North Berwick Golf Club

GEO Certified® 07/2016
North Berwick,
Scotland, United Kingdom
Telephone: 01620895040

North Berwick Golf Club is rightfully regarded as one of Scotland’s premier natural links courses. There are a number of reasons for this; not least being the long history of the course and the excellence of the golf holes, the most memorable having inspired architects from the days of Charles Blair MacDonald, but perhaps foremost is the superbly consistent quality of the natural links turf, which provides outstanding playing conditions throughout the year. This in turn is in part a product of its location on an archetypal links site, immedia…

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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 West Links Course (18 holes, 6506 yards, year opened 1832)
Children's Course (9 holes, 891 yards, year opened 1888)
1 Clubhouse(s)
1 Pro Shop
2 Maintenance Facility/Facilities


North Berwick Golf Club is located approximately 25 miles northeast of Edinburgh, situated on the East Lothian coastline. Here, the coastline is protected by the Firth of Forth SSSI and SPA. The landscape of the golf course consists largely of open fixed dune grassland with dominant species being sea lyme, marram and red fescue with odd patches of internationally important bare sand, a habitat that will be increased through future scrub removal. The extent of scrub, consisting largely of sea buckthorn, is being reduced over the site following a sea buckthorn management plan to enhance the underlying dune grassland and to retain the characteristic dune topography that the course is so admired for. Further inland, as the vegetation becomes more mesotrophic, scrub is more accepted, with hawthorn, holly and elm being retained for their ecological value, particularly for birds during the breeding season. A pond, created to aide with drainage of the course has become another valuable habitat, gradually becoming vegetated overtime, the pond is now an excellent breeding site for dragonflies and damselflies come the warmer months. A further boggy area, consisting of a mix of neutral and wet grassland has received targeted management to enhance its wildflower value, creating a magnificent feature on the course. Two burns run north across the golf course, adding another important feature to the landscape, providing connectivity and important foraging habitat for heron and oystercatcher. Appropriate management of the various habitats around the course means that wildlife abound North Berwick, from rare orchids (frog orchid) to Red List bird species (skylark).

Consultation & Surveys

This golf facility consults the following organizations regarding landscape heritage conservation:

  • STRI
  • Scottish Natural Heritage

The following landscape assessments and surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility:

Title Author Date View document
Coastal Management Plan Bob Taylor, STRI 2016/03/05 Download
Sea Buckthorn Management Plan Bob Taylor, STRI 2016/03/14 Download
Fixed Point Photography/GPS Survey 2014-2015 Bob Taylor, STRI 2015/11/12 Download
Provisional Assessment of Coastal Issues Bob Taylor, STRI 2014/07/08 Download
Advisory Report on the Golf Course Incorporating the STRI Programme Adam Newton, STRI 2015/09/04 Download
Advisory Report on the Golf Course Incorporating the STRI Programme Richard Windows, STRI 2014/09/08 Download
SNH Management Agreement SNH 2013/10/13 Download

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

  • STRI
  • Scottish Natural Heritage

No ecological surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.

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

Local name Scientific name
Frog orchid Coeloglossum viride
Bog pimpernel Anagallis tenella
Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria
Variegated horsetail Equisetum variegatum
Lesser clubmoss Selaginella selaginoides
Black knapweed Centaurea nigra

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

Habitats & Designations

This golf facility features the following landscape designations:

Description Designating Authority
Firth of Forth - Site of Special Scientific Interest Scottish Natural Heritage

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

Title Estimated Area (Hectares) Designation
Scrub Vegetation 1.0 None
Rough 'ecological' grassland 22 None
Wetlands 1.00 National Government
Sand dunes 3.5 International
Open Water Features 0.15 None


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

Estimated Area (Hectares) Turfgrass Species Sward Composition (%)
Greens 1.55 Hectares Festuca rubra 80%
Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 20%
Tees 1.1 Hectares Lolium perenne 50%
Festuca rubra 50%
Fairways 20.0 Hectares Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 50%
Poa annua 50%
Semi Rough 20.0 Hectares Festuca rubra 50%
Poa annua 50%

These turfgrasses are optimal for the circumstances at this club because:
The turfgrasses used at North Berwick have been chosen for their drought-tolerance, providing authentic links playing surfaces that are dry and firm.

