The Royal Burgess Golfing Society Of Edinburgh

GEO Certified® 04/2018
Scotland, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 131 339 2075

This report refers to the initial certification of The Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh. The verification visit was carried out on 19 March 2018, preceded by desk review of the club's GEO OnCourse report and uploaded supplementary information. The visit centred on a systematic evaluation of the application in collaboration with the course manager, Chris Yeaman and deputy course manager, Frank Forrest, focusing on specific queries and issues noted during the desk review. Carolyn Hedley, Environment Manager, Scottish Golf was presen…

Mike Wood, GEOSA, Accredited Verifier Read verifier report.

GEO Certified® Report

GEO Certified® is the symbol of great golf environments worldwide – designating that a golf facility has met a credible standard in the areas of nature, water, energy, supply chain, pollution control, and community, and is committed to continually improve. GEO Certified® is widely trusted and endorsed by a growing number of organizations and people, both inside and outside golf.

Click below to read about the activities undertaken by this golf facility to operate sustainably.

Facility details

Golf Courses
The Royal Burgess Golfing Society (18 holes, 6511 yards, year opened 1735)
1 Clubhouse(s)
1 Maintenance Facility/Facilities
1 Pro Shop
1 Halfway House(s)
1 Other


Royal Burgess Golfing Society is situated in the Barnton area of Edinburgh with two residential conservation areas on the periphery. The "Burgess" is a parkland course of 96 acres that was previously estate ground. This area of urban green space has a huge variety of mature tree and shrub species. The management of the playing surfaces is detailed in our Course Policy. The management of the natural areas is detailed within our Environment Management Plan steered by and continually improved by our Environment Committee which comprises of a mix of staff and enthusiastic members. The Burgess is committed to protecting and enhancing the habitats on its course for wildlife, through woodland management and the ongoing Millenium Shrub Bed Project for the enjoyment of our members and visitors.

Consultation & Surveys

This golf facility does not consult any organizations regarding landscape heritage conservation.

No landscape assessments or surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.

This golf facility consults the following organizations regarding ecosystem protection and enhancement:

  • Scottish Golf (prevoously the Scottish Golf Environment Group)
  • STRI (agronomy advisor)
  • Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH)
  • Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust (Greenspace Scotland)
  • Forestry Commission
  • British Association of Shooting and Conservation (BASC)
  • Scottish Wildlife Trust

The following ecological surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility:

Title Author Date View document
Tree Inventory Mr. G. Holmes 2016/10/01 Download

Rare, protected and notable species occurring at this golf facility:

Local name Scientific name
Pipestrelle Bats (anecdotal) Pipistrellus pipistrellus
Common frog Rana temporaria
Maidenhair Ginkgo biloba
Himalayan Birch Betula utilis
Freemans Maple Acer freemanii
Eucalyptus Eucalyptus obliqua
Giant Redwood Sequoiadendron giganteum
Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus

This golf facility regularly monitors the following species as indicators of environmental quality:

Local name Scientific name
Elm Ulmus laciniata
Ash Fraxinus excelsior
Chestnut Catanea turbinata

Habitats & Designations

This golf facility features the following landscape designations:

Description Designating Authority
Right Of Way (ROW) Edinburgh City Council

Area of habitats / vegetation types, and associated designations at this golf facility:

Title Estimated Area (Acres) Designation
Native Woodland 26 None
Orchard 1 None
Western Hemlock hedge (early 2018) 60m None


Size and estimated species composition of amenity turfgrass maintained at this golf facility.

Estimated Area (Acres) Turfgrass Species Sward Composition (%)
Greens 2.73 Acres Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 60%
Poa annua 40%
Tees 2.38 Acres Lolium perenne 50%
Poa annua 50%
Fairways 24.23 Acres Lolium perenne 40%
Poa annua 60%
Semi Rough 40.0 Acres Lolium perenne 40%
Poa annua 60%

These turfgrasses are optimal for the circumstances at this club because:
We choose to over seed with grass species that are suitable for our climate, soil compatibility, stress tolerance, hard wearing, disease resistance and desired playability as per our Course Policy.

This golf facility assesses mowing patterns every: 1 months

This golf facility consults the following individuals / organizations regarding its grassing plan:

  • STRI Agronomy
  • Greentech Sports Turf
  • Golf Design Scotland - Richard Le Seur

This golf facility is making the following efforts to manage the playing quality expectations of customers:

Activity Description
Establishing clear internal policies for irrigation, fertilization, colour, cutting heights, overseeding etc We have a Course Mangament Policy that is discussed at our regular greens meetings and implemented throughout the course. This includes fertilisation, pest management, mowing heights and the timing of course maintenance around member competitions to reduce disruption. This document is reviewed annually, and adjusted accordingly.
Promoting the playing quality values of more naturalized turf, particularly fairways and semi-rough We regularly mow these areas to comply with weather conditions, time of year and society fixture requirements, cultural methods, aeration etc. are also carried out as required.
Promoting the financial benefits of presenting sustainable surfaces Our grass species and cultural management practices result in less water and turf products being required therefore reducing operational costs.
Improving customer understanding around greens maintenance Course management activities are regularly put into our weekly blogs, Society website, member communications/ emails, notice boards etc. This allows our members to have a greater understanding of why we are carrying out procedures in advance.
Demonstrating the direct relationship between environmental best practice and year round high quality playing surfaces Our Course Policy and sustainable maintenance procedures allow us to play on all areas of the course throughout the year. This is sustainable due to a combination of sound cultural practices and appropriate turf nutrition.

