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Championing the cause of bees


Nine clubs have signed up as 'Syngenta Operation Pollinator Champions', to establish valuable ecological habitats for their own courses, as well as to create a valuable resource of knowledge and experience to share with other clubs.

The new Operation Pollinator Champions are:

Bowood Golf and Country Club, Wiltshire

Cleveland Golf Club, Cleveland

Chesterfield Golf Club, Derbyshire

Marriott Hanbury Manor, Hertfordshire

London Golf Club, Kent

Minchinhampton Golf Club, Gloucestershire

St Andrew's Links - Eden Course, Fife

Massereene Golf Club, Antrim

Naas Golf Club, County Kildare


As Operation Pollinator Champions, the clubs will work with STRI Head of Ecology, Bob Taylor, and Syngenta Technical Manager, Dr Simon Watson, to develop and report on the success of establishment techniques and resulting wildlife increases, as well as appraising the marketing opportunities for their clubs. The practical skills and experiences learned will be shared with other greenkeepers and club managers through meetings, social media, articles in publications such as Greenkeeper International and the BIGGA website, along with regular reports on the GreenCast website.

Introducing the Champion clubs at BTME last month, Caroline Carroll, Syngenta Turf Communications Manager, highlighted that Operation Pollinator has become established as one of the leading ecological initiatives in golf.

"Operation Pollinator is the golf industry's chance to help save the bees. The experiences of clubs already involved have shown that they really can make a difference and demonstrates that golf clubs can be managed for both high quality playing conditions and ecological benefit.

"The advice on offer and being further developed by the Champion clubs provides a cost effective route to manage and deliver this important area," she said. "And not only do the bees benefit, it is the opportunity to attract more players to the course and add enjoyment to each and every round."

Minchinhampton Golf Club Course Manager and Past BIGGA Chairman, Paul Worster, said: "Our ecological habitat is an incredibly important attraction of the course and integral to the enjoyment of many golfers' experience when playing at the club. We are keen to play our part in providing additional habitat and havens for bumblebees and pollinating insects and our members have been hugely interested. Word of this project has spread locally, and we have had many enquiries from interested parties, both golf and non-golf related.

"We welcome the opportunity to be involved with Operation Pollinator, and to share the positive experiences that this can give to the whole golf industry. Speaking with my BIGGA cap on - sustainability is high on our agenda, and this is a flagship project that BIGGA is glad to whole-heartedly support," he added.