Coventry Golf Club has become the first club in England to be re-certified to the international sustainably standard having clearly demonstrated continued commitment and improvement during the three year certification cycle.
GEO Certified®, golf’s international mark of sustainability, recognises golf facilities that demonstrate a commitment to nature protection and enhancement, resource efficiency and community value. Administered and assured by the not-for-profit GEO (Golf Environment Organization) and independently assessed, the standard requires recertification every three years. Re-certification is carried out by an independent verifier and is dependent on the club showing both continued commitment and enhanced improvement to sustainable management
The list of innovative sustainability action undertaken by Coventry Golf Club to achieve its original certification and now re-certification is most impressive and includes:
- a close relationship with the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust (WKWT) and involvement in their Princethorpe Woodland project
- WKWT runs a range of other community conservation activities within the course thought-out the year
- wildlife boxes and log piles have been created along with a new wildflower area providing good opportunities for a range of pollinators, birds and small mammals
- creation of an artificial otter holt in a disused irrigation pump house on the golf clubs grounds. Footage from a wildlife camera trap at the holt can be viewed here
- participation in Syngenta’s Operation Pollinator biodiversity programme, setting aside several acres for wildflower habitat
- investment in the on-going use of grey water from