Conservation & Enhancement

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to conserve landscape character:

Activity Description
Allowing seasonal variation of course coloration and texture The variety of woodland and shrub species established over many decades, provide a diverse mixture of heights, textures and colours across the seasons. Although not all native species, we have a policy of introducing more varied species into our tree inventory at the bequest of our members.
Appropriately matching mowing lines to contours Enhancing contours treelines and corridors on the golf course, highlights the natural topography and aesthetic value, while retaining the challenge and interest for the golfers.
Protection and restoration of historic features The bronze age burial cyst at the 11th is protected from course management procedures.
Discreet on-course signage and furniture All course bins and tee signage is strategically placed and consistently made from wood to blend in with the surroundings.
Conservation of specimen trees In conjunction with our ongoing Environment Management Plan, the introduction of selected, and appropriate specimen trees to compliment the existing woodland species.
Woodland tree inventory is updated when trees are lost or introduced. Copper beech hedging introduced along west periphery wall.
Screening and softening unsightly man-made features Fencing around irrigation tanks, and new tree planting around the maintenance facility will help to screen the complex from the road, neighbouring residents and golfers.

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to improve the landscape ecology of the golf course:

Activity Description
Minimizing the amount of amenity grass Natural woodland corridors separate golf holes throughout the course, providing definition, habitat areas, and course aesthetics and character.
Increasing the size of habitat patches Woodland, shrub beds particularly at woodland peninsulas an to the rear of greens is being increased as part of our course policy.
Connection of internal habitat patches Habitat areas are often linked by rough grass to provide visual definition and also valuable wildlife habitat, linkage and feeding grounds.
Connection of patches with external habitats Tree and hedge lines link into the footpath area and adjacent golf course providing connection to external land.
Creation of habitat corridors Natural woodland corridors separate golf holes throughout the course, providing definition, habitat areas, and course aesthetics and character.
Avoidance of habitat fragmentation Our woodland management programme is insistent on avoiding unnecessary weakening areas of habitat.
Improving and diversifying habitat edges Mixed species are interspersed with shrubs along the boundaries, and on occasion fallen trees are left as habitat.

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to improve the quality of habitats on the golf course:

Activity Description
Creation of botanically rich rough grassland We have no area of ecological / final rough due to the restricted playing areas available. Botanical variation is created with wildflower mix on moundings between the car park and the 18th hole.
Ecologically informed management of scrub vegetation No areas of scrub.
Promoting species and structurally diverse woodlands We have a woodland inventory and plan for the course to ensure a variety of species, ages, colours, flowering, deciduous and evergreens. with varied height profile to achieve variations of scale and visual impact.
Establishment of littoral shelves and marginal vegetation in wetland areas No wetland areas.
Maintenance of an appropriate balance of open water and aquatic vegetation No open water areas.
Naturalization of linear habitats The area along the west facing boundary wall has been cleared and naturalised with copper beech planting. This has improved light and air to the existing tee and allowed a tee extension.
Millenium Shrub Bed Project In 1999 the membership decided to enhance the course aesthetics by introducing 8 shrub beds to selected woodland peninsulas and behind selected greens and tees. They are monitored, maintained and added to with alternative shrubs to the existing azaleas, Rhododendrons and other soft shrubs.
Wetland area 10th/11th Hole Currently under construction and monitored to see what develops regarding natural succession.
Western Hemlock hedge project In early 2018 this feature will be installed at the 15th tee as a screen for the boundary fence and as a new landscape feature.

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to conserve and enhance biodiversity on the golf course:

Activity Description
Provision of nesting and nectar for pollinators Wildflower planting and flowering shrubs and trees provide nesting and nectar for pollinating insects. We have installed a bee hive behind the maintenance facility, the number of which will be increased in 2018. The aim is to produce honey for use in the clubhouse.
Installation of nest boxes We have bird boxes around the course and are going to introduce bat boxes in late 2017 /18. Scottish Wildlife Trust have previously been involved in bird box monitoring and we aim to reintroduce this monitoring in 2018.
Provision of feeding tables No feeding tables as such, however the selection of shrubs within the Millennium Shrub Beds, provide food for the variety of wildlife throughout the course in particular the red berberis berries are favoured by our resident Roe deer population.
Control / management of alien species Japanese knotweed on the west wall has been treated and removed.
Provision of hibernation areas Brush piles, log piles and standing deadwood are created / left in situ which are of use to hibernating animals.
Creation of micro-habitats (eg log and stone piles) As above log piles and stone piles are created in some areas following woodland management work.


RBGS seek to apply good practices with regards to water management, and regularly assess water usage within the clubhouse facility, and the golf course,
Water uses on the course are irrigation, spraying, and machinery cleaning.
Our new Facility has introduced the clearwater filtering and recycling system.
A grey water tank has been installed harvesting rainwater from the Facility roofs. This will be used for toilet facilities and possible irrigation tank top up.
Irrigation on the course is kept to a minimum with the use of wetting agents, and adjuvants to assist us in retaining irrigated and natural rainfall. New meter and water consumption monitoring is now in place for early leak detection (as found in 2016).

