Sustainability is much easier when you have a strong support network behind you. Whether it’s links with local suppliers, or wildlife groups advising you on environmental issues, it pays to work well with your community.
Community engagement will also turn your club into an asset beyond somewhere just to play a round. Strong local connections lead to green fees, memberships, event bookings, and restaurant use.
Communicating your environmental initiatives begins with members:
- Discuss ideas at the AGM and report on initiatives in newsletters and on noticeboards
- Make environmental policy documents and ecological management plans available and put together a dossier on legislation
- Display signs on the course and highlight information in yardage books
- Organise evening talks and walks around the course
- Talk to the local press and post updates online
Councils are a central part of our wider community. In terms of golf’s environmental impact, there are some areas where it’s particularly important to get support from your council.
Planning and building control is perhaps the biggest area we should think about. But there are other ways the council will be involved, from tree preservation orders to emergency response for natural disasters.
Open Air Laboratories (OPAL)
OPAL is a network of museums, universities, and environmental organisations working to help people engage with nature through science.
It’s working with the golf industry to uncover the environmental benefits of golf courses, as well as to create best management practices for the natural environment. Take a look at their Citizen Science Surveys – they’re a great way for you to engage local conservation groups and schools.
Many universities have students looking for sites to conduct environmental studies. And organisations like People’s Trust for Endangered Species or the Environment Agency are often looking for collaboration opportunities.
Golf courses could be a huge resource for the academic community. In return we’ll be able to better understand how to manage environmental issues, from ash dieback to government legislation.