn@rspb.org.uk
Follow @marieathorngolf on Twitter
 

Case studies and guidance notes

Has your golf course been involved in a conservation project? Have you recorded rare or interesting species on your golf course? Are you working with a local wildlife group or conservation charity to understand what species use your golf course? The partnership between The R&A and the RSPB wants to raise awareness of how the golf industry is contributing to nature conservation and share these journeys to help inspire others. If you are a part of any conservation success story, from small scale projects to landscape scale collaborations with conservation organisations, please get in touch.

A series of guidance notes are in production to demonstrate simple steps to help wildlife on your golf course.  They will be published here when available, as will templates for how to create homes for wildlife. If you are looking for more detailed guidance on habitat management for wildlife get in touch.

Presentations

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Other R&A Services

Presentations

Listen back to Dr Marie Athorn’s presentation at the BIGGA National Regional Conference where she gave some low cost, low resource ideas on how to support wildlife on your golf course HERE.


 
If you are a BIGGA member, listen to Dr Marie Athorn and James Hutchinson, Membership Services Manager (Ecology & Sustainability), talk about all things ecology and golf by clicking HERE.

RSPB

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RSPB

Other R&A Services

RSPB

The RSPB is now the largest nature conservation charity in the UK, delivering successful conservation, forging powerful new partnerships with other organisations and inspiring others to stand up and give nature the home it deserves.

The RSPB has headquarters in all four UK countries, and a network of offices in England, Scotland and Wales.  

Find out more about the RSPB at www.rspb.org.uk

R&A Partnership

The RSPB believes the partnership with The R&A is an opportunity to deliver for nature outside the boundaries of their nature reserves.

At the commencement of the partnership Beccy Speight, Chief Executive of the RSPB said, “This is a really exciting partnership that will deliver good things for nature at a time when everyone is looking at what they can do to help.

“Golf is a sport that combines a rich heritage and tradition with cutting edge technology and innovation and I expect to see our partnership embrace this as we look at how golf courses can provide desperately needed sanctuaries for the UK’s wildlife.”

“Working together we can ensure that we give ground staff the skills they need to make this a real and lasting success and I hope our partnership is something that other landowners can learn from.”
 

Other R&A Services

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RSPB

Other R&A Services

Greenkepping Scholarships

An R&A Greenkeeping Scholarship provides a contribution towards education costs and a unique range of opportunities which will enhance any CV. Click here to find out more.

OnCourse

This online service features best practice self-assessments, guidance and resources, a data centre to gather and track key performance indicators, a highlights tool to help share stories and a tool which generates an annual sustainability report. Find out more here.

 

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