This golf facility assesses mowing patterns every: 1 months

This golf facility does not consult individuals or organizations regarding its grassing plan.

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 All these maintenance practices are set up with the primary objective of favouring, and retaining these particular grass species. Try to maintain low fertility, low water input, the use of sand topdressings to keep surfaces firm and running.
Promoting the playing quality values of more naturalized turf, particularly fairways and semi-rough Minimal fertiliser and irrigation is applied to the playing surfaces to retain the natural links feel of the course. Broad-leaved weed control is carried out on the fairways and managed mowed semi-rough.
Promoting the financial benefits of presenting sustainable surfaces The grass species selected are low cost are require minimal pesticide inputs and irrigation. The members and visitors love these natural links playing surfaces and the Club aim to maintain their expectations and traditions.
Improving customer understanding around greens maintenance Monthly newsletters are supplied to all members and the STRI agronomy reports are available to everyone. Regular updates are displayed on noticeboards informing people of ongoing or future works on the course.
Demonstrating the direct relationship between environmental best practice and year round high quality playing surfaces Minimal irrigation, fertiliser and disturbance practices naturally favour the grasses present on a fixed grass duneland system. Invasive weed grasses including perennial ryegrass are successfully controlled through handweeding and selective herbicide application where required.

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 Club actively allow seasonal variation of course colouration and texture through annual grassland management and scrub management.The course needs to be presented in great condition year round for the benefit of members and visitors.
Appropriately matching mowing lines to contours The course is mowed to match the natural contours of the topography of the land.
Protection and restoration of historic features There are a number of internal stone walls (dykes) meandering through the course which are integral parts of the course. These are maintained through regular pointing using traditional methods to fit with the character of the wall.
Discreet on-course signage and furniture All signage is discreet where necessary and are uniform in their appearance. Some signage is less discreet for reasons regarding safety.
Conservation of specimen trees There are no specimen trees.
Screening and softening unsightly man-made features The appearance of the Greenkeeping Complex is softened by the planting of blackthorn and hawthorn which are excellent for wildlife.

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 Around 25 hectares of the site is made up of coastal grassland consisting of marram, sea lyme and fescue which is unmanaged and left natural. The amenity grass is kept to a minimum where possible.
Increasing the size of habitat patches Scrub is removed to avoid the natural succession of the internationally important dune grasslands, ensuring that these more valuable habitat patches are retained.
Connection of internal habitat patches Areas of unmanaged rough are maintained in areas of the course, creating linkage and stepping stone habitats thoughout. Shrubs such as hawthorn, holly and blackthorn are retained in discrete patches.
Connection of patches with external habitats The Club acts as an important buffer zone between designated areas to the north (including RAMSAR, SSSI and SPA) and the township to the south.
Creation of habitat corridors Habitat corridors are in the form of the unmanaged grassland running throughout the course, consisting of neutral and fixed-dune grassland. The two burns also provide habitat connectivity.
Avoidance of habitat fragmentation The greenstaff carry out continual work to promote linked valuable habitat areas as part of the long term maintenance practices at North Berwick. Where possible, areas of grassland or other habitat are left unmanaged to retain connectivity between patch sizes.
Improving and diversifying habitat edges Structural diversity is maintained through grassland and scrub management. Scrub is managed in phases, to create increased edge availability.

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 Manage the rough grassland within the SSSI designated area with a cut and lift programme to aid the creation of botanically rich coastal grassland, creating habitat for ground nesting birds and a number of other wildlife species.
Ecologically informed management of scrub vegetation A sea buckthorn management plan is currently being written and will be introduced as and when this plan allows. Scrub management is only carried outside of the breeding bird season and is done on a phased basis to limit wildlife disturbance. SNH have also advised on scrub removal in certain areas.
Establishment of littoral shelves and marginal vegetation in wetland areas A pond created right of the 9th hole within the SSSI has been graded to allow the migration of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife species. Vegetation has naturally established in this area.
Maintenance of an appropriate balance of open water and aquatic vegetation Minimal vegetation is present in the pond at present, however this is something that the Club would like to improve through the addition of native vegetation over the coming years. Species such as common reed, water mint, yellow flag iris and meadowsweet are being considered.

