Bearwood Lakes Golf Club GEO Certified
Recognised as one of the finest inland courses to be built in Britain in the past twenty years, Bearwood Lakes has added another important accolade recently being awarded GEO Certified, golf’s international ecolabel certifying comprehensive commitment and achievement around sustainability.
The 18-hole golf course in Berkshire meanders through a backdrop of mature pines, beech and cedar trees and three natural lakes that were originally part of Windsor Great Park and part of the hunting grounds of the Kings of England since the 11th century. The magnificent 19th century mansion of John Walter III, founder of The Times newspaper, can be seen across the lake on the 14th tee.
The original design by Gil Hockley under the direction of Martin Hawtree retained much of the original landscape, using tree coverage and nature of the area as a unique backdrop to the course that rolls around the Bearwood estate. This outlook has become even more deep-rooted at Bearwood Lakes. Managing Director, Carl Rutherford:
“We have integrated sustainability into our decision-making from every-day items like irrigation and pest-control, to purchasing decisions in the clubhouse and on the course, and certainly around the renovation work undertaken recently. The natural lakes and forested terrain on historically significant land perhaps add to the responsibility we all feel, but environmental stewardship also helps set our course apart from others, and makes good business sense.”
Golf Course Manager, Daniel Lightfoot MG MSc added:
“As part of a rolling 5-year Ecology and Landscape Management Plan we have been doing good sustainability work for years. The GEO OnCourse programme gave us an easy way to record and report this work and the GEO Certified ecolabel is something we can confidently and proudly show to members, guests, neighboring community, and the wider golfing world.
“I’ve been looking forward to getting this distinction for a long time. However, with the ink not long dry on the award, we are already focused ahead on new ideas we have, including a new irrigation storage reservoir which we become another open water habitat to benefit diversity of local wildlife, and continuing to improve our fleet which now includes three new electric ride-on mowers that lower our fuel costs, emissions and the risk of hydraulic leaks."
“A great golf experience should draw on nature in many ways. And whilst we no longer have the bears here from past centuries, deer can be regularly seen along with badgers, grass snakes, red kite, kingfishers, lapwings, tawny owls, the bird of prey hobby, and a variety of aquatic wildlife. With the tall trees and lakes it can feel like you’re in North America’s Pacific Northwest rather than a short drive outside the center of London.”
Jonathan Smith, GEO Chief Executive added:
“Bearwood Lakes is a great story of a club that has been factoring sustainability into their operations for years and we’re delighted that the OnCourse programme and GEO Certified ecolabel have helped them tell this story more publicly. It’s our hope that their results will inspire more clubs. Congratulations on excellent work and strong leadership.”
Jim Croxton, Chief Executive Officer of BIGGA shared his endorsement:
“The achievement of Bearwood Lakes is an excellent example of leadership around the important subject of sustainability. BIGGA members are passionate about the environment they manage and we see a lot of value in participation in the GEO OnCourse programme as a great roadmap to improved environmental stewardship. The GEO Certified label makes a strong statement to golfers, local communities, and the overall golf industry regarding dedication to continued sustainable golf course management and we commend Daniel Lightfoot and all his colleagues at Bearwood Lakes for their achievement.”
Dino Minoli, GEO Sustainability Associate (GEOSA), and accredited independent Verifier:
“The environmental performance of golf facilities is an important issue. Bearwood Lakes Golf Club’s GEO Certified ecolabel signifies commitment to environmental governance and positions the game of golf at the vanguard of sustainable sport and leisure. Demonstrating strong environmental aesthetics and effective ecological stewardship are an integral part of a challenging, rewarding and stimulating golf experience. This certification recognises the pro environmental values and actions of their excellent Course Manager, responsible Owner, pro-active Management and supportive Club Members."