One of the main
environmental concerns relating to the development of new golf courses
and their associated facilities is that of disturbance to wildlife
and damage to their habitats. Worldwide, golf courses are
for their destruction of woodlands, grasslands, heathland and wetlands
with the negative impact this can have on an areas biological diversity.
What is not so often recognised is that a carefully located, planned,
designed and constructed golf course can bring with it many environmental
of a new golf course brings with it threats and opportunities for
the environment. In relation to nature conservation, golf course
architects can contribute greatly to the overall impact of the project
by looking closely at the existing provision of habitats on the
site. They should also assess how important those habitats are.
What species are present and how important are they? They can avoid
the most sensitive areas, and design the course to fit in with existing
vegetation patterns and topography.
site is unique and brings with it its own constraints and opportunities.
However, one thing that is common to all development is the process.
should be a key aim of any new development. The needs of local species
and habitats should be considered from the outset. Ecologists should
be advising the golf course architect from the start. Architects
should then be integrating this information and advice into their
designs. In this way projects will contribute more to the local
environment than they take away.
All too often
developers and architects view interesting habitats and vegetation
as a threat to the project, which may bring too many constraints
on design and layout. This need not be the case. Existing habitats
should be embraced as characteristics which will strengthen the
structure and texture of the course. Golf courses which take heed
of local vegetation and features such as woodlands, wetlands and
grasslands will sit in greater harmony with the local landscape,
and as a result have a more mature feel and sense of place.
We would recommend
that our guidance is utilised by all those involved in the planning,
design and construction of golf courses, both from the developmental
side and that of planning control.
a free copy of our guidance; Nature Conservation and Golf Course
Development; Best Practice Advice.
Due to the
size of this document it has been split into sections for easier