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 The managed grassland within the SSSI creates a diverse and nectar-rich area excellent for native pollinators. Working to thin the grass sward has allowed various wildflowers to establish over time with frog orchid and bog pimpernel increasing.
Provision of feeding tables The Club do not currently have any feeding tables however this may be considered in the future.
Control / management of alien species Sea buckthorn is appropriately managed, particularly on the dune to the north of the 11th hole where it is causing erosion issues. No other alien species are present on the course.
Creation of micro-habitats (eg log and stone piles) There are currently no micro-habitats that have been created however these could easily be implemented in areas out of play.


Water use at North Berwick Golf Club is mainly used for irrigation purposes on the golf courses. Water is supplied from the mains and is then distributed around the course through a fully computer-controlled irrigation system which has recently been installed. Irrigation records were lost for the years prior to 2015, however, now that the new irrigation system has been installed, the amount of water used on the course is automatically recorded and shall be continued over the coming years. The Club has yearly soil moisture readings taken by STRI to inform irrigation regimes, however it is agreed that investing in a soil moisture probe for the Club would allow more frequent readings to be taken, allowing more exacting adjustment of course irrigation. It is of utmost importance that North Berwick Golf Club engage in sustainable irrigation practices and chemical application due to the two burns which run from the course towards the sea, and greenstaff are made aware of this.

Going forward, automatic water records and the purchasing of a soil moisture probe, if feasible, will allow the Club to become much more sustainable in terms of water consumption. Around the clubhouse and maintenance facilities, updates to toilet systems and taps would also be useful to reduce water usage i.e. upgrading from single to dual flush toilets.

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:

2015 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 113,230 Litres
Golf Course Public / Potable 100% 2,323,403 Litres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 827,217 Litres
Other Public / Potable 100% 600,400 Litres
2014 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 92,060 Litres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 3,971,860 Litres
Other Public / Potable 100% 469,220 Litres
2013 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 536,000 Litres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 8,540,000 Litres
Other Public / Potable 100% 242,000 Litres

Irrigation & Efficiency

The following areas receive irrigation at this golf facility:

Greens 2-3 days per week
Tees 2-3 days per week
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 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 Grass species are selected to be drought-tolerant to a certain extent, lessening the need for irrigation to maintain the links feature of the course with dry and firm running conditions which favours finer fescue species.
Soil decompaction and thatch management The Club has no problem with decompaction and thatch due to free-draining sandy soils. The Club do, however, follow a programme of aeration and verti-cutting to aid with water infiltration on heavy traffic routes around the golf course.
Timing and dose of water application The irrigation system has been updated to now be fully computer controlled to carry out all irrigation overnight to minimise water loss through evapotranspiration.
Analysis of soil moisture The Club employ an STRI agronomist to measure soil moisture twice a year. Soil moisture variance within each green is consistent, highlighting that the Primer Select wetting agent is working very well. Irrigation can be targeted to areas most in need due to this.
Incorporation of evapotranspiration rates and weather data The Club utilise the local BBC weather forecast to assist with irrigation dosage but this is not yet automatically incorporated into the irrigation system. Visual assessments of turf condition also allow the Club to adjust dosage.
Use of wetting agents The Club use the Primer Select wetting agent monthly, from March through to November, in order to maximise turf quality and optimise natural rainfall or irrigation inputs.
Overall reduction in irrigated area Irrigation is only applied when required. Some areas are rarely watered even though the irrigation system provides coverage for all areas. The emphasis is on retaining the characteristic links environment, hence water is used only when required to support turf health in dry weather.
Targeting of sprinkler heads Sprinkler heads are targeted to areas in which irrigation is required.
Optimizing system pressure The new irrigation system optimises system pressure to ensure that water wastage is kept to an absolute minimum.
Adoption of cutting edge nozzle technology All greens have been installed with new up to date Toro Infinity sprinklers which feature a dual trajectory main nozzle, making irrigation efficient at all times, even in windy conditions.

