A north Wales golf club has recently won a major UK award for its work to create new habitats for wildlife alongside its fairways and greens.
The Royal St David’s Golf Club at Harlech received the ‘Environmental Golf Course of the Year 2015' in the British Golf Environment Awards.
The Club, which is already renowned for its beautiful location and challenging course, is now recognised for its environmental credentials.
Working with Natural Resources Wales (NRW), the club has created more natural bunkers and sand traps that blend into the natural dunes that surround it.
This creates a perfect habitat for important specialist sand dune invertebrates and sand lizards.
Rhys Butler, Course Manager at Royal St David’s Golf Club said:
“In 2013, golf related tourism brought in £38m to the economy of Wales, benefiting many local communities and businesses.
“We have managed to visually improve the course and make it more appealing to golfers, giving it that much sought after ‘links’ feel of coastal courses.
“By working with Natural Resources Wales we have managed to do this in a way that improves the course, but is also sensitive to the local environment.”
Rhodri Dafydd, Senior Reserves Manager at Natural Resources Wales said:
“We have been working with the club to develop areas of open sand around the golf course by enlarging and creating more naturally shaped bunkers.
“There were also areas of 'deep rough' that have also been scraped back to reveal the sand beneath.
“The new areas of bare sand sit in the older part of the dune system and form part of a mosaic of fantastic habitat for native species and plants, as well as a sense of being immersed in nature for the golfers.”
The golf course is managed by the club under a Management Agreement with Natural Resources Wales, being part of a designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and adjacent to a National Nature Reserve (NNR).