Goswick Golf Club

GEO Certified® 04/2017
Berwick Upon Tweed,
England, United Kingdom
Telephone: 01289 387256

Goswick Golf Club is a long-established classic links course in northeast England, and has occupied the same site for the whole of its 125 years plus of existence. It lies in a very sensitive location, immediately adjacent to extensive wildlife sites of international importance, but its traditional low intensity management has ensured that the habitat continuity between the golf course and the protected areas has not been compromised in any way. The club are rightly proud of their high quality bent/fescue playing surfaces, which provide excel…

Keith Duff, 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, Resources, Community, and is committed to continual improvement. 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
Goswick Links (18 holes, 6803 yards, year opened 1890)
1 Clubhouse(s)
1 Maintenance Facility/Facilities
1 Pro Shop
1 Practice Facility/Facilities


Goswick Golf Club is situated on the Northumberland coast approximately 5 miles from Berwick-upon-Tweed and 3 miles from Lindersfarne. The coast surrounding the course contains a number of designations to protect valuable ecosystems and wildlife. Lindersfarne in particular is a key migration point for migrating birds.
The course itself is situated in an expansive fixed dune system which stretches along the coast towards Berwick. The dunes support a range flora and fauna, with marram grass being the dominant species nearest the sea but with a blend of marram and fescue further inland. The course boundary to the west is marked by a railway line and then farmland, with a range of arable and grazing land leading the way to the Cheviot Hills in the distance.
The grass ecosystems on the course are well managed to encourage wildflowers, ground nesting birds and other invertebrates, whilst also providing a fair test for golf.
The course also supports several areas of scrub vegetation, with sea buckthorn and gorse being the prevailing species. These provide vital habitat and refuge for many bird species and are managed sensitively by the Greenstaff.
There are several ponds across the course which provide excellent refuge for water birds and are also important for drainage of the land. The marshland area to the south of the course contributes to the sites biodiversity and supports valuable species of orchid and wildflowers.
Grass ecosystems across the course are managed well, with management practices centred around maintaining the wonderful dune landscape and supporting native vegetation. This contributes to a true authentic links experience for the golfer.
The Club are proud of the wonderful site in which the course is situated and are always looking at ways to improve and enhance biodiversity. Moving forward the Club are looking to commission some ecological surveys to gain a better understanding of the land.

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:

  • Sports Turf Research Institute

No ecological surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.

No rare, protected or notable species occur at this golf facility.

This golf facility does not monitor any species as indicators of environmental quality.

Habitats & Designations

This golf facility does not feature any landscape designations.

No areas of habitats / vegetation types and associated designations are present at this golf facility.


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

Estimated Area (Hectares) Turfgrass Species Sward Composition (%)
Greens 0.9 Hectares Festuca rubra 40%
Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 60%
Tees 0.7 Hectares Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 50%
Festuca rubra 50%
Fairways 9.0 Hectares Festuca rubra 60%
Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 40%
Semi Rough 6.2 Hectares Festuca rubra 60%
Festuca ovina 40%

These turfgrasses are optimal for the circumstances at this club because:
These grass species are native to the site and offer true links playing characteristics which compliments the course design. The fescue and bentgrasses are also more sustainable to manage and require lower fertiliser, water and pesticide inputs compared to rogue grasses such as annual meadow grass. The finer grasses also require lower maintenance inputs to achieve the desired playing performance, therefore saving costs and reducing the Club's carbon footprint.

This golf facility assesses mowing patterns every: time of mowing months

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

  • Sports Turf Research Institution
  • Dr David Greenshields - Barenbrug

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 Management practices are centred around encouraging the finer, links grasses to provide optimal yet natural performance of the surfaces. Clear policies are in place with regards to water and nutritional inputs with the aim to create a balance to encourage fescue and bent populations. Cutting heights are sensible to achieve the same objective and regular overseeding is carried out to boost fescue populations.
Promoting the playing quality values of more naturalized turf, particularly fairways and semi-rough The Club aims to offer naturalised turf on all areas of the course - in particular the fairways and semi-rough. The aim is to create firm, fast surfaces which are typical of links golf, along with turf dominated by native links grasses which provide a crisp, authentic turf to play from. Sand topdressing and overseeding is carried out on the fairways as well as cutting and collecting of the cut roughs to help achieve this goal.
Promoting the financial benefits of presenting sustainable surfaces The Club look to promote the benefits of sustainable, fine grass management wherever possible to members and visitors. The Club hosted the North East BIGGA Greenkeepers in April 2016 where the course and its sustainable management was showcased to greenkeepers from an aray of Club's in the North East of England.
Improving customer understanding around greens maintenance Course maintenance inputs are communicated to members (and visitors) in several different ways including: in the monthly newsletter to members, a Greenkeeping blog on the website and verbal communication via the Club Secretary.
Demonstrating the direct relationship between environmental best practice and year round high quality playing surfaces The Club receive yearly STRI Agronomy visits to assess agronomic conditions and playing qualities. The Club have recently upgraded to the STRI Programme where playing performance and agronomic condition is assessed using a series of objective measurements. This helps benchmark current greens performance and track progress with future improvement.

