Woodhall Spa, managed by GCMA member Richard Latham, is recognised by the GEO Foundation for 'outstanding' environmental work... Woodhall Spa has been awarded GEO Certified Status for its outstanding work to preserve nature, conserve resources and play an active role in supporting the local community. The Lincolnshire course, the home of England Golf and managed by GCMA member Richard Latham, was hailed with a certificate of recognition by the GEO Foundation. The organisation, which is a driving force behind the movement to make the golf industry a sustainability leader, supports and rewards those that strive to make a positive social and environmental impact. Woodhall Spa has recently continued a detailed restoration and habitat management project aimed at returning the Hotchkin Course to its original state when opened for play in the early part of the 20th century. A site of Special Scientific Interest, Woodhall Spa is a heathland course of outstanding natural beauty and work to fell invasive trees and remove unfavourable species of gorse and bracken has been noted for bringing the course into line with how it was designed by the original course architects. But that’s only a fraction of what Richard and the team, including course manager Sam Rhodes, have been doing at the world-famous site: A new irrigation system on the Hotchkin has produced water savings of 50% on previous years, with a similar system soon to be laid on the Bracken courseReplacing old gas boilers, and introducing hybrid mowers for the greenkeeping team, has reduced the club’s carbon footprintA new biomass boiler, which releases less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, has accrued £5,000 in savings in its first year of operationA quarter of staff, including Richard, cycle to work Rare species of wildflowers, lichens, heather, birds, mammals and reptiles form an integral part of the site Richard, who is General Manager of Woodhall Spa Golf Management, said the recognition meant a great deal. “We’ve been concentrating on sustainability for the last 10 years, doing many positive things and never really told anyone,” he explained. “The good news now is that we have certification that proves all the good work we’ve done and we’re delighted. Actually, we’re doing more than we thought we were doing which is a really good thing. “We find being an SSSI a lot of the ecology and the GEO work goes hand in hand. On the course it was all good, and off the course, with building improvements, energy and waste disposal, we have good policies in place to improve all of that. “Hopefully, this winter we’ll replace the irrigation system on the Bracken Course. Saving water in this day and age is absolutely crucial. “On the new Hotchkin system our water usage improved by 50% which is a significant difference. You get to water the same area but with 50% less water simply because the system is designed better. “We also look at products such as bamboo tees and bag tags and all of these small things can make a big...
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