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The Links is not the only site where the greenkeeping team are proactive in their approach to environmental management.

Environmental management

James Hutchinson recently joined the Links as our first dedicated Environmental Officer. James will work alongside our Greenkeeping team on areas such as wildlife, conservation and ecology and will also be a regular contributor to the St Andrews Links Blog.

This week saw an interesting selection of birdlife around the courses with gannets, green finch, stonechat, skylark, linnets and northern wheatears in flight. There were two sightings of sea eagles just off the 9th tee of the New Course and a family of partridge can be found on the Jubilee Course so the Links has been a hive of feathered activity of late.

Partridge family cropFamily of partridge pictured on the Jubilee Course.

The majority of the Links’ wildflowers are now coming to an end but a few a still hanging on such as this eyebright. This tiny flower is a native to this coastline and offers no problems to the playing surfaces. In fact, its semi-parasitic nature actually helps us thin-out the fatter grasses which are of little use to golf play. Numerous soapworts are still in flower though and these can be seen to the left of the 13th hole of the Jubilee Course. This interesting wildflower got its name from being used as a soap substitute in the past when times were a little hard.

sopwartsThe tiny eyebright flower.

sopwarts 2Soapwart flower.

The Links is not the only site where the greenkeeping team are proactive in their approach to environmental management. Two of the team offered their time to help keep the West Sands dune system free from non-native wildflower ingress. The flower in question is the tree lupin which believe it or not is not actually a tree! This wildflower spreads quite rapidly over old and established sand dunes and can be seen throughout the summer and autumn growing season so all the boys’ hard work was much appreciated! GreenkeepersDaire and Kevin from our Greenkeeping team.

I shall return with regular snippets of our environmental work and sightings on the Links but for now please don’t hesitate to contact me with any wildlife sightings you’ve had on any of our seven courses:


Words by James Hutchinson, Environmental Officer


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