Environmental management of UK golf courses for biodiversity-attitudes and actions

Hammond, R. A., & Hudson, M. D. (2007)

Landscape and Urban Planning


The expansion in the number of golf courses over recent decades has seen increasing concern over their role in management of land and the impact they have on biodiversity. The aim of this study was to assess the attitudes of golf course managers to biodiversity and conservation, and to evaluate the role of these issues in site management. Managers of all of the golf courses in East Anglia, UK (200 in total) were surveyed using a postal questionnaire, with a 47% response rate. Seven managers took part in detailed structured interviews to explore issues emerging from the postal survey. Only 12% of courses had carried out a detailed baseline wildlife survey, although over 90% of course managers considered that golf courses were important for wildlife. Over 60% of course managers wanted more to be done to promote wildlife, but although elements of positive management were widespread, formal management planning only took place in 43% of the courses surveyed. Conflicts between management for wildlife and for golf were evident and interviews revealed that these conflicts often stem from the demands of club members. Provision of information for course managers, and communication with club members, were revealed as key issues for future improvement.

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