Conservation & Enhancement

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

Activity Description
Allowing seasonal variation of course coloration and texture Seasonal variation of course colour and texture is allowed through judicious irrigation and fertiliser management. Course colour changes with the seasons and levels of rainfall. The course is allowed to 'brown-off' during drier periods, with irrigation being applied sparingly to maintain turf health only (not colour).
Appropriately matching mowing lines to contours Mowing lines are matched to course contours to provide natural visual aesthetics.
Protection and restoration of historic features There are no historic features to be protected or restored on the course.
Discreet on-course signage and furniture Signage and furniture on the course is kept to a minimum and is as discreet as possible to help maintain the natural links environment. New 'next tee' signs and styles have been made in-house by the Greenstaff using locally sourced wood. These offer a very natural appearance.
Conservation of specimen trees There are no specimen trees on the course.
Screening and softening unsightly man-made features There are no unsightly man-made features on the course. Any upgrades or work on the clubhouse or maintenance facility are designed to be sympathetic to the natural surroundings.

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 Amenity grassland is kept to a minimum across the course to ensure minimal impact on the native ecosystems, biodiversity and keep down maintenance inputs. Only greens, fairways, tees and semi rough are regularly mown. Large expanses of rough and scrubland in out-of-play areas are left un-mown.
Increasing the size of habitat patches Regular scrub and grassland management has allowed habitat patches to increase across the course. This has involved yearly cutting, scarifying and collecting of golfing roughs as well as sea buckthorn and gorse management where needed. Sea buckthorn was planted adjacent to the 7th and 10th holes several years ago to improve habitat for wildlife.
Connection of internal habitat patches Habitat patches are well connected across the course by rough grasslands. These provide an ideal corridor for wildlife movement.
Connection of patches with external habitats The connection of external habitat patches to the north and south of the course (along the coast) is very good, with on-going dune systems and coastal land linking to the course. The connection to the west is limited due to the railway line bordering the course.
Creation of habitat corridors Habitat corridors are created and maintained through appropriate management of grasslands and scrub.
Avoidance of habitat fragmentation By leaving areas of ecology rough, the wildlife corridor throughout the golf course is extended without fragmenting the habitat. Areas susceptible to natural succession are also closely monitored, making sure to conserve the internationally important dune landscape which the golf course sits upon.
Improving and diversifying habitat edges Phased management of gorse and scrub is carried out to diversify habitat edges. Rough grasslands are managed at different heights and levels of maintenance (i.e. semi rough, golfing rough and wider ecological rough) which helps diversify habitat edges.

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 The roughs are managed to encourage native species and wildlife. Cutting and collecting of golfing roughs takes place on an annual basis in autumn to reduce productivity and create the desired density. Large expanses of rough are left unmanaged (particularly in the dunes) but are monitored for encroachment of scrub.
Ecologically informed management of scrub vegetation The STRI provide advice on scrub management during yearly visits to the Club.
Promoting species and structurally diverse woodlands There are no woodlands on the course.
Establishment of littoral shelves and marginal vegetation in wetland areas Marginal vegetation in the form of reeds and rushes are encouraged around the various ponds and marshland areas on the course.
Maintenance of an appropriate balance of open water and aquatic vegetation Pond vegetation is managed as and when required to maintain a suitable balance of open water and vegetation.
Naturalization of linear habitats Linear habitats are shaped and curved to provide a natural appearance and a greater diversity.

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

Activity Description
Installation of nest boxes Due to minimal tree populations there are no nest boxes installed on the course. However the club are looking at improving this in the future through installing boxes where possible.
Control / management of alien species Sea buckthorn is managed when required to prevent invasion and loss of natural habitat.
Creation of micro-habitats (eg log and stone piles) Log piles and branch piles have been placed in locations around the course to provide micro habitats for insects and mammals.


