Nature Conservation and Golf Course Development (SGEG 2004)

Nature, Landscape and Heritage Designations (SGEG 2010)

Natural Heritage Considerations for Planning Issues (SGEG 2010)

Making contracts work for wildlife (CABE 2006)

Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) websites and contacts


Habitat and Species Surveys

Habitats and Species Survey Techniques (SGEG 2010)

Guidelines for Badger Surveys (SGEG 2010)

Guidelines for Bat Surveys (SGEG 2010)

Guidelines for Bird Surveys (SGEG 2010)

Guidelines for Great Crested Newt Surveys (SGEG 2010)

Guidelines for Otter Surveys (SGEG 2010)

Guidelines for Reptile Surveys (SGEG 2010)

Guidelines for Water Vole Surveys (SGEG 2010)

Squirrel sighting recording form

Pond Survey and Species ID kit (SGEG / Tayside LBAP 2013)

Nature Survey Calendar

Habitat management

Tree Planting Guide (SGEG 2009)

Tree and Shrub Species Guide (SGEG 2013)

Woodland Management (SGEG 2012)

Tree Felling Licences (Forestry Commission)

Woodland Management for Bats (Forestry Commission 2005)

Conifer plantation management (SGEG 2013)

Grassland Management (SGEG 2013)

Heather Management (SGEG 2013)

Gorse and Broom Management (SGEG 2013)

Scrub Management Handbook (Natural England 2003)

Hedge Management (SGEG 2013)

Ditch Management (SGEG 2013)

Pond design and planting (SGEG 2013) 

Pond and Wetland Management (SGEG 2013)

Ponds Pools and Lochans (SEPA 2000)


Coastal Erosion Guidelines (SGL 2016)

A Guide to Managing Coastal Erosion in Sand / Dune Systems (SNH 2000)


Drystane dyke or drystone wall restoration (SGEG 2013)

Butterfly habitat creation (SGEG 2013)

Further Conservation Management (SGEG 2013)

Attracting wildlife to your clubhouse (SGEG 2013)

Birds and Golf Courses: A guide to Habitat Management (The R&A 2009)


Species Management

Badgers and Development(SNH 2001)

Badgers on Golf Courses (SGEG 2009)

Red Squirrel Management(SGEG 2009)

Red Squirrels in Perth & Kinross Posters

Hedgehogs on Golf Courses (SGEG 2011) 

Ragwort Control (SGEG 2013)

Rhododendron Management (SGEG 2013)

Bracken Management (SGEG 2009)

Swift Conservation (SGEG 2013)

Planting to support badgers (SGEG 2013)

Invasive species management

Invasive species legislation (Scottish Government)

Invasive Species Scotland

Invasive plants (Plantlife) 

Japanese Knotweed Management (SGEG 2012)

Giant Hogweed Management

Rhododendron Management (SGEG 2012)

Biological hazards

Biological hazards on the golf course (SGEG 2014) 

Lyme Disease Action



Key contents of a Landscape and Heritage Assessment (SGEG 2010)

Landscape Guidelines for Golf Course Development (SGEG 2007)

Landscape Institute


Wildlife Crime

SNH Wildlife Crime Guidance

Report a Wildlife Crime - PAW Scotland



Key organisations:

Scottish Natural Heritage

Scottish Biodiversity Forum

Scottish Wildlife Trust

Historic Scotland

Greenspace Scotland

RSPB Scotland

Forestry Commission Scotland

National Coastal Change Assessment project










































































Nature is measured in terms of biodiversity of wildlife and habitats. Biodiversity, which is short for biological diversity, is the term used to describe the variety of life on Earth. It is in our forests and mountains, our rivers and seas, our golf courses. Biodiversity is the natural capital which supports all our lives. It is vital for our survival and is a key measure of the health of our planet.

Scotland is a special place for biodiversity. Not only for the sheer number of species it supports, but also for its complex mosaic of habitats and scenery which makes up our rich and varied landscape.

Biodiversity provides us with a range of services including supporting leisure activities such as golf and tourism, providing food, building materials, resources for education, medicine and research and broader ecosystem services.

Scotland’s golf courses occupy approximately 27,000 hectares and many host nationally and internationally designated nature sites, proving golfing areas are often important for their wildlife and habitats.

All golf courses have something to offer in terms of biodiversity. There are numerous ways a club can enhance their natural habitats and contribute to wildlife conservation. Many of which incur very little or no financial cost and some can even save the club money in the long run.

“A golf course which has been sensitively designed and managed in a way which works with nature rather than against it, is normally more interesting and challenging.” “Golf is a test against the hazards that nature provided.” Colin Montgomerie.

These pages contain downloadable best practice information about the management of golf courses for the benefit of nature and biodiversity. 


Scottish golf courses are renowned the world over for their scenic beauty and stunning landscapes, with many found in areas designated as National Scenic Areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Areas of Great Landscape Value or Designed Landscapes.

Golf courses interact with the aesthetic qualities of their surroundings and on the character of their local landscapes, whether they are links courses that have evolved from the original topography and vegetation, those within historic parkland estate landscapes, to the more recent golf courses with greater earth-shifting and design.

Landscape character and structure including vegetation types and cover, colours and textures, views and vistas to and from the surrounding countryside and coastlines, should all be taken into consideration in course design and management to make the most of the golf course landscape characteristics ultimately benefiting the golfing experience.

Activities clubs could undertake could include implementing planting programmes of locally occurring native species utilising locally indigenous species appropriate for the landscape context of the site and the climate while contouring cutting lines on mown areas to blend with the landscape.

Clubs should pay attention to colours, styles and textures of materials used; e.g. for buildings, site equipment, paths/roads, advertising and other signage and furniture and take measures to avoid light pollution; e.g. low level, directed lighting around car parks and outbuildings.