West Sussex has a range of scenery, including Wealden, downland and coastal. This unique combination of terrain makes for a diverse range of courses across this county. With over 30 golf clubs in West Sussex, our team worked closely with those that are making the most progressive efforts towards environmental sustainability and improving their ecological awareness.
Littlehampton Golf Club
Littlehampton Golf Club was founded in 1889 and is the only links course in West Sussex. The 18 hole par 70 course is never the same from one day to the next as the changing wind conditions make each hole set up differently from round to round. We spoke to Mike Mead, the Head Greenkeeper at the course, who provided some insight into both the course and its ecology.
One of the things that makes Littlehampton unique is that the river Rife runs through the centre of the course. Water voles live in the river and this is just one of many animals that need to be protected. In fact, the whole habitat of the river is protected, with out of bounds being set away from its banks, preventing golfers from affecting its habitat. Large dunes of natural areas are left to grow naturally and contain some rare and protected plants. With the help of some ecologists, many of the courses orchids have been relocated so as to help them prosper on the course.
Mike and his team are rather concerned about the decline in the number of bees, not just on the course but throughout the world. For this reason, over the next year, the course is going to be setting up bee nurseries and beehives.
In relation to retaining the high quality of grass on the course, harvesting is done once a year. This enables the course to promote the growth of high-quality fescue and bent. Also, due to highly effective drainage, the course can be played on almost all year round.