Water usage at Goswick Golf Club comes from two separate sources, with potable water being used to supply the Clubhouse and maintenance facility but with irrigation water being sourced from the river which runs adjacent to the south end of the course. The irrigation system is currently fairly limited on the golf course, with only four greens having pop-up sprinklers in place (4th, 8th, 12th, 16th greens) and the others being watered using a combination of hand watering and travelling sprinklers which are connected via hydrant points adjacent to the green complexes. The Club are looking at a full upgrade to the irrigation system in 2017, with a more advanced system being installed. This will save valuable man hours spent handwatering and further improve turf quality.
Water application to the golf course is well managed given the limitations of the current system. Irrigation is used sparingly and only to maintain turf health when needed. The Club have recently invested in a soil moisture probe in 2016 to help more accurately monitor soil moisture levels and inform irrigation inputs to the course. This is already paying dividends and helping to optimise turf performance through avoiding under or over watering.
2016 has also seen the introduction of a wetting agent programme to the greens which has greatly helped improve soil moisture distribution and help the surfaces dry down more uniformly. This has resulted in an improvement in surface quality, a reduction in fairy ring symptoms and reduced irrigation requirements.

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% 320,000 Litres
Golf Course Surface 100% 1,879,000 Litres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 40,000 Litres

Irrigation & Efficiency

The following areas receive irrigation at this golf facility:

Greens 2-3 days per week
Tees Weekly
Fairways Never
Semi-Rough Never
Rough Never

The irrigation system at this golf facility is:

The irrigation system at this golf facility is:

Serviced every 1 years

Upgraded every 1 years

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 The finer fescue and bentgrass species are encouraged at all costs at Goswick and annual overseeding inputs are based on the fescue species. These are more drought tolerant and naturally deeper rooting, therefore requiring lower water input in comparison to less-sustainable grasses.
Soil decompaction and thatch management Soil structure and texture is managed on an on-going basis on the course through dedicated aeration and sand topdressing programmes. This helps to manage organic matter levels and promote a favourable environment for deeper rooting in the soil to widen the capture of water and nutrients. Laboratory analysis of organic matter levels is carried out annually to inform necessary maintenance requirements for the greens.
Timing and dose of water application Water application is accurately determined by soil moisture values and the health of the turf. The quantity of water applied is enough to sustain turf health only. With the limitations of the current irrigation system, most of the watering is applied during the day when the Greenstaff are at work. Introduction of the new system in 2017 will allow for more night time watering which will help reduce disease activity and water loss.
Analysis of soil moisture The Club have invested in a soil moisture probe in 2016 and use it on a daily basis to help monitor soil moisture values and inform irrigation requirements.
Incorporation of evapotranspiration rates and weather data Weather data is recorded daily, with accurate information being retrieved from local weather stations via websites/apps. The Club also use a rain gauge to monitor on-site rainfall inputs. Weather data is recorded on a daily basis on the Turfkeeper management system.
Use of wetting agents A wetting agent programme is applied to the greens through the spring and summer to help manage soil moisture distribution and reduce irrigation requirements. Wetting agents are also applied on occasion to localised areas on the fairways which are vulnerable to drying. This helps to maximise natural rainfall inputs and reduce irrigation requirements.
Overall reduction in irrigated area The Greenstaff only apply irrigation to the course to meet the demands of the turf. The soil moisture probe is well utilised to determine irrigation requirements and hand watering is mostly adopted to help accurately target water to localised areas.
Targeting of sprinkler heads The sprinkler heads are checked and set at the start of each year to ensure that the arc and directions are correct. This ensures that water is only being applied to the areas intended and that the heads are set to reduce drift from wind. After the initial set-up checks, the sprinkler heads are then checked on a regular basis through the year.
Optimizing system pressure The system operating pressure is checked regularly to ensure that the correct water quantities are being applied. The installation of a new irrigation system in 2017/2018 will include the introduction of a more advanced pump system which will help maintain system pressure more accurately and optimally.
Adoption of cutting edge nozzle technology The sprinkler heads currently on the 4 greens make use of advanced nozzle technology to help optimise water distribution. The most up-to-date nozzle technology will be explored during the upcoming irrigation upgrade to achieve maximum performance and efficiency. Low trajectory nozzles are to be selected to help reduce wind drift.

