SRUC Elmwood awarded GEO re-certification

By Alistair March 1, 2016 05:08 Updated

The planting of more trees and hedgerows, an artificial sand martin nesting wall, improved wetland habitats and a range of other actions on SRUC Elmwood’s golf course have meant the venue has been recommended for re-certification for the Golf Environment Organisation’s (GEO) certified® mark, the golf and greenkeeping industry’s leading eco label.

Commenting on the verification report, Richard Allison, project manager for GEO, who administer the certification said: “Elmwood’s recertification recognises the colleges’ on-going commitment to protect and enhance nature, use resources efficiently and provide increased social value. This is great work and highly beneficial for the students. We look forward to helping promote this achievement and to continuing to work with the college and club in the future.”

02-04 Hedgerow Planting Golf Course

Originally built on former farmland in 1997 the 18 hole course covers 51 hectares. College managers have maintained a policy of environmental and social improvement and regularly submitted their work for certification. This latest report acknowledges excellent progress in a number of areas.

Hedgerows have increased by 36 percent, additional tree planting covers a third of a hectare, while nearly a hectare more of wildflower meadow has been added to the rich mix of grassland habitats. All that, together with the nesting wall and enhancement of the pond and wetland areas has seen an increase in wildlife, including red squirrels and soprano pipistrelle Bats, both protected species and found in a survey for the first time.

Steve Johnstone, golf course operations manager for Scotland’s Rural College, is delighted with the outcome of the latest verification.

“A lot of people have contributed to our success,” he commented. “Our staff willingly take part in various initiatives from reducing spray use to habitat care. We also received advice from specialist colleagues. School parties and others have carried out bug counts, surveys, tree planting and even building a hide while using the course as a teaching resource.”

Among other activity recognised by auditors was the shift in water supply from mains to a borehole, with reed beds used to help filter water for reuse. Food from the restaurant is now composted using a wormery. The sustainability certification also recognises the golf course’s value to the local community through its education work not only with students from the college but also local schools, youth groups and community organisations.


By Alistair March 1, 2016 05:08 Updated

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