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

Activity Description
Low-flow urinals and toilets The toilets are standard single flush toilets and the urinals flush every 12-15 minutes.
Use of water efficient appliances All appliances at the Club are no more than 8 years old but, should any need to be replaced, water efficient products would be chosen.
Repairing leaks All leaks are repaired promptly and thoroughly to reduce any further water loss.


North Berwick Golf Club consume a considerable amount of energy each year, despite a marked reduction from 2014 to 2015. At present, no formal energy management practices are in place, however advances are being made in a number of areas to address this issue and reduce energy use in order to benefit the Club both financially, and environmentally. If the Club were to adopt more sustainable energy sources, such as solar panels, a biomass boiler or a wind turbine, costs could be considerably lower and these options will be considered in the future. To aide with cost saving, the Club research different energy suppliers in depth to gain the best deal, sometimes resulting in the use of several suppliers at any one time.

Current energy saving techniques include the installation of LED lighting, motion sensor lighting, timed switches and upgrading insulation. Over the next 5 years, it is hoped that further areas around the course will be updated and be made more energy efficient.

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:

2015 2014 2013
Diesel (Litres) 4800 4800 4759
Non-renewable Grid (kWh) 278738.34 394290.82 372258
Petrol (Litres) 1965 2004 1998

Energy Efficiency

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

Activity Description
Installation of small scale wind turbine There are no wind turbines present on site as of yet however this could be adopted in the future.
Installation of photovoltaic and / or solar panels Again, this may be considered in the future.
Use of electric hybrid vehicles The Club owns an electric golf cart and an electric utility vehicle which will operate a ball collector on the practice ground once completed.

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

Activity Description
Optimizing thermostat levels for heating and refrigeration Heating is timed and adjusted throughout the year to fit with seasonal climates.
Upgrading of building insulation The clubhouse windows are due to be replaced as soon as possible and upgraded to more energy efficient glazing. All new buildings around the course have been insulated to modern standards.
Use of natural light (e.g. sunlight pipes) The large windows in the clubhouse make the most of natural lighting.
Installation of low-energy lighting LED lighting has been installed in all new buildings and refurbished buildings. There are some installed within clubhouse too and this number shall increase over time.
Use of motion sensor lighting The locker rooms in the clubhouse are fitted with motion sensor lighting.
Transition to energy efficient appliances Energy efficient appliances are chosen where possible.
Use of timers with appliances, heating and lighting Timers are used on heating and lighting in the maintenance facilities and in the toilet blocks out on the course.
Educating staff and customers Staff are encouraged to be conscious of energy saving through turning off light switches and computer monitors.

Vehicles & Transport

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

Ride-on Mowers Walking Mowers Utility Vehicles
Petrol 100% 20%
Diesel 100% 80%

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

Golf Carts Cars Buses
Grid Electric 100%

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

Activity Description
Increasing equipment storage (e.g. lockers) Spacious lockers are available for all members, visitors and staff.
Staff showers Showers are available to staff in both the clubhouse and greenkeeping facility if required.
Promotion of walk to work campaigns Most members of staff walk to work but this is not part of a walk to work campaign.

Supply Chain

North Berwick Golf Club utilise a variety of products and services to ensure that each area of the business maintains a quality service to staff, members and visitors. The Club promotes and sources local produce wherever possible to support the local community. For example, where applicable, local food products are purchased from nearby butchers and fishmongers, reducing the number of food miles and the Clubs carbon footprint.

Out on the courses, attention is given to producing fine, drought and disease tolerant playing surfaces, creating a natural links environment that requires minimal pesticide, irrigation and fertiliser inputs. The greenstaff aim to utilise cultural practices where possible, preferring handweeding to spot-treatment, but where chemicals are required, the correct products are selected and applied at low rates. Going forward, keeping rigorous pesticide records will further allow the Club to identify trends and see where reductions can be made. Furthermore, the Club could improve their current waste recycling regime through raising higher awareness amongst staff and golfers, this is something that is relatively simple to establish and retain with great benefits over time.