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

Activity Description
Low-flow urinals and toilets The toilets and urinals in the Clubhouse are low-flow to help reduce water consumption. The urinals also have automatic flush technology.
Use of water efficient appliances All new appliances in the Clubhouse are water efficient. This is considered during purchase. Recently a new, efficient bottle washer, refrigerator and washing machine have been purchased.
Repairing leaks All leaks are promptly and thoroughly repaired to reduce any further water loss.


The Club are continually looking at ways to improve their energy efficiency and all new initiatives, developments and purchases are carried out with improving energy usage in mind. Presently, no energy surveys have been carried out, however this is a strong consideration for the future to help the Club identify key areas where energy and cost savings could be made.
Improving the efficiency of the clubhouse is a key goal for the club. This is an extremely old building with lots of charm and character, and its design makes use of natural light and the wonderful views out on to the links. However, certain aspects of the clubhouse require updating to improve its efficiency. This process has begun with a recent upgrade to the locker rooms and entrance hall where modern standards are now met in terms of the efficiency of lighting, heating and water usage. This sets the precedence for future upgrades.
The Club have previously investigated the installation of biomass heating and although not yet implemented, this is still a consideration for the future.
In terms of on-course machinery, a recent change has been made to hybrid greens mowers and a change to other hybrid machines will be considered in future as part of the machinery replacement programme.

Sources & Consumption

No energy surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.

This golf facility does not consume any renewable energy or resources.

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

2016 2015 2014
Diesel (Litres) 1356
Heating Oil (Litres) 7964
Hydraulic Oil (Litres) 140
Non-renewable Grid (kWh) 79424
Petrol (Litres) 794
Propane / Butane (Litres) 1193

Energy Efficiency

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

Activity Description
Use of electric hybrid vehicles The Club use two hybrid John Deere 2500E triplex mowers. These combine a diesel engine but with electric reel motors.
Use of recycled oils The club use biodegradable hydraulic oil which is formulated from a renewable source and helps to lessen the impact on the environment.

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

Activity Description
Investment in low-energy heating and air conditioning systems The heating system in the clubhouse is relatively old and in need of improvement to improve its energy efficiency. The add-ons to the heating system installed to the upgraded area of the Clubhouse are more efficient.
Optimizing thermostat levels for heating and refrigeration Thermostatic valves are used for some areas refrigerating and heating in the clubhouse and maintenance facility. Temperatures are also regularly monitored by staff to ensure they are appropriate.
Enhancement of natural ventilation opportunities Natural ventilation is utilised wherever possible through opening doors and windows.
Upgrading of building insulation Insulation of the main clubhouse is fairly limited due to the age and design of the building. However, the newly renovated area of the clubhouse is fully insulated to meet modern regulations.
Use of natural light (e.g. sunlight pipes) Natural light is utilised wherever possible in the clubhouse. The front of the clubhouse is designed with an abundance of windows to create a view out on to the course and make full use of natural light. The design of the new area of the clubhouse is inkeeping with this and is open, light and airy.
Installation of low-energy lighting Low energy lighting is mostly used in the clubhouse and maintenance facility but upgrades are still needed. All future lighting upgrades are to be low energy usage.
Use of motion sensor lighting The new area of the Clubhouse (passageway and locker rooms) has motion sensors and timers fitted to the lighting.
Transition to energy efficient appliances All appliances purchased over recent years are energy efficient and the remaining appliances will change to energy efficient models over the coming years when they need replacing .
Use of timers with appliances, heating and lighting Timers are used for the heating, lighting and water in the clubhouse.
Educating staff and customers Staff and visitors to the club are educated on reducing energy wastage through signs positioned around the clubhouse and maintenance facility e.g. please turn off lights when finished.

Vehicles & Transport

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

Ride-on Mowers Walking Mowers Utility Vehicles
Petrol 100%
Diesel 90% 100%
Hybrid 10%

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

Golf Carts Cars Buses
Diesel 100%
Grid Electric 100%

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

Activity Description
Car sharing incentives There are no car sharing incentives currently in place at the Club, however several employees do car share on the way to work. Car sharing is also encouraged and organised for participants in club matches.
Secure cycle parking Secure cycle parking is available in the Greenkeepers sheds for employees but currently there is no secure bike store elsewhere on site.
Increasing equipment storage (e.g. lockers) Lockers are available for the Greenstaff in the maintenance facility and for members of the club in the clubhouse. Temporary lockers are also provided for visitors to the Club.
Staff showers The showers in the clubhouse are available for all staff members to use.
Tax breaking incentives for cycling There are no tax breaking incentives for cycling currently in place at the Club. However, cycling is widely encouraged at Goswick as part of the Northumberland Coastal Path.
Promotion of walk to work campaigns The location of the course is quite remote and so walking to work is not usually an option for many employees. That said, walking is widely encouraged at the Club (like cycling) as part of the Northumberland Coastal Path.

