Finalists of the Operation Pollinator Awards 2024 revealed
The finalists for the prestigious Syngenta Operation Pollinator Award have been announced, as part of the Golf Environment Awards 2024.
The Operation Pollinator Award is presented to a golf club that consistently delivers outstanding ecological habitat creation and management, with a focus on pollinating insects.
The finalist short list is:
Goring & Streatley Golf Club, Berkshire
Course Manager: Matt Aplin
Heswall Golf Club, Wirral
Course Manager: Scott Gardner
Huntercombe Golf Club, Berkshire
Course Manager: Grant Stewart
Warren Golf Club
Course Manager: Sam Dunn
Syngenta Business Manager and Operation Pollinator champion, Sarah Hughes, said: “Once again we have some incredible examples of the immense work that golf clubs and greenkeeping teams undertake with habitat creation to encourage pollinating insects and biodiversity.
“The finalists of the Operation Pollinator Award highlight how managing the golf course to provide very high turf quality surfaces, is entirely consistent with managing the out of play areas and rough to maximise their ecological value.
“They demonstrate that joining Operation Pollinator and taking positive action for pollinators makes the course a more attractive place for players and biodiversity alike.”
With the ever-increasing spotlight on environmental matters, many golf courses are achieving an increase in habitat varieties, improving playing experiences for golfers, and providing a positive contribution to wildlife and the communities in which their members live and work which needs to be celebrated.
Stella Rixon, senior turfgrass agronomist at STRI Group reported: “Shortlisting the applications this year has been a joy. From working alongside golf clubs on a day-to-day basis, you see first-hand how much greenkeepers care about conservation, sustainability and the ecology on the grounds."
"It’s great to shed light on the continuous activity taking place at clubs.”
Since the launch of the Golf Environment Awards (GEAs) in 1995, the aim has been to recognise, reward and promote outstanding individuals and golf courses, no matter how big or small, for the time and effort they have put into protecting and preserving their unique surroundings.
Richard Stuttard, Group director added: “We’re so impressed that after 28 years we continue to receive an incredible number of submissions from golf clubs across the UK and internationally. The standard of entries is high every year, and it is amazing to see the work that golf clubs do for the environment and nature”.
Golf clubs had the opportunity to submit their entries for six unique categories, each tailored towards a different environmental focus. The entries were then reviewed by an internal panel at STRI Group which are shortlisted to become the finalists.
A final judging day is set to take place in November with sponsors from Syngenta, The R&A, Aquatrols, BIGGA, Jacobsen, and Tillers Turf. This will determine the winner of each category, set to be announced at the upcoming ceremony on Wednesday 24th January 2024 at The Crown Hotel, Harrogate.
Finalists for the other Golf Environment Award categories are:
Conservation Champion award
Outstanding individuals who make significant contributions to the success of environmental and ecological management and hence make a fundamental positive impact on the surrounding landscape and biodiversity.
- Brampton Golf Club
- Garmouth and Kingston Golf Club
- Huntercombe Golf Club
- Nairn Dunbar Golf Links
Ecological Project of the Year
Golf clubs who have implemented a successful ecological project, with clear objectives and targets that contribute to a better environment and are making sound progress in fulfilling the goals of the project.
- Canterbury Golf Club
- Cirencester Golf Club
- Formby Ladies Golf Club
- Wentworth Club
Sustainable Project of the Year
Golf clubs who have implemented a successful sustainable project with clear objectives and targets that contribute to a better environment and are making sound progress in fulfilling the goals of the project.
- Kingarrock Hickory Golf Club
- Royal Dornoch Golf Club
- St Andrews Links
- Carnoustie Golf Links
International Environmental Golf Course
Golf clubs outside of the UK that brilliantly demonstrate efficient management across nature conservation, turfgrass, waste and water.
- Golf della Montecchia
- Minthis Golf Club
- Mjölby Golf Club
- The Royal Dublin Golf Club
UK Environmental Golf Course of the Year
Golf clubs in the UK that brilliantly demonstrate efficient management across nature conservation, turfgrass, waste and water.
- Colmworth Golf Club
- The Gog Magog Golf Club
- Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club
- St Anne’s Old Links Golf Club
All category winners are rewarded with a £750 grant to help fund further ecological and environmental projects at their clubs, a visit from an agronomic consultant, entry to the Foundation Award in Amenity Horticulture Course, BIGGA membership for the Conservation Champion award winner and promotional materials to display across digital platforms.*
*Available to UK and Ireland winning entries only
Entry to the awards is free with the sole aim of encouraging every eco-conscious golf club to consider applying.