Monday, 25 March 2019

Signs of Spring

There are a few signs that spring is on its way around the course.  The first chiffchaffs have just started singing, some of the early wild flowers are in bloom and adders and grass snakes are beginning to be seen.

Common Whitlow Grass (The flowers are tiny - only 2.5mm across)

Adder basking in the sunshine

Female Stonechat


Golf Environment Awards Trip to Portugal

I've just returned from an amazing Golf Environment Awards trip to Portugal.  We spent three days visiting five golf clubs looking at their course and environmental management.  We were shown round by the course managers and got a real insight into golf course management in a challenging environment.  Many thanks to all at Palmares, Espiche, San Lorenzo, Ombria Resort and Monte Rei Resort for making us so welcome and giving us this learning opportunity.  Thanks also to Rowan Rumball and Bob Taylor from the STRI and Alexandra Almeida for organising the trip.

Palmares Golf Club
The award winning clubhouse at Espiche Golf Club

San Lorenzo

Ombria Resort (under construction)

Monte Rei Resort

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Golf Environment Awards

Aldeburgh Golf Club are delighted to have won the Environmental Golf Course of the Year category in the 2019 Golf Environment Awards.  This is "awarded to clubs that brilliantly demonstrate efficient management across each of the following areas:
Nature Conservation Management
Turfgrass Management
Waste Management
Water Management"

The STRI ecologist Rowan Rumball wrote of Aldeburgh Golf Club;
"Creating what many thought to be impossible, an almost perfect blend of course and ecology to the point where it is hard to tell where one begins and another stops.  All without sacrificing the playability of the course."

The other finalists in this category were, St Andrews Links, Minchinhampton Golf Club, Warrington Golf Club and Ipswich Golf Club.

Golf Environment Awards Website

The Aldeburgh Golf Club party at the Golf Environment Awards presentation in Harrogate
Left to right, Martin Turna, Ben Taylor-Grout, Nick Staff, Melissa Baker, Mark Broughton and David Wybar

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Tidal Surge

On the 8th of January a tidal surge overtopped the river wall and the 3rd and 4th holes on the river course were flooded.  At its highest the tide covered most of the 3rd green, part of the new 4th green and the fourth tee which was under construction.  By the next morning the water had cleared, leaving quite a lot of debris to clear up and the new 4th tee needed re-levelling.
The 3rd green was an island for a while

Another view of the 3rd green and fairway

The tide overtopping the river wall


This bedraggled Kestrel sat for half an hour on the nest box behind the practice shed seeking some shelter from the pouring rain.

Wasp Spider

A wasp spider took up residence near the clubhouse entrance for a few days in September.
They mimic a wasp for protection from predators but they are not dangerous.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Some wildlife action on the course (and in the clubhouse!)

Just a few photos of wildlife seen on the course.  There have been more sightings of Adders this summer, probably due to the very hot and dry spell of weather we had.

Adder (female)

Adder (male) 
This one had entered the pro shop and had to be moved to a more suitable habitat

Barn owl at one of the nest boxes

Common Blue

Common Blue Damselfly

Ruddy Darter


Small Copper
Yellowhammer feeding on the seed in divot mix on a tee.

As usual we have sheep grazing on the stewardship fields

Summer wild flowers

A selection of wild flowers that could be seen on the course this summer.  As well as providing a splash of colour these native flowers provide an excellent nectar source for insects.  The wispy rough grassland that provides the best golfing rough is also best for wildlife diversity.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Weather summary for February

February was wet and very cold with the last three days remaining below freezing all day.  The lowest temperature was  -4.4° on the 28th when the average temperature for the day was  -3.3°.  We've had a weather station since the year 2000 and this was the coldest February we've recorded.  The average temperature was only 2.8°; the February average for the last 17 years is  5.1° and last year the average was  6.7°.  The highest temperature was  10.1° on the 15th.  We had 50mm of rain which is well above the 36mm average for the month. 

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Gorse and heather management

During the recent spell of frosty weather we've made good progress on gorse management by coppicing.  We've also been cutting back gorse where it is invading an the area of recently established heather right of the 11th hole.  Although areas of coppiced gorse look unsightly at first, they soon recover and the resultant fresh growth provides an excellent habitat for wildlife.  The photo below illustrates how old stands of gorse get very leggy and open, this offers limited opportunities for nesting birds and other wildlife compared with dense young growth.

Gorse coppicing
Removing gorse from a recently established area of heather