Nurturing growth on the Links

The Eden Environmental Team are busy as usual with their environmental projects. They have recently been out transplanting heather plugs on the right side of the 12th hole on the Eden Course. The aim here is to regenerate this quite extensive area of heather by planting across a pathway which is no longer in use. These plugs require a lot of attention, especially in the early stages of their planting. Heather by nature is a very sensitive plant, and correct PH levels along with regular watering are crucial to its survival.

Recently some of our greenkeepers provided a course walk for St Andrews University sustainable development students. This allowed us to show the group some of the environmental practices St Andrews Links carry out, not only from a greenkeeping perspective but across every department. This included our high standards of food and waste recycling, water management and our involvement in community projects such as the West Sands dune restoration. It was great to be able to give the students an insight into the Links’ own commitment to sustainability and the environment.

In fact recent easterly winds have proven fortuitous for our ongoing dune restoration works. Sand has been blown into our paling fences and trapped by planted lyme grass which in turn has allowed the sand to accumulate and add to the developing dune system. Lyme grass is great for trapping and stabilising blown sand. As you can see from the picture below, it can grow in front of the existing fore dunes as they are tolerant of occasional inundation by seawater. It’s nice to get a little helping hand from Mother Nature now and again!

Words by Fergal Cushen, Greenkeeper – the Old Course

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