Sources & Consumption

No water audits have been undertaken at this golf facility.

The water used at this golf facility is drawn from the following sources:

2016 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 1,284,000 Litres
Golf Course Public / Potable 100% 2,563,000 Litres
2015 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 0 Litres
Golf Course Public / Potable 100% 0 Litres
2014 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 696,000 Litres
Golf Course Public / Potable 100% 1,315,000 Litres

Irrigation & Efficiency

The following areas receive irrigation at this golf facility:

Greens Weekly
Tees Weekly
Fairways Never
Semi-Rough Never
Rough Never

The irrigation system at this golf facility is:
Fully computer controlled

The irrigation system at this golf facility is:

Serviced every 6 months

Upgraded every 6 months

Re-calibrated and checked for efficient application every 1 years

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to maximize irrigation efficiency:

Activity Description
Selection of grass species Ongoing overseeding programmes, in compliance with the course policy document, introducing bent, and fescue varieties, to achieve results where these grasses become dominant in the swards.
Soil decompaction and thatch management Aeration programmes are in place and ongoing, in compliance with the course policy document.Greens cored quarterly, tees annually, approaches, fairways, semi rough areas are aerated annually. Solid tining also carried out using mini tines on greens and tees.
Timing and dose of water application Irrigation is mostly carried out overnight where the grasses are more receptive, and the reduced risk of evapotranspiration.
In drought conditions, high spots are syringed and additional adjuvants applied to maximise the results of water use.
Analysis of soil moisture Moisture levels are taken regularly.
RBGS have recently trialled the POGO soil condition monitoring system which allows us to compile amongst other things, moisture levels, and where additional irrigation in areas is required. Will be purchasing new model in 2018.
Incorporation of evapotranspiration rates and weather data Rainfall and temperature data is recorded monthly and used in conjunction with other analysis techniques e.g. POGO will make informed decisions.
Use of wetting agents A Wetting agent programme is in place in accordance with the course policy.
This assists in achieving moisture levels and keeping irrigation to a minimum.
Overall reduction in irrigated area Irrigation is predominately only applied at Greens, and Tees, and for instance newly seeded, or turfed areas. Regular system checks by our irrigation contractor monitors any problems with the system, and ensures we keep usage to a minimum.
Targeting of sprinkler heads Regular inspection are carried out with our contractor to ensure optimum location, type, number, angle setting etc to ensure maximum efficiency. Our irrigation contractor monitors, and adjusts or replaces any sprinklers as necessary.
Optimizing system pressure Our irrigation contractor monitors our system pressure and through our Rainbird computer system installed in the Course Manager's office, any irregularities are flagged up automatically.
Adoption of cutting edge nozzle technology Only approved and appropriate sprinklers are fitted into the system by our contractor. New air induced nozzles are used, and are inspected annually, and replaced as required.

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to conserve / reduce / minimize water consumption:

Activity Description
Low-flow urinals and toilets Grey water systems installed in new maintenance facility for toilets, showers and irrigation top up. In the club house, water saving devices such as low flow urinals, low/duel flush toilets have been installed.
Use of water efficient appliances Plumbing systems in clubhouse and new maintenance facility have been fitted with temperature and pressure controls to minimise water use. Kitchen appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines are modern and efficient.
Use of efficient shower technology New facility showers incorporate tempreature and pressure control technology. Aerator shower heads installed throughout.
Repairing leaks All problems reported and repairs carried out accordingly. Irrigation system will automatically identify leaks.
Water awareness signage Relative signage in place regarding water wastage, i.e."Do not waste water, please turn off taps in staff areas". We have used the Resource Efficient Scotland website for ideas for staff engagement on water efficiency and intend to get expert RES audit in 2018.


The Society is constantly aware of its environmental responsibilities, and continually looks to improve on its policy of energy use and efficiency.
The new Greenkeeping facility, and recent clubhouse refurbishments, have been completed with this in mind, with an emphasis on energy efficiency, and minimum usage, including up to date insulation materials, condensing boilers, low energy and sensored lighting all fitted.
Our policies on energy consumption and usage extend onto the course itself through our Greens, and environment committees who convene regularly throughout the year

Sources & Consumption

No energy surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.