Supply Chain

Goswick GC aims to utilise local companies, people and products as much as possible as part of the day-to-day running of the golf club. This helps to minimise the club's carbon footprint and keep buying costs down but also helps to strengthen the Club's relationship with the local community.
When selecting products for purchase, the Club looks to buy course materials in bulk where possible when the required quantities are known. This reduces packaging at the source and again helps to reduce the club's carbon footprint and haulage costs.
The Club look to reuse and recycle materials on the course wherever possible and in particular - sand, soil, grass clippings are all reused or composted and then reused in divot mixes or as construction materials. However, dealing with waste and in particular waste from the clubhouse is highlighted as a key area for improvement at the Club. Although many materials are currently recycled, the Club are looking at improving the separation of waste.
Course maintenance inputs are generally minimal and extremely sustainable, in particular the use of pesticides. Fungicides have not been applied to the course in over 20 years. A minimalistic approach to feeding is also adopted, with nutrients only being applied to the turf to sustain turf health and performance. This approach ensures that the finer, more desirable grasses thrive in the turf.

Purchasing Policies

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

Activity Description
Measures to avoid waste at source The Club look to reduce their waste at the source where possible and one of the key ways of achieving this is through bulk buying materials to help minimise packaging and the carbon footprint involved in delivery. Materials currently bought in bulk are: gravel, bunker sand, liquid fertiliser and whin dust.
Use of local suppliers Local suppliers are selected wherever possible to help reduce the Club's carbon footprint. Many of the food and beverage supplies are sourced from local suppliers, along with suppliers of some golf course equipment.
Use of local products Local products are utilised wherever possible and indigenous materials, such as turf and sand, are recycled from site.
Selection of certified products Certified products are not specifically selected but will be a consideration moving forward.
Use of recycled and recyclable products Turf and grass clippings are composted on site, screened and mixed with indigenous sand to produce tees divot mixes and material used in construction work. Old bunker sand is also recycled and re-used.
Selection of products that feature minimal packaging Reducing packaging at the source is a consideration with all purchases.
Use of accredited suppliers (e.g. ISO 14001) The Club use the services of STRI who are ISO 9001, 14001 and 18001 accredited.

Supply Chain

An overview of the supplier network at this golf facility:

Total number of suppliers Total number of suppliers within 10 Kilometres Total number of suppliers within 100 Kilometres
Food & Beverage 16 10 5
Catering Supplies 9 6 1
Retail 68 7 8
Trade & Contractors 14 10
Maintenance Equipment 5 3
Course Supplies 15 9 4

Turfgrass Inputs

This golf facility undertakes the following IPM activities:

Activity Description
Encouraging drought and disease tolerant grasses The course maintenance programme is centred around encouraging the finer fescue and bentgrass species which are native to the links but are also more drought and disease tolerant. Management techniques are tailored to encourage these species along with annual fescue overseeding to the greens to boost existing populations. Overall, the approach results in reduced pesticide and water requirements for the turf.
Managing stress and wear Turf health is closely monitored and controlled through careful nutrition and moisture management. The aim is to maintain a strong, healthy grass sward which performs well through the year. Wear is managed in high traffic areas through the year through occasional hooping/roping to redirect golfer traffic and reduce stress on the turf.
Enhancement of soil structure Soil structure is well-managed through an appropriate aeration programme, along with regular sand topdressing to continually improve the texture and natural structure of the upper soil profile.
Optimization of the growing environment The growing environment is optimised through balanced nutrient and moisture inputs, along with application of seaweeds and organic based feeds to stimulate soil microbial life.
Managing thatch levels Thatch levels are closely monitored each year through laboratory testing of organic matter at STRI. This determines the necessary maintenance requirements. On the whole, organic matter is mostly controlled through light applications of sand topdressing to help dilute organic matter as it accumulates.
Managing surface moisture Dew is removed from the putting surfaces each morning through either switching, mowing or rolling. This helps to keep the surface drier and provide a less favourable environment for turfgrass diseases. Soil moisture is also monitored regularly through use of the new soil moisture probe.
Establishing thresholds for pests and disease Cultural management of pests and disease is a primary focus, along with creating a growing environment which is less favourable to their establishment. A certain tolerance of less troublesome diseases such as red thread and anthracnose is allowed and can help to manage out the less desirable annual meadow grasses. Fungicidal control has not been required for over 20 years on the surfaces at Goswick.
Scouting for pests and diseases The surfaces are closely monitored on a daily basis for disease and pest activity. Weather conditions are also monitored to inform when disease pressures will be higher.
Monitoring / improvement of plant health Plant health is continually assessed through the year to help inform nutritional requirements. Fertiliser requirements are assessed out on a green-by-green basis, with the smaller, weaker greens (e.g. 4th) often receiving additional inputs compared to the stronger greens. This is the most sustainable approach, ensuring accurate delivery of nutrition to the areas needed most.

