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Birdies aplenty at The Open

Wildlife thrives on the Old Course.

13th July 2015
Working with nature
The skylark is common on the links, but is on the UK Red List of endangered birds.  

The Open 2015 will see the native inhabitants of the Old Course being joined this week by the world’s best golfers and over 200,000 spectators.  Fortunately, there will still be plenty of room for the flora and fauna that find a year-round home on the links of St Andrews.

James Hutchinson, Environmental Officer with the St Andrews Links Trust, who manage all of the courses on the links, has identified nearly 90 species of birds and a similar number of wildflowers across the site.

UK rarities such as skylark, linnet, grey partridge and brown hare are common to the links; demonstrating that when managed well, golf courses can be good for nature.

Grey partridge
The grey partridge is another UK Red List species due to loss of agricultural grassland habitat, but it has a safe home on the links.

The course map on TheOpen.com has nature icons which describe the wildlife that can be seen at The Open, and throughout the year on the links of St Andrews.  You can also read about The Open’s commitment to sustainability, the GreenLinks programme, on TheOpen.com

The environmental blog on the St Andrews Links Trust website is a fascinating source of information on the nature to be found on the courses.  Read the blog here.

Conservation booklets produced for the 2000, 2005 and 2010 Opens at St Andrews can be downloaded from this website here.  They cover the wildlife, how the courses are managed to conserve nature and the coastal erosion management employed to protect the site of the world’s best known course.