A familiar face spotted on the Links

A familiar face returned to the Home of Golf last month to catch up with some old friends in the Environmental Team and to wander the Strathtyrum Course.

James Hutchinson was the Links Environmental Officer here at St Andrews for 18 months and many of you who regularly read our blogs will be familiar with the great environmental work that he carried out and reported on during his time here.

Inspecting the bee hotel at the 12th of the Strathtyrum Course.

James is now working as the Sustainability Executive for BIGGA, the British Greenkeeping Association. This new role sees him travelling to golf courses the length and breadth of the country where he reports on all the great environmental work being carried out as well as offering his expert advice in sustainable management of golf course environments.

Once the Eden Environmental Team and our esteemed guest were out and about touring the Strathtryum, it wasn’t long before the energetic and passionate James was back to his old ways at the Links – wandering off into the rough to find rare wildflowers, peering inside bird boxes to find any evidence of activity and stopping everyone in silence to listen to some far away bird calls.

James spent an afternoon with the team where he offered us some great feedback on the work being carried out while we walked the course, particularly in relation to our Operator Pollinator, heather and grassland management practices.

He also spent some time helping identify some flora and fauna species that we have recorded throughout the season and captured on our night-time camera.


A northern wheatear bird species and a weasel we’ve spotted regularly on the Eden Course.

We greatly appreciate all the advice and time James afforded us during his visit. For many of us who previously worked with him it felt like old times. Just a pity then we can’t get him to leave – if anyone finds him out wandering the Links, please send him first class post and packaging back to BIGGA House, York!

James and the Environmental team. From left to right – Natasha Repinskaja, Frank Aherne, James Hutchinson, James Wilson.

Words by Frank Aherne, Eden Greenkeeping Team

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