Golf club scoops environmental award

Pyle and Kenfig Golf Club is celebrating after winning the title of Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year 2021 at the Golf Environment Awards.

The club has received support from Bridgend County Borough Council’s ‘Dune 2 Dunes’ project and earlier this year was awarded GEO-certification – an environmental management award which recognises advanced sustainability in golf – for making important contributions in protecting nature, conserving resources and strengthening communities.

Over the last few years, the club has worked with the council, Natural Resources Wales and other local landowners, farms and golf clubs to restore and enhance the internationally important dune landscape along the Kenfig National Nature Reserve (NNR) coastline.

The green-keeping team, headed by Paul Johnson, have created nine sand scrapes and three dune slacks in areas formerly occupied by scrub, bracken and coarse grasses to create new, important habitats within the golf course.

This has boosted biodiversity, managing the grassland and dune slack habitats to encourage important wildflower species including ladies bedstraw, bird’s foot trefoil and devil’s-bit scabious. These plants are important for pollinators and attract common blue, gatekeeper and small blue butterflies.

Surveying by the Dunes 2 Dunes project has also identified wax cap fungi, meadow pipit and skylarks.

Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, Cllr Charles Smith said: “Congratulations to Pyle and Kenfig Golf Club for winning this impressive award.

“Our Dunes 2 Dunes project is a collaboration to sustainably manage the Bridgend coast. Sand dunes are wild, iconic landscapes with biodiversity hotspots where orchids still survive alongside songbirds, butterflies and a wide array of endangered insects.

“The club has worked hard to communicate its efforts within the wider community, engaging with volunteers and school pupils to show them golf courses encompass incredibly important habitats.”

Simon Hopkin, manager of the Pyle and Kenfig Golf Club said: “Thank you to Bridgend County Borough Council and in particular Mark Blackmore who headed up the Dunes 2 Dunes Project for the great work they have undertaken to help us achieve this national award.

“The works have been so well received by members that we plan to create more scrapes alongside new natural wildflower areas and bee banks as part of our ongoing ecological management plan.”