Winter maintenance on the Eden Pond

The St Andrews Links greenkeeping team have this week been working on tidying up part of the pond on the 14th hole of the Eden Course. The project had initially been put on hold in the hope we encountered some frosty weather as this would help protect the surfaces from heavy traffic movements, but with unseasonably mild temperatures of late we decided to press on with the work.

This winter we’ve concentrated on the bank on the 14th side of the pond, starting by the green and working back towards the corner nearest the tee. It’s important that we only carry this work out in sections to prevent overly disturbing any birds, mammals or other creatures who live within the pond and protect their habitat.

Last spring we hired a contractor to simply cut the reeds back in a section alongside the 15th and in front of the tee which, although successful, has resulted in them growing back vigorously.

This time round we worked from wooden boards laid to help protect the turf. We managed to remove a lot of the silt and old vegetation which has built up in the pond over the past 20 years.

Wooden boards protect the turf from damage caused by heavy machinery.

Finished work from the tee end looking back towards the green. Pipe in foreground carries excess water from the pond out to the estuary at low tide.

The material we dug out has been moved to a new wetland area we’ve created behind the 12th green of the Strathtyrum Course. This is a spare a piece of land which served no other purpose so we intend to create a new habitat area for local wildlife.

New wetland habitat area under construction.

We will be undertaking further work over the coming weeks to cut down the highest reeds immediately in front of the 15th tee. We’ll also be installing a small amount of drainage alongside the 14th green to an area which has suffered more than most during this winter’s heavy rainfall.

Words by Gordon Moir, Director of Greenkeeping

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