Consumption of renewable energy and resources at this golf facility:

2016 2015 2014
Biogas (Litres) 0 0 0
Biomass 0 0 0
First Generation Bio-Fuels (Litres) 0 0 0
Hydrogen (Litres) 0 0 0
On-site Hydro (kWh) 0 0 0
On-site Solar (kWh) 0 0 0
On-site Wind (kWh) 0 0 0
Renewable Grid Electricity (kWh) 42333 0 0
Second Generation Bio-Fuels (Litres) 0 0 0
Wood from sustainable sources 0 0 0

Consumption of non-renewable energy and resources at this golf facility:

2016 2015 2014
Coal 0 0 0
Diesel (Litres) 15000 15000 18000
Heating Oil (Litres) 0 0 0
Hydraulic Oil (Litres) 205 205 205
LPG (Litres) 0 0 0
Natural Gas (Litres) 484150 641212 300742
Non-renewable Grid (kWh) 206686 238411 254176
Petrol (Litres) 3000 4000 3000
Propane / Butane (Litres) 0 0 0
Wood from unsustainable sources 0 0 0

Energy Efficiency

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to diversify energy and fuel supply:

Activity Description
Adoption of green tariff grid supply 16% of our electricity supply from N Power is from renewable sources.
Installation of small scale wind turbine N/A
Installation of photovoltaic and / or solar panels The Society are considering the introduction of Solar panels on the new facility.
Use of geothermal and / or ground sources N/A
Use of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) N/A
Use of biodiesel and /or ethanol N/A
Use of electric hybrid vehicles All members buggies, ( 8 in total ) and Halfway House service buggy, are Electric.
Use of recycled oils N/A

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to reduce energy consumption:

Activity Description
Investment in low-energy heating and air conditioning systems Low energy heating system has been installed into the new facility, with a condensing boiler fitted. Maintained twice a year by an outside contractor.
Optimizing thermostat levels for heating and refrigeration Thermostat control on heating system, and individual thermostats on radiators, to allow heating control as required.
All fridges/freezers have temperature display outside the unit and the temperatures are recorded daily as part of the food hygiene procedures.
Enhancement of natural ventilation opportunities Windows and doors provide natural ventilation in the maintenance facility, and clubhouse. Inflow/extractor system in kitchen and bars with disposable filters changed monthly. The fans are serviced annually by an external company to ensure the efficiency. Hallway / locker rooms controlled centrally.
Upgrading of building insulation The new Greenstaff maintenance facility and clubhouse refurbishments have up to date insulating materials installed. New double glazing was installed in the bar and main dining room. New loft insulation has recently been added to whole building.
Use of natural light (e.g. sunlight pipes) Windows and skylights provide natural light within the new maintenance facility.
Windows and doors provide natural light within the clubhouse complex.
Installation of low-energy lighting Low energy lighting including LED bulbs has been installed in the new maintenance facility and clubhouse to minimise energy consumption. Emergency lighting in a number of areas.
Use of motion sensor lighting Motion sensor lighting is in place within the maintenance facility, in toilets, shower and locker rooms.
Motion sensor lighting is also fitted to the outside of the maintenance facility.
Transition to energy efficient appliances All appliances including LED lights, office and bar equipment, and boilers are energy efficient.
Use of timers with appliances, heating and lighting Timers are used on the central heating system throughout the maintenance facility.
Also timers used on pumps installed in the clear water recycling system.
Educating staff and customers All staff are trained, and aware of the need to keep energy consumption use to a minimum.
Also minimise and reduce levels of energy where possible.

Vehicles & Transport

The maintenance fleet at this golf facility uses the following fuel sources:

Ride-on Mowers Walking Mowers Utility Vehicles
Petrol 8% 100% 67%
Diesel 85% 0% 33%
LPG 0% 0% 0%
Grid Electric 0% 0% 0%
Micro Renewable 0% 0% 0%
Hybrid 8% 0% 0%
Hydrogen 0% 0% 0%

Additional vehicles operated by this golf facility use the following fuel sources:

Golf Carts Cars Buses
Petrol 0% 0% 0%
Diesel 0% 0% 0%
LPG 0% 0% 0%
Grid Electric 100% 0% 0%
Micro Renewable 0% 0% 0%
Hybrid 0% 0% 0%
Hydrogen 0% 0% 0%

This golf facility has established the following schemes to encourage reductions in staff and customer transport emissions:

Activity Description
Car sharing incentives N/A
Group transportation (e.g. buses) N/A
Secure cycle parking Secure cycle parking grid is in place in the main car park area.
Promoting public transport routes and timetables The course is accessible by public transport outside the main entrance.
Increasing equipment storage (e.g. lockers) All staff are provided with secure lockers for workwear, PPE equipment, and personal clothing, and a new drying room has been installed in the maintenance facility. Restroom area provided. Extensive member lockers available at the clubhouse.
Staff showers All staff have access to shower facilities, both in the clubhouse, and maintenance facility.
Tax breaking incentives for cycling N/A
Promotion of walk to work campaigns N/A

Supply Chain

Services to our Members, and Guests include the Golf Course, and Fully functional Clubhouse Facility, complete with Dining Room , and Bar facilities.
The Society are committed to sourcing where possible local produce in particular products required within the Clubhouse.
This commitment continues where possible when sourcing products, for the Golf Course.although this is not always possible, for instance the selection of specific Machinery, or sands, dressings, and aggregates that meet the requirements of the Golf course.
Both Clubhouse, and Course Maintenance Facilities, are fully aware of the need to insist on the minimum of packaging of all delivered products,machinery, and materials.
This policy is double edged as we look to minimise waste from RBGS, and also have waste uplifts in place with outside contractors so we have a duty to our members not to be paying for unnecessary uplift costs.

