Situated in the heart of England, Leicestershire is a land-locked county in the Midlands. This county is a stunning compilation of heathland and parkland, which creates an interesting terrain for the 35 courses housed in Leicestershire.
Alongside the ecological efforts of many courses in this area, there is also a large focus on preserving local wildlife, including the region famous fox.
Charnwood Forest Golf Club
Charnwood Forest is a 9-hole course that was created to take full advantage of the unique position in which it sits in the Leicestershire countryside. Ancient rock formations can be seen across the course, with Hanging Stone Rocks being more than 620 million years old. We spoke to Tim Allard who is the Head Greenkeeper at the course and gave us greater insight into the course and its ecology.
Many might think that putting a golf course in the middle of a dramatic rocky area is not the best idea, but actually, this is what gives the course its character, beauty and makes it a challenge to play. The course has been working with Natural England in order to keep the low lying heath under control but also to encourage wildlife to thrive in this its natural habitat. There are even sheep on the course that control the level of vegetation growth. All in all Charnwood Forest is a unique course to play and is a prime example that a golf course and the retention of a stunning local landscape can be effectively combined.
Longcliffe Golf Club
Longcliffe Golf Club is a 140-acre course that sits on the lower slopes of the historic and scenic Charnwood Forest in Leicestershire. The centre of the university market town of Loughborough is just two and a half miles away. We spoke to Michael Bunney (Head Greenkeeper) who told us more about the course and its ecology.
Due to its position on the edge of the forest, there are a lot of unkempt areas on the course that are deliberately left that way in order to attract and retain wildlife in its natural environment. This wildlife includes monk-jacks, deer and woodpeckers. Ecology runs through the heart of maintaining the course to the high standard that players are used to. This includes applying a minimal amount of liquid grass feeds during the summer and granular feeds during the winter. Although at first, this made it a bit of a challenge, the course is at a very high standard and now prides itself on being able to use a minimal amount of chemical-based products. This will be even less each year from now on.