Purchasing Policies

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

Activity Description
Measures to avoid waste at source Using local suppliers reduces the need for excessive packaging. The local butcher and fishmonger supply products as and when, in very minimal packaging.
Use of local suppliers The Club uses many local suppliers, including tradesmen, with around 50 suppliers being within 15 miles or less. This decision means that costs are reduced and stock is always on hand, within reason.
Use of local products On the course, many indigenous materials are used such as turf (from a large turf nursery), sand and cores. The Club purchase from local suppliers across East Lothian with most fresh produce, including all meat and fish, coming from North Berwick town.
Selection of certified products Certified products are employed. The Food Standard Agency requirements for food hygiene ensures that all food has to have been certified through the kitemark scheme to ensure genuine products are bought.
Use of recycled and recyclable products Wherever possible, recycled and recyclable products are used both in the clubhouse and on the course. Cardboard and glass are separated on site and taken away by the Local Council to be recycled.
Selection of products that feature minimal packaging As mentioned previously, using local businesses ensures that minimal packaging is brought to the Club.
Use of accredited suppliers (e.g. ISO 14001) The club consults with STRI whom are accredited with ISO 14001.

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 18 4 14
Catering Supplies 3 1 2
Trade & Contractors 33 13 20
Maintenance Equipment 12 2 10
Course Supplies 9 9

Turfgrass Inputs

This golf facility undertakes the following IPM activities:

Activity Description
Encouraging drought and disease tolerant grasses The grass species are selected to withstand drought and disease.
Managing stress and wear Artificial pathways have been used in high traffic and stress areas, not affected the playability of the course, these are only used if absolutely necessary. Natural turf areas prone to stress are managed by aeration and selection of grass cultivars (e.g. dwarf ryegrass) to suit these high wear areas.
Enhancement of soil structure Soil structure is improved through the application of sand topdressing as well as methods such as aeration, verti-cutting and solid tining.
Optimization of the growing environment Course Manager, Stuart Greenwood, brings together traditional greenkeeping techniques, well trained greenstaff, modern equipment and the benefits of a range of proven products to optimise growing environment and in turn achieve excellent links playing characteristics.
Managing thatch levels Thatch is not an issue due to the characteristics of the site, however sand topdressing, verti-cutting, solid tining and aeration is carried out on a regular basis to maintain healthy turf.
Managing surface moisture Moisture content is checked twice a year by an STRI agronomist. Visual assessments and weather data is used at other times to make informed decisions.
Establishing thresholds for pests and disease The type of turf area, time of year, weather conditions, historical activity, level of damage and current growth are all factors which help the team to establish the appropriate threshold for damage and allow sensible practices to be implemented if required.
Scouting for pests and diseases Daily scouting for signs of disease and pest outbreak is carried out in order to prevent outbreak or ensure that an outbreak is caught early. This allows minimal resource expenditure with limited pesticides having to be applied. Insecticides are never applied.
Monitoring / improvement of plant health There is continual visual assessment of plant health throughout the course and this is also informed through STRI Agronomy visits which highlight more accurate and detailed plant health information. This information is then used to adjust turf inputs.

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

2015 2014 2013
Fairways - K - Inorganic 20 20 20
Fairways - N - Inorganic 62.5 60 60
Fairways - P - Inorganic 12.5 12.5 12.5
Greens - N - Organic 46 46 52
Tees - K - Inorganic 20 20 20
Tees - N - Inorganic 60 60 60
Tees - P - Inorganic 12.5 12.5 12.5