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

2016 2015 2014
Fairways - N - Inorganic 26.28
Greens - K - Inorganic 24
Greens - K - Organic 13
Greens - N - Inorganic 39.4
Greens - N - Organic 17
Greens - P - Organic 6.4
Semi-Rough - N - Inorganic 17.52
Tees - N - Inorganic 27

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

2016 2015 2014
Fairways - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0.66
Fairways - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 2
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0.65
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 2
Tees - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 2.31
Tees - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1

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

Activity Description
Selection on the least toxic and lest persistent products If a pesticide is required, then the least toxic and least persistent product is selected when possible.
Selection of appropriate products for specific pests and diseases Following the correct identification of the pest or disease, the most appropriate product is then selected to provide control. If difficulties are being experienced with disease identification or active ingredient selection, then the Club seek advice from STRI. As previously mentioned, fungicides are very seldom required at Goswick due to the agronomic quality of the surfaces.
Spot-treatment with handheld sprayers and wipers Spot treatment with knapsacks is carried out when required to accurately target weed populations and reduce pesticide wastage. Knapsacks are mostly used to spot treat weeds on hard standing areas such as the car park and paths.
Calibration and testing of sprayers The spraying equipment is fully calibrated every time prior to use to ensure that product application is as accurate as possible. The sprayers are also tested by an NSTS testing centre on an annual basis to comply with legislation and ensure that it is in good working order and applying products accurately.
Use of shrouded sprayer and anti-drip nozzles The sprayer is fitted with modern anti-drip and low-drift nozzles to optimise accuracy and minimise wastage.
Non-chemical weed control Hand weeding of weeds in the rough is carried out on occasion through the year - particularly species such as ragwort. Weeds are also removed by hand from the bunkers during routine raking operations and from the greens when required.
Use of organic and biological products to improve plant health and resistance. Seaweeds and organic feeds are applied within the greens feeding programme to supplement plant health and also stimulate microbial life in the soil beneath the greens.

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 false true false
Metal true true false false
Paper & Cardboard false true false false
Grass Clippings false true false false
Cores & Turf false true false false
Sand false true false false
Wood / Timber true false false false

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

Activity Description
Separation of recyclable materials This is an area that the Club are looking to improve. Plans are to begin to separate recyclable materials at the Clubhouse from April this year. Compostable materials on the course such as grass clipping, sand/soil, brash are already separated on an ongoing basis ready for composting and reusing.
Establishment of recycling centers This forms part of the clubs future plans to improve waste separation at the clubhouse.
Returning clipping to fairways and walkways Grass clippings are returned to the fairways and walkways during mowing to help recycle nutrients and reduce additional nutrient inputs.
Education of staff and customer education Staff are currently made aware of waste management requirements at the club, but this will be further emphasised as part of the planned improvements to waste separation.

Pollution Control

The Club aim to reduce pollution and protect the local environment at all costs and the day-to-day running of the Club is managed with this in mind. The Club aims to safeguard the wonderful environment in which the links at Goswick is situated.
Inputs to the turf are generally very minimal - in particular pesticides and fertiliser, however any inputs made are carried out under the correct conditions and methods of application to minimise waste or leaching.
The correct procedures for storing, handling and disposing of pesticides and other hazardous materials are strictly adhered to. An onsite treatment plant and washdown pad are in place to help minimise contaminants reaching water courses.
Pesticides are stored in a safe and correct manner and all spraying operations are carried out using the correct PPE and application methods. The spraying equipment used makes use of modern technology and is serviced frequently to ensure optimal accuracy and avoid unnecessary wastage.
Water quality in the adjacent water course is monitored regularly using a salinity meter, along with occasional laboratory testing conducted from the local water authority.