Purchasing Policies

This golf facility undertakes the following ethical / environmental purchasing activities:

Activity Description
Measures to avoid waste at source Where possible materials are purchased in bulk, to reduce delivery charges, fuel emissions, and where applicable packaging. Bulks such as Dressings, sands, and aggregates are deemed as on demand deliveries, this can also apply to products delivered to the clubhouse, and pro-shop.

Use of local suppliers Edinburgh has a vast range to service the Clubhouse with regard to local produce.
The range can be widened to other areas to allow RBGS to provide a unique Dining experience for Members and Guests.the emphasis on local Scottish produce is always high on the priority list.
Use of local products Top Dressings, sands, and aggregates etc. are always sourced locally, e.g. our sand comes from a quarry in Fife, along with local fish and Fruit and veg suppliers.
Selection of certified products All fertilisers, pesticides, and other chemicals are certified products.
Many of our catering supplies are sustainably certified e.g. Fairtrade coffee, MSC certified fish supplies
Use of recycled and recyclable products Recycled rubber matting has been introduced to selected areas throughout the Golf Course.This procedure is predominately on buggy paths, and walkways to stabalise the ground due to intense traffic.They are also used at the entrance to our Halfway House for the same purpose.Recycled wood sleepers are to be used as raised planters behind the 13th tee and possibly outside the clubhouse. Recycled paper is used throughout both key Facilities such as office, toilet rolls, hand towels etc.
Selection of products that feature minimal packaging Produce delivered to the Clubhouse such as fruit and veg, fish supplies, cleaning products, cooking oils etc. has minimal packaging.
Fertilisers, Grass seed, chemicals are purchased subject to demand to eliminate unnecessary waste, and excess stock in storage.
Pro shop packaging is minimised where possible.
Use of accredited suppliers (e.g. ISO 14001) All golf course suppliers are accredited to their industry bodies such as BIGGA, BALI and IOG.
Fish Supplier is Seafood Scotland accredited.

Supply Chain

An overview of the supplier network at this golf facility:

Total number of suppliers Total number of suppliers within 10 Miles Total number of suppliers within 100 Miles
Food & Beverage 19 9 10
Catering Supplies 12 3 9
Retail 22 3 5
Trade & Contractors 13 7 5
Maintenance Equipment 7 1 6
Course Supplies 10 2 8

Turfgrass Inputs

This golf facility undertakes the following IPM activities:

Activity Description
Encouraging drought and disease tolerant grasses Predominately Fescue grasses.
Regular overseeding with bent grasses, combined with regular Aeration, and Top Dressing programmes to assist in achieving healthy swards. Mowing heights monitoring, and disease outbreak awareness identified early by trained staff enabling swift counter action .Moisture levels regularly taken POGO.
Managing stress and wear Rubber matting is being replaced with Coverlawn on buggy paths and heavy foot traffic areas, such as walkways, and entrance to the Halfway house. In extreme wet weather walkways to the Tees are monitored and may require temporary rotated entry areas. Pin Positions and tee positions are changed as required.
Enhancement of soil structure Top Dressing , and soil conditioning programmes in place.e.g addition of calcium, potash, magnesium, zeolite etc.
Optimization of the growing environment Correct overseeding procedures, and compatible Top Dressings when required. Monitoring of soil temperatures will be with the POGO.
Managing thatch levels Soil sampling twice yearly, hollow core aeration programme in place twice yearly.
Appropriate Top Dressings to replenish organic matter removal.
Managing surface moisture Moisture levels taken with the POGO, and the results acted upon.
Dewie and switching of Greens to remove surface moisture and minimise the emergence of disease.
Establishing thresholds for pests and disease Where possible we adopt cultural methods in dealing with pest and diseases. Only after these methods have been exhausted, are chemical methods considered within a defined tolerance.
Scouting for pests and diseases Staff are trained and expected to identify disease out break at the earliest opportunity, to allow swift reaction. All outbreaks are recorded.
Monitoring / improvement of plant health Continuous visual monitoring of plant colour, density, growth patterns of fine turf areas, especially Greens, and Tees as to their health and playability, and any actions required to alleviate any issues that become apparent.

Fertilizer use at this golf facility in the last three years (kg):

2016 2015 2014
Fairways - K - Inorganic 0 0 0
Fairways - K - Organic 0 0 0
Fairways - N - Inorganic 0 0 0
Fairways - N - Organic 0 0 0
Fairways - P - Inorganic 0 0 0
Fairways - P - Organic 0 0 0
Greens - K - Inorganic 52.29 52.29 52.29
Greens - K - Organic 0 0 0
Greens - N - Inorganic 21 21 21
Greens - N - Organic 0 0 0
Greens - P - Inorganic 4.62 4.62 4.62
Greens - P - Organic 0 0 0
Rough - K - Inorganic 0 0 0
Rough - K - Organic 0 0 0
Rough - N - Inorganic 0 0 0
Rough - N - Organic 0 0 0
Rough - P - Inorganic 0 0 0
Rough - P - Organic 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - K - Inorganic 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - K - Organic 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - N - Inorganic 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - N - Organic 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - P - Inorganic 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - P - Organic 0 0 0
Tees - K - Inorganic 52.29 52.29 52.29
Tees - K - Organic 0 0 0
Tees - N - Inorganic 21 21 21
Tees - N - Organic 0 0 0
Tees - P - Inorganic 4.62 4.62 4.62
Tees - P - Organic 0 0 0