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

2015 2014 2013
Fairways - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 1.08 0.94 2.125
Fairways - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
Fairways - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 1
Fairways - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 1
Greens - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0.32 0.32 4.83
Greens - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
Greens - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 1.04 0.94 0.88
Greens - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
Greens - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 1.88 1.88
Greens - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 1 1
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 1.08 0.94
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 1
Tees - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 1.08 0.85
Tees - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 1
Tees - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 1.88
Tees - Insecticide - 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 Pesticides are selected for the lowest application rate per hectare to reduce the Clubs turf inputs. Consideration is given to the possible environmental impact of the use, accidental spill and disposal of any chemical used on the course. Pesticides are bought as and when, reducing onsite storage.
Selection of appropriate products for specific pests and diseases STRI provide guidance on the selection of pesticides to maximise their efficiency when applied to the course.
Spot-treatment with handheld sprayers and wipers Spot-treatment is very rarely used as handweeding is the preferred method.
Calibration and testing of sprayers All spraying equipment is tested and fully calibrated every time before use to ensure that the specific product being applied is being delivered at the correct rate of application. Sprayers are updated every 3 years so that they are up to date with current legislation.
Use of shrouded sprayer and anti-drip nozzles Low drift anti-drip nozzles are used to prevent spray drift and to allow more targeted applications.
Non-chemical weed control Handweeding is used on greens and tees and cultural methods (e.g. scythes, sickles) are used in areas of longer rough.
Use of organic and biological products to improve plant health and resistance. The Club use Farmura Porthcawl which is an organic plant health improver. Seaweed liquid is also used to also aid plant health and vigour.

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

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

Activity Description
Separation of recyclable materials All recyclable materials are separated on site and are either taken to the local recycling facility or collected by the Local Council.
Establishment of recycling centers The local recycling facility is used.
Returning clipping to fairways and walkways Clippings are spread thinly to avoid nutrient build up.
Education of staff and customer education Staff members are encouraged to recycle or reuse products when possible.

Pollution Control

With a large majority of the land at North Berwick Golf Club being designated as SSSI, it is essential that outputs and waste generated from the Club are kept to an absolute minimum and are not able to be detrimental to the land in any way. The presence of two burns running across the course, out towards the sea, are also a feature which must be dutifully respected with regards to surface run off of pesticides and other course inputs. North Berwick Golf Club ensure the safe use, storage and disposal of pollutants through a number of precautions. No-spray buffer zones are retained around water features and all hazardous materials are stored appropriately, in compliance with the relevant legislation. There is still room for improvement but the Club are aware and are making progress in the writing of an emergency spillage response plan and looking at options for a new machinery washdown facility by the use of either a closed loop system or reedbed in order to comply with the impeding Water Framework Directive. The Club also agree that it would be beneficial to regularly monitor water quality. Responsible waste disposal initiatives are also to be emphasised across all members of staff from those working within the clubhouse to the greenstaff.

Water Analysis

This golf facility monitors water quality with the following frequency:

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

Waste Water

Waste water from this golf facility is managed as follows:

Discharges to Formal Discharge Agreement
Golf Course Mains Sewer N/A
Clubhouse Mains Sewer N/A
Maintenance Facility Mains Sewer N/A
Wash Pad Via Oil Separator N/A

Hazardous Materials

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

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

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 hazardous products are stored on covered, sealed and locked, impervious areas within the greenkeeping complex. Annual visits from insurers ensures that the Club are being compliant.
Maintenance of equipment on covered, sealed impervious areas All equipment maintenance tasks are carried out on covered, sealed, impervious areas such as within the maintenance complex buildings. Some equipment is maintained offsite.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers in covered areas There is limited mixing required. All sprayers are installed with internal mixing bowls and are up to date with current legislation. Pesticides and fertilisers are simply poured into the sprayer.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers over impervious surfaces The pouring of these substances into sprayers is carried out over hardstanding surfaces.
Installation of above-ground fuel tanks The Club have a diesel above-ground no spill fuel tank in a double bunded area. The maximum quantity of diesel is 1400l. Petrol is stored in a lockable metal purpose-built cabinet above-ground. Maximum petrol stored is 100l at any one time to comply with legislation.
Installation of sufficient secondary containment for fuel Fuel tanks are bunded or double bunded as outlined above to contain any possible fuel leaks or spills
Provision of containment booms and absorbent materials Spill kits and sand are in place for easy access should they be required. Insurers and the health and safety officer also have this as a requirement for fire safety.

