I hope it is now clear to everyone that every golf club must spend on sustainability. What is more interesting now is what a golf club does at the local level for sustainability.
Everyone can learn from this, even those who have been investing in sustainability for a long time.
Walton Heath Golf Club‘s Sustainable Golf Highlights
- A biodiversity audit of the Old Course at Walton Heath undertaken in 2022 highlighted 175 different species. This included 12 Species of Principal Importance, such as the small heath butterfly and brown long-eared bat (also a European Protected Species), and 5 birds of conservation concern: 2 red-listed and 3 amber listed.
- 11 notable plant species were also recorded, including all 3 native heathers: common heather, bell heather, and cross-leaved heather, all of which are Near Threatened in England.
- The greenkeepers at Walton Heath Golf Club painstakingly manage areas of nationally important lowland heathland and acid grassland across the golf courses to ensure that these habitats support diverse wildlife.
- Since 2000, Walton Heath Golf Club has collaborated with various organizations, including
- Natural England,
- the Forestry Commission,
- The RSPB,
- Surrey Wildlife Trust and
- the Surrey Heathland Project to restore 9 hectares of pure heath.
- Areas of the practice range are left as buffer zones for pollinators. Heather nursery areas are encouraged alongside expanses of unmanaged but monitored rough.
- Water supply and efficiency have been boosted with the construction of a reservoir to store water drawn from a borehole along with a rainfall capture system alongside the M25 bank, which runs along the boundary of the site. As well as reducing potable water consumption, the reservoir was designed with a marginal shelf to create support habitat and biodiversity. A new irrigation system installed in 2022 further improves precision and efficiency.
- Solar panels power the maintenance complex with all electric and hybrid equipment are charged using renewable energy. Surplus energy is sold back into the grid, and all the club’s energy needs are obtained from renewable sources.
- The chef purchases much of the produce used from local sources – within a 10-mile radius.
- The club manages a car park used for daily dog walking and other recreational activities, maintaining clean and safe access to the common for the community. The club and greenkeeper team also manage a recreation ground on-site for football and other sports, Break Lane school fields for the school, the old pheasantry and the local pond within the village of Walton on the Hill.