Pesticide use at this golf facility in the last three years (kg):

2016 2015 2014
Fairways - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Fairways - Fungicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Fairways - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Fairways - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0.780 0.780 0.780
Fairways - Herbicide - Total Weight 7.02 7.02 7.02
Fairways - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 2 2 2
Fairways - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Fairways - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Fairways - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Greens - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0.6 0.8 0.6
Greens - Fungicide - Total Weight 3.75 50.6 3.75
Greens - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 3 4 3
Greens - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Greens - Herbicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Greens - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Greens - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0.720 0.720 0.720
Greens - Insecticide - Total Weight 1.08 1.08 1.08
Greens - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
Rough - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Rough - Fungicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Rough - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Rough - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Rough - Herbicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Rough - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Rough - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Rough - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Fungicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Tees - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Tees - Fungicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Tees - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Tees - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0.780 0.780 0.780
Tees - Herbicide - Total Weight 4 4 4
Tees - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
Tees - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Tees - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Tees - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0

This golf facility undertakes the following actions to optimize pesticide use:

Activity Description
Selection on the least toxic and lest persistent products Unless completely necessary we will only use chemicals that are least toxic.
Selection of appropriate products for specific pests and diseases We are in regular consultation with the STRI, and trade product support; if we require advice on suitable products prior to their purchase and application.
Spot-treatment with handheld sprayers and wipers Hand held weed wipes, spot treating of weeds and hand weeding, particularly on greens are standard practice at RBGS.
Calibration and testing of sprayers We calibrate the knapsack sprayers, and vehicle mounted sprayer.
Staff recently completed a pesticide application refresher course. A contractor carries out our annual servicing of tractor mounted sprayer and knapsacks if required in accordance with the NSTS guidelines.
Use of shrouded sprayer and anti-drip nozzles Non drip air induction nozzles are in use on all sprayers at RBGS, to assist with drift control.
Non-chemical weed control Weeding by hand is carried out on greens, around trees and in our shrub bed areas to alleviate the use of chemicals.
Use of organic and biological products to improve plant health and resistance. We use a variety of soil conditioners, to assist in the general health and combat stress.
The floratine programme we have in place is carried out in conjunction with selected humic acid and seaweed applications when required.

Waste Management

No waste audits have been undertaken at this golf facility.

This golf facility manages key waste streams as follows:

Re-use Recycle Landfill Incinerate
Glass false true false false
Plastic false true false false
Aluminium false true false false
Metal false true false false
Paper & Cardboard false true false false
Grass Clippings true false false false
Cores & Turf true false false false
Sand true false false false
Wood / Timber true true false false

This golf facility undertakes the following activities to continue the lifecycle of materials and resources:

Activity Description
Separation of recyclable materials All materials are separated on site and placed into the designated waste bins for uplift.
The materials glass, paper, food waste etc are picked up as required, dependent on the volume of accumulation by Viridor and BIFFA. We can monitor waste streams and number of lifts online with BIFFA . Green waste is recycled separately though NWH.
Establishment of recycling centers The vast majority of timber limbed or felled due to wind damage, or the removal of dead trees is stacked and or chipped for the purpose of providing a weed suppressant, and decorative base to our existing shrub beds.
Returning clipping to fairways and walkways Boxed clippings are the order on Greens, Tees , aprons, and approaches, and fairways.
All remaining areas, the clippings are returned.
Education of staff and customer education Staff are trained, and encouraged to adhere to and improve our waste policy.
Waste awareness campaigns We use best practice guidance from Scottish Golf (Environment) and online Resource Efficient Scotland (RES) guidance to help with staff awareness. We will be inviting RES to advise us in 2018.

Pollution Control

The Royal Burgess Golfing Society, are constantly aware of our obligations, to minimise, and where possible reduce our air, land, and water pollution, to a standard that not only meets, but endeavours to exceed, minimum legal requirements, in accordance with our Environmental Policy document. Our Environment Committee, comprising of Society Members Greens, Council, and Management from all sectors, meet on a regular basis to discuss all aspects of our Environment strategy, and activate appropriate action plans for the short, medium, and long term.
Sustainable turfgrass practices are adhered to combining playability, and creating habitat settings. Habitat management is an integral part of our management plan.
The society is also aware of its carbon footprint responsibilities, and this is reflected in the construction of a brand new Maintenance Facility, which incorporates energy reducing lighting and heating,within the complex, washpad complete with water recycling system, and the introduction of a Grey water tanks for harvesting rain water from the Facility roof areas. The Clubhouse Facility has been refurbished with an emphasis on reducing energy consumption.
Clubhouse Facility, waste water is discharged into the public main sewage system. We keep up to date with environmental legislation through the Amenity Forum and NetRegs websites.