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 Turf fertilisers are only applied to key areas at low levels and are only applied when the grass is growing. Timing of fertiliser applications and pesticides takes into account imminent weather patterns to minimise wash-off potential and spray drift.
Establishment of vegetative buffer strips around water bodies There is one pond/wetland area on the course which is surrounded by rough grassland, providing a wide and effective buffer zone between the water and playing areas.
Establishment of emergency spillage response plan An emergency spillage response plan is currently being written.
Controlling erosion and sediment discharge A coastal protection plan has recently been implemented to assist with the coastal erosion taking place on the dune behind the 11th hole.
Establishment of pesticide-free zones Semi-rough is maintained as an area of minimal pesticide use however it has been necessary to carry out single blanket applications of selective herbicides to specific areas to remove established broad leaved weeds and support reestablishment of desirable grasses and plants.


North Berwick Golf Club has an excellent working relationship with the local community, in particular the local school pupils (up to 14 years of age) whom the Club accommodate on a weekly basis to provide golfing tuition. The 9 hole par 3 golf course is also well used by the children during the summer holidays and this is actively encouraged by the Club.

The golf courses at North Berwick Golf Club are free-land and open to public access, therefore the Club has a responsibility to maintain paths and install signage to ensure cooperation between golfers and the public. Dog waste bins are also available around the site to encourage dog owners to be more responsible, benefitting not only the public but the course as well.

Additionally, where possible, local services and products are used by the Club to support the people of North Berwick and to reduce the Clubs carbon footprint.

Employment & Education

Typical staffing levels at this golf facility are:

Full Time Part Time Seasonal
Club Management 3 2
Course Management 8 1
Food & Beverage 4 8 3
Other 4 7

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

  • General Manager
  • Course Manager
  • STRI
  • Scottish Natural Heritage

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

Activity Description
Storage, application and disposal of pesticides Seven members of the greenkeeping team have been formally trained in Pesticide use through the NPTC and hold PA1, PA2 and PA6 certificates of competence ensuring the safe use, storage and disposal of pesticides.
Efficient water management Informal education to all members of staff occurs regarding water efficiency, with the encouragement to turn off taps etc. Efficient water management forms part of the NVQ Level 2 training for greenkeeping, with respect to appropriate irrigation and soil moisture management.
Management of accidents and emergencies There are eight first aid trained employees and two members of staff are qualified to use an AED defibrillator. A further two defibrillators are to be installed in the future at which point all members of first aid staff will be trained to use. The Club also employ Health & Safety consultants.
Management of habitats and vegetation The Club make use of external sources, such as STRI, East Lothian Council and SNH, to give advice on the management of habitats and vegetation around the course. The reports from these organisations are then used to create awareness amongst staff members regarding these topics.
Waste minimization, separation and recycling Informal education processes are in place to encourage recycling from all staff members. Recyclables, such as cardboard, glass and plastic are separated on site before being collected by the Local Council.
Health & Safety Standard processes are in place to ensure that appropriate training is given as required under Health & Safety legislation. This is in place across all areas of the Club. Kitchen staff have to be trained in food storage & food handling. Greenstaff have to be trained in safe operation of machinery.
Energy Saving All staff members are encouraged to turn off lights, computer monitors etc. through informal education.
Understanding of landscape and cultural heritage All members of staff are aware of the Clubs heritage and history and information regarding landscape and cultural heritage is provided as required.
Environmental management planning Ecological and environmental plans derived from outside sources, such as STRI and SNH, are used to educate and raise awareness. Part of the SSSI is managed in accordance with a management plan outlined by SNH.