Water Analysis

This golf facility monitors water quality with the following frequency:

Chemical Biological Visual
Inflow Yearly Never Weekly
On-Site Yearly Never Weekly
Outflow Yearly Never Monthly

Waste Water

Waste water from this golf facility is managed as follows:

Discharges to Formal Discharge Agreement
Golf Course On-Site Treatment Plant N/A
Clubhouse On-Site Treatment Plant N/A
Maintenance Facility On-Site Treatment Plant N/A
Wash Pad On-Site Treatment Plant 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 equipment and hazardous products are stored on a covered, sealed and impervious area to reduce the risk of spillage.
Maintenance of equipment on covered, sealed impervious areas Maintenance of equipment is carried out in the maintenance facility which is covered, sealed and impervious. This reduces the risk of spillage from waste oils and materials.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers in covered areas All pesticides and fertilisers are mixed on the washdown area.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers over impervious surfaces All pesticides and fertilisers are mixed on the wash down pad
Installation of above-ground fuel tanks All fuel tanks are above ground and bunded to prevent leaks and spills.
Installation of sufficient secondary containment for fuel Fuel tanks are bunded to help contain leaks and spillages.
Provision of containment booms and absorbent materials Spill kits are positioned near fuel tanks for easy access in the case of a spill.

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 Inputs to the turf are carefully timed to minimise leaching and run-off. This involves careful calibration of equipment to ensure that the correct quantity of product is applied for plant uptake. Applications are also always made in the correct weather conditions to gain full efficacy of the product and reduce run-off. e.g. avoiding foliar fertiliser or pesticide application during rainfall.
Establishment of vegetative buffer strips around water bodies Vegetative buffer strips are situated around the perimeter of the water courses to the far end of the course to act as a buffer to pollutants entering the water.
Establishment of emergency spillage response plan There is currently no emergency spillage response plan in place at the club.
Controlling erosion and sediment discharge Currently there are no real erosion issues at the Club.
Establishment of pesticide-free zones Pesticide applications are extremely minimal on the course but any applications are restricted to the main playing areas. The roughs are pesticide free zones to protect sensitive habitats and species. LERAP assessment also ensures that areas adjacent to water courses are pesticide free zones.


The Club have an excellent relationship with it's immediate neighbours and the local community in the neighbouring town of Berwick-Upon-Tweed. They always look to utilise local tradesman, products and services to support local business and also recommend a number of hotels, bars and restaurants to visiting golfers.
The Northumberland Coastal pass runs through the golf course and the Club actively encourage walkers and cyclists to visit the club and use the clubhouse and facilities. The Club also allow visitors to use their carpark when going to the local beach or when going cycling, walking or horseriding.
The Club also look to support local charities, including the Berwick Rotary Club and Maggies Charity, in which they host charity golf days for each and do not charge a fee for the course.
Encouraging youngsters to the game of golf is also at the Club's heart and have recently received Grass Roots funding to help assist youngsters into the game by providing free junior coaching in summer. They also have arrangements with local schools to host golf days to encourage more youngsters to take up the game. These initiatives have led to a short course being set up adjacent to the main course for youngsters to use.
The Club have highlighted some areas for improvement in the future and this is mostly publicising the environmental sensitivity of the links to the wider community through social media and potentially the future production of a brochure highlighting the wildlife and ecology present on the course.

Employment & Education

Typical staffing levels at this golf facility are:

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

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

  • General Manager
  • Course Manager
  • Committee Members

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

Activity Description
Storage, application and disposal of pesticides 3 members of the Greenstaff are fully qualified in spraying and these staff members are fully responsible for pesticide application, storage and disposal.
Efficient water management The staff are notified of the importance of efficient water usage in the clubhouse and maintenance facility. On course water inputs are closely monitored by the Head Greenkeeper but all Greenstaff have a good understanding of the efficient application of water to the course when applying handwatering and irrigation treatments.
Management of accidents and emergencies The General Manager and all the Greenstaff are fully first aid trained. All staff received defibrillator training in 2015. All accidents are reported in the accident book. The Club receive external health and safety advice twice yearly from an external consultant.
Management of habitats and vegetation STRI provide annual advice to the Club on the management of habitats and vegetation on the course during their annual agronomy visits. This is relayed to staff - in particular the Greenstaff. Some additional information is also posted on the club noticeboard with relevant information.
Waste minimization, separation and recycling Staff members are informally educated on waste minimisation and separation. This is particularly the case with the Greenstaff where staff members are educated on the processes involved in waste oil and empty pesticide bottle collections, along with the separation of materials (such as cardboard) for recycling.
Health & Safety The Club commission an annual health and safety report on the club and the key findings are relayed to staff and actioned where needed. Staff members have also received 'safe working height' training and all Greenstaff are fully trained on all maintenance equipment before use.
Energy Saving Staff are informally educated on energy saving both in the clubhouse and on the course. Staff are encouraged to turn lights and appliances when not in use. The Greenstaff are also encouraged to turn off machines when not being used.
Understanding of landscape and cultural heritage The staff and in particular the Greenstaff are continually educated on managing the links and maintaining its sensitive ecosystems. The Club hope to carry out an ecology assessment at the course to gain an even greater understanding of the site and this will help further educate the staff.
Environmental management planning This is an area for improvement and the Club are looking at enlisting the services of an ecologist to provide ecological advice and assist with future environmental planning.

Community Relations

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

Activity Description
Neighbours The Club generally has an excellent relationship with its neighbouring farms and town residents. It always looks to support local businesses and people whenever possible and an example of this is the recommendation of locals hotels and B&B's on the club's website for visiting golfers to stay when visiting the Club.
Local Environmental Groups The Club have a good relationship with Natural England and provide access through their land to the beach for Natural England staff when they are carrying out visits to the local area.
Local Community Groups The club support local community groups and host several charity days each year. An example of this is the Rotary day which is held at the Club in August each year for the Berwick Rotary Club. A further example is the annual Maggies Charity Golf Day. In addition, there are also 4 Captains charity bunker situated on the course where the proceeds from collection go to a local charity.
Media The Club are continually improving their social media presence to improve the Club's profile and also publicise golf. The Club have both Twitter and Facebook accounts which they use regularly to provide updates on the course, social events etc.
Local Businesses The Club always look to support local businesses. This includes the use of local tradesman for Clubhouse work, sourcing local materials for the course and also the use of a local bakers in Berwick for food in the Clubhouse. The Club also have an excellent relationship with neighbouring golf clubs both side of the borders and offer a combined package with several clubs for visiting golfers to Northumberland.
Schools & Colleges The Club have a fantastic relationship with local schools. They host school days at the club where children can experience a days golf and receive some coaching. A short course is also set up for youngsters to use. The Club have also received some Grass Roots funding and provide coaching for youngsters on a weekly basis through the summer holidays for £1 per person per week.

Land Use & Cultural Heritage

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

Activity Description
Maintenance of existing public paths The Club maintain sections of the Coastal Path route through the course when required, along with the voluntary repair of pot holes on the public right of way which runs through the course.
Installation of effective and welcoming signage There is welcoming signage upon entering the course as well as on the public road running through the course. The Club have also installed signage for people undertaking the Northumberland Coastal walk (which runs through the course), encouraging walkers, cyclists to stop at the Clubhouse.
Providing opportunities for other recreation (e.g. fishing) The Club encourage a range of other recreations - in particular walking and cycling as part of the Northumberland Coastal route. They also encourage horse riders, walkers and cyclists to park in their carpark when visiting the beach or partaking in the coastal route.
Partnership conservation and access projects (e.g. community woodland) The Club have a partnership with the Northumberland Coastal pass, granting walkers, cyclists etc access to their land.
Continuation of traditional agricultural activities The club continue with the traditional revetment of bunkers on the course, which is an age old technique which has been used on links courses for hundreds of years.

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

This golf facility does not consult any organizations regarding the conservation of cultural heritage.

This golf facility does not undertake any activities to conserve cultural heritage features.


This golf facility undertakes the following internal environmental communications:

Activity Description
Provision of newsletters, notice boards & poster display The club post any relevant community and environmental information on their noticeboard in the clubhouse.
Members evenings and course walks Members evenings and course walks are not currently undertaken at the Club but are a consideration for the future. Divoting groups are arranged for members which pose a good opportunity to educate them on course ecology and maintenance.
Course guides / brochures The Club are considering producing a guide/brochure on course ecology and wildlife for members and visitors.
Interpretation panels & course signage Signage is in place to direct walkers/cyclist on the Northumberland Coastal pass, along with clear signs along the road warning walkers of errant golf balls. Signs are also put out when spraying is in progress on the course.

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

Activity Description
Joint practical projects with community The Club actively encourage local children to participate in golf through putting on coaching and golf days.