Surrey is renowned in the UK for golf, home to the most golf courses out of any other county. With over 100 golf courses in this area, we spent a considerable amount of time researching and understanding more about Surrey. The ecological progress being made by so many clubs was refreshing and inspiring.
Effingham Golf Club
Effingham is a 264-acre downland course, set on a chalk base, high on the North Downs but with views of the London skyline in the distance. However, although London is within reach the course is far from being in a metropolitan location. We spoke to Jon Budd, the Head Greenkeeper, who told us more about the course.
Woodland can be found across the whole estate on which the course is situated and there is a range of Woodland Management Programmes in place. These programmes are guided by the Forestry Commission and include removing some trees, managing others and increasing the free fly routes for owls and other wildlife. Large areas of the course have been allowed to grow naturally, resulting in the return of areas of meadowland that originally existed on the site. In relation to the grass itself, a seed containing more than 30 local grasses which is now used across the course.
Focusing more deeply on the wildlife side, the RSBB have identified Lapwings on the site and also 3 different species of owls as well as kestrels, red kites and Gos Hawks. Roe Deer and be seen from time to time along the edge of the fairway rough. Finally, the British Bumblebee Conservation Trust was recently very excited when they found a variety of bee on site that they previously thought was nearly extinct. The club is also a Surrey Wildlife Gold Partner.