And the Winner is Effingham Golf Club - Operation Pollinator Award Champions
Jon Budd and the team at Effingham Golf Club have won the prestigious Syngenta Operation Pollinator Award at this year's Golf Environment Awards 2021.
Held on-line at STRI this week (16 December), the Award highligthed the great work of all the incredible finalists in providing essential habitats for pollinating insects, as well as promoting the positive role of golf courses across the UK as ecological havens for wildlife.
Announcing Jon Budd and Effingham as the winners, STRI ecologist, Sophie Olejnik (top of page), highlighted how the team had increased the extent of chalk grssland across the course, to now cover 21 hectares.
"One area that had previosuly been a tennis court with neglible biodiversity value, has been transformed into a haven for pollinating insects," she enthused.
The club worked with local wildlife groups to devise a bespoke seed mix for the area, to ensure the wildflowers sown wopuld be in keeping with the site and would flower throughout the critical months for polinators, she added.
"Extensive wildflwer areas reach out across the golf course. As a result, Jon intends to invite local primary school pupils to engage in a day opf wildlife activities, to share the importance of golf courses for flora and fauna."
Syngenta Operation Pollinator Manager, Caroline Carroll, congratulated all the clubs that entered the Awards this year, with thanks to STRI for managing the judging and Awards. "Over 250 clubs are now signed up to Operation Pollinator, demonstraing the huge amount of conservation work being undertaken by golf clubs.
"It demonstrates the commitment to manage high quality golf courses, alongside environ,mental features actively managed to deliver enhanced ecologocal value," said Caroline.
"Operation Pollinator habitats make golf courses more attractive places for both players and pollinators."
Along with the Golf Environment Awards presentation, Sophie Olejnik urged everyone to support the initiative and Butterfly Conservation, by buying a raffle ticket. Click here for details.