CM Chapter 8 Ecology

By DG - June 2 2012





In the area of the nature of Arcot Hall, with its abundance of natural woodland within the perimeter of the course, it is an important part of the policy to preserve the natural habitat of birds, animals, and flora on the course. The woodland cannot be left unattended, fallen trees have to be removed when they present a hazard; invading scrub has to be controlled.


Certain animals such as deer and rabbits and especially moles do damage the course. The Greens Staff have been trained to control the moles; it is essential that they are kept under control.


Trees which affect the course, particularly when overhanging teeing grounds (preventing the growth of grass), have to be lopped. On some occasions felling may be necessary. This work has to be implemented under the control of the Head Greenkeeper who always has to recognise the need for tree preservation and to ensure that the tree preservation order is respected. Tree planting will take place where and when necessary, with professional advice sought when conditions require.


Although welcome to some wildlife, scrub can be a problem on the golf course. Managed hedges or woodland can be choked by invasive scrub which invades other areas.


Good management ensures that this does not become a problem by keeping the spread of invasive scrub at bay. However it must be remembered that on more exposed areas some scrub, if well controlled, may provide useful cover.


In the parkland setting trees and woodland are important landscape features, which add character to the course, but they must be appropriate to their surroundings and care must be taken with their planting and management.


When planting it is important to choose native species which are characteristic to the local environment. It is best to avoid non-native tree types as they are of limited value to the wildlife. Do not plant up an area such as a species - rich grassland as this is also good for the wildlife.


Areas of water are important not only as an interesting hazard which adds challenge to the game but as a valuable wildlife habitat. Take care to ensure that the water quality is suitable for the wildlife by guarding against fertiliser and pesticide run off. Likewise, clear banks at a time when it is least likely to cause damage to the wildlife. Ponds should be cleared in September or early Autumn on a three year rotational basis.


Advice can be obtained from The Nature Conservancy Council.



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