Community Relations

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

Activity Description
Neighbours This is a large site with a number of residential properties on the southern boundary of the course, the majority of which are members homes. Residents are contacted well in advance, prior to any large tournaments, to make them aware of the possibility of disruption.
Local Government East Lothian Council own the land which the golf club lies upon. A very good working relationship is maintained through the club adhering to the terms of the lease. The Club also receive regular guidance from the East Lothian Council Biodiversity Officer with regards to habitat management and creation.
Local Environmental Groups The Club works with the East Lothian Access Forum regarding any public access issues. The Club also work and assist the East Lothian Council Coastal Ranger Department in beach clean up days and other environmental issues.
Local Community Groups This would not fit into the 'Schools & Colleges' section. The 9 hole par 3 course is aimed at children, with around 120 children under the age of 14 taking part in competitions throughout the summer holidays.
Media The Club use Twitter as a social media platform and currently have 2,455 followers. A great website can be found at In addition, the Club have good relationships with all UK based golf magazines and major Scottish newspapers.
Local Businesses As detailed within the Supply Chain information, the Club seek to procure services and produce from local suppliers and businesses whenever possible in order to support the people of the local community.
Schools & Colleges The Club Professional, Fraser Malcolm, works alongside the local school by providing golf tuition to pupils once a week and is also involved in the Beginna Golf Scheme which aims to introduce children to golf and to encourage them to get outdoors.

Land Use & Cultural Heritage

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

Activity Description
Maintenance of existing public paths A number of public rights of way cross the course, all of which are very well used and correctly signed and maintained by the Club. The John Muir Way also crosses the front of the clubhouse, with path upgrades having been carried out over the past few years.
Installation of effective and welcoming signage There is effective, clear and welcoming signage at the Club entrance. All public rights of way across golf course land are clearly marked and potential hazards for course crossing points are also clearly indicated.
Providing opportunities for other recreation (e.g. fishing) There are no other recreational opportunities other than golf. The course is open however to dog walkers.
Partnership conservation and access projects (e.g. community woodland) The Club employ consultants from STRI to assist in the conservation of on-course and off course areas, as well as having a good working relationship with SNH, whom provide guidance on grassland management within the SSSI.
Continuation of traditional agricultural activities This is a links site and the Club take seriously their responsibility to maintain the natural coastal dune systems, including native species such as marram grass.

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 undertakes the following activities to conserve cultural heritage features:

Activity Description
Buildings (Listed Buildings / Ancient Monuments etc) A Scheduled Monument is present on the 12th hole. The building is an old air raid lookout shelter from 1919, and requires no conservation by the Club.
Historic Features (Hedgerows / Dykes / Moats / Cairns etc) The Eil Burn crosses the course at the 7th and 12th holes and represents the eastern boundary of the SSSI, the Burn itself being included. Many old stone walls and dykes form part of the golf course and are conserved through pointing, strimming and weed removal.


This golf facility undertakes the following internal environmental communications:

Activity Description
Provision of newsletters, notice boards & poster display The Club successfully provide a quarterly newsletter to all members detailing any clubhouse and course matters and have recently begun producing an internal staff newsletter. Course updates are displayed on interactive boards in the clubhouse and starters lodge daily.
Members evenings and course walks Members evenings are a regular occurrence with the Secretary, Chris Spencer, and and Course Manager, Stuart Greenwood, presenting course and clubhouse updates and answering any questions. Bob Taylor from STRI has also given a members talk on the Club's coastal protection plans.
Course guides / brochures A course guide is available with hole-by-hole information and a brochure is also available to visitors which highlights the facilities of the Club and other various facts regarding heritage and history.
Interpretation panels & course signage Information signs are present around the course and clubhouse welcoming visitors and showing directions.

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

Activity Description
Website, press releases & brochures A website is available at which is regularly updated with the latest news and events taking place at the Club. Brochures about the Club are available to members and visitors.
Supporting campaigns The Club assist with the UK RHS Britain in Bloom campaign, creating floral displays for public enjoyment. The Captain and Lady Captain also agree on charities for the duration of their tenure, with charity days and fundraising activities being a regular occurrence raising significant sums of money.
Attending community meetings The Club is represented by the Secretary, Chris Spencer, at the East Lothian Access Forum whereby discussions are held regarding the public rights of way across the golf course.
Joint practical projects with community As mentioned previously, the Club Professional, Fraser Malcolm, assists local school pupils in helping them to learn about golf.