Water Analysis

This golf facility monitors water quality with the following frequency:

Chemical Biological Visual
Inflow Never Never Monthly
On-Site Never Never Daily
Outflow Never Never Monthly

Waste Water

Waste water from this golf facility is managed as follows:

Discharges to Formal Discharge Agreement
Golf Course Stormwater Drain N/A
Clubhouse Mains Sewer N/A
Maintenance Facility Mains Sewer N/A
Wash Pad Closed Loop Recycling N/A

Hazardous Materials

Hazardous materials at this golf facility are handled and disposed of as follows:

Secure Storage Registered Uplift
Detergents true true
Cooking Oils true true
Lubricants true true
Pesticide Containers true true
Fertiliser Bags true true
Oil Filters true true
Batteries true true

Pollution Prevention

This golf facility undertakes the following activities to prevent pollution from its maintenance facility and clubhouse:

Activity Description
Storage of equipment and hazardous products on covered, sealed impervious areas All chemicals are stored in a locked Chemsafe, and are handled and applied by certificated, qualified staff only.
Maintenance of equipment on covered, sealed impervious areas Our full time service engineer, carries out all repairs, and servicing of all of our machinery. The Greenstaff, are all induction trained when new machinery is introduced into the inventory, and are required to comply with operator instructions.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers in covered areas Fertilisers and pesticides are calibrated, and mixed in a controlled manner on drip trays
within the facility and added to the induction tank attached to the sprayer.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers over impervious surfaces As above - fertilisers and pesticides are calibrated, and mixed in a controlled manner on drip trays within the facility and added to the induction tank attached to the sprayer.
Installation of above-ground fuel tanks All fuel tanks are above ground.
Installation of sufficient secondary containment for fuel All fuel tanks are integrated bunded.
Provision of containment booms and absorbent materials Spillage kits are sited within the Maintenance facility and staff are trained on how to use them. Course Manager is aware of the SEPA Pollution Hotline.

This golf facility undertakes the following activities to prevent pollution on its golf course:

Activity Description
Eliminating leachate and run-off through careful timing of turf inputs Integrated into pre-spraying risk assessment, taking into consideration, weather conditions and forecasts, and correct application via nozzle choice.
Establishment of vegetative buffer strips around water bodies RBGS has opened stone built cundys on selected holes, and Buffer zones of 2m plus are in operation to comply with LERAP and NetRegs guidance and legislation.
Establishment of emergency spillage response plan Emergency spillage action plan is in place at RBGS and staff are fully trained on how to react in the proper manner. Drills are carried out periodically to refresh all staff as to the requirements.
Controlling erosion and sediment discharge Sediment erosion and movement is restricted when any course construction /alteration works are carried out.
Establishment of pesticide-free zones A no spray policy is in place around our open stone cundy areas, and Buffer zones are in place to comply with LERAP legislation.
Use of swales and bio-filters to slow and treat surface run-off Swale construction is being introduced around our large bunker reconstruction programme, and modifications to selected Greens, to control, and slow down run off.


Instituted in 1735 , The Royal Burgess Golfing Society is "The Oldest" Golfing Society in the world and one of only 10 "Royal" Golf Clubs in Scotland boasting Royal member in the 1920s including the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York who was a former captain. The Present Duke of York is an honorary member. While primarily a members club, with a rich tradition, visitors and guests are made to feel very welcome. Located on the outskirts of Edinburgh, the golf course is just six miles from the city centre and easily accessible by road, rail, or air.
The mature parkland course, was originally designed by Willie Park Jnr, with subsequent improvements from Harry Colt, Philip Mackenzie Ross and James Braid.
The Society links with many local businesses in the local community. Some high profile events have been staged here in our history with the likes of Henry Cotton, Sean Connery and Bernard Gallacher among the famous participants. The Society contributes to Scotland's Golfing Heritage through our Heritage Committee activities.

Employment & Education

Typical staffing levels at this golf facility are:

Full Time Part Time Seasonal
Club Management 4 1
Course Management 8 1
Food & Beverage 10 5 5
Golf Coaching 3
Retail & Leisure 3
Other 4

The sustainability working group at this golf facility is comprised of:

  • General Manager
  • Course Manager
  • Committee Members
  • Technical Specialist
  • Deputy Course Manager

Employees at this golf facility receive the following formal and informal environmental education:

Activity Description
Storage, application and disposal of pesticides All staff are trained in the safe handling of chemicals level depending on role.
All staff are issued with the correct PPE equipment, and training is provided on usage. Relevant staff recently completed a refresher course on safe handling, storage, calibration, calibration, and spray application.
Efficient water management Staff are trained informally to save water where possible in the clubhouse and on the course. The irrigation contractor annually inspects the tanks with a staff member present in accordance with legislation. Minimum irrigation is applied at RBGS in accordance with our course policy.
Management of accidents and emergencies Accidents are recorded where necessary. Selected staff are trained in first response, and defibrillator training.
Management of habitats and vegetation Staff are aware of and trained to deliver the woodland management programme, with selected staff holding chainsaw certificates.This incorporates woodland thinning where appropriate to allow airflow to greens, whilst reducing habitat and landscape impacts.
Waste minimization, separation and recycling All staff are trained to separate waste into appropriate collection bins including glass, paper, food waste etc. as per the Waste Scotland Regulations.
Trained staff ensure chemical waste is appropriately stored and specialist uplifts are contractually carried out.
Health & Safety RBGS staff have a duty to adhere to Health And Safety policies set out by the Society.
We have selected members of staff trained in first response, and defibrillator training, which is refreshed when required.
Energy Saving Refurbishment within the clubhouse, and the construction of a brand new maintenance facility, is allowing the Society the opportunity to re evaluate energy saving throughout the complex. All staff are aware of the need to conserve energy where possible.
Understanding of landscape and cultural heritage RBGS sanction regular consultancy visits from the STRI to understand the landscape, as set out in our Environment Management Plan. Our Heritage Committee members are educated and skilled to understand and protect the cultural heritage of the Society.
Environmental management planning Course Manager has previous experience of Environmental Management Planning. RBGS have in place an active Environment Committee to discuss all aspects of our Environmental objectives. They formulate and implement action plans, to achieve these objectives with support from Scottish Golf.

Community Relations

This golf facility engages with local community groups in the following manner:

Activity Description
Neighbours The peripheries are lined with residential houses and buildings, bound by wrought iron fences. There is natural screening for privacy and safety from stray golf ball damage and noise levels are minimised in the early mornings. The Society liaise with residents regularly to avoid any issues.
Local Government We liaise with Edinburgh City Council regarding maintenance of the public foot/cycle path that passes beside the course. We abide by Outdoor Access legislation. We are aware of the Edinburgh Local Biodiversity Action Plan and include key habitat and species protection targets in our nature plans.
Local Environmental Groups Liaising with Scottish Wildlife Trust regarding volunteer habitat surveying and formulation of a steering group. We are liaising with the Lothian Bat Group about installing bat boxes across the course (to be built by local Scout Group). Society handyman has built and manages the bee hives.
Local Community Groups Bridge Club, Probus, Edinburgh High Constables and the Scottish Burns Society regularly use the clubhouse for meetings, and gatherings. The Society also offer their premises to The Lothian's Golf Association and Scottish Golf to hold meetings.
Media The Society uses a variety of social media outlets regularly.
Major tournaments we host such as The Euro Pro Tour, and The Scottish Boys Strokeplay championship, the Scottish Seniors Strokeplay championship and the East of Scotland Ladies Championship. These have resulted in positive local and international media coverage.
Local Businesses The Society use a number of local businesses as suppliers, building a sound working partnership in the process. Some local businesses sponsor individual holes and the course scorecard.
Schools & Colleges N/A

Land Use & Cultural Heritage

This golf facility provides access and diversified land use for others through:

Activity Description
Maintenance of existing public paths We maintain the public footpath/cycle path adjacent to the course by managing hedges and trees that overhang. This is with approval of Edinburgh City Council.
Creation of new paths and nature trails N/A
Installation of effective and welcoming signage New signage has been installed at the clubhouse and maintenance facility and the Society are considering a welcoming area for guests. There is a slideshow in the entrance area of the clubhouse detailing the history and heritage of the club.
Providing opportunities for other recreation (e.g. fishing) N/A
Partnership conservation and access projects (e.g. community woodland) The 'Millennium Shrub Bed' project is being expanded throughout the course each year.
Continuation of traditional agricultural activities n/a
Heritage Committee - Scottish National Library Historic papers and chronicles etc. are stored securely at the Scottish National Library because we are of Royal status.
Heritage Committee - Scottish Golf Museum, St Andrews. Various significant original paintings and artifacts are owned by the Society and many are on view to the public at the Scottish Golf Museum in St Andrews.

No archaeological or heritage surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.

This golf facility consults the following organizations regarding the conservation of cultural heritage:

  • Scottish Golf
  • Historic Environment Scotland - Canmore website

This golf facility undertakes the following activities to conserve cultural heritage features:

Activity Description
Buildings (Listed Buildings / Ancient Monuments etc) Main clubhouse and cottage adjoining out buildings are listed. A Heritage Committee has recently been set up to photograph, document, promote and protect the Society's history, memorabilia, artefacts, trophies, books, golf clubs and golf balls.
Archaeology (Settlements / Agricultural System etc) Bronze age burial cyst situated on top ridge of 11th hole.
Historic Features (Hedgerows / Dykes / Moats / Cairns etc) N/A


This golf facility undertakes the following internal environmental communications:

Activity Description
Provision of newsletters, notice boards & poster display Course Manager's and Captain's weekly blogs are electronically sent to membership, and placed on the Society website and noticeboards.
Members evenings and course walks Members meetings are regular occurrances at RBGS these include Golf Course and social issues.
Q&A sessions for members are held regularly, where course management answer any queries or issues regarding the course.
Course guides / brochures Predominately for Golf at present, but we are looking at ways of introducing guides and information within our Environment Management Plan, for instance the labeling of new and recently introduced specimen trees throughout the course.
Interpretation panels & course signage Clear and concise course signage is on display at RBGS.
Establishment of a nature trail N/A

This golf facility undertakes the following social and environmental advocacy activities:

Activity Description
Website, press releases & brochures Social media sites are in use at RBGS, including the official Website, Golf information line, Twitter, and Royal Burgess Greenkeepers Facebook and Twitter page.
Supporting campaigns Keen to contribute to RSPB bird watch initiative within the environmental committee.
Course walks / open days Course walks are planned specifically for our membership in an informative capacity.
Attending community meetings The Society attends meeting with the local residents to discuss local social issues.
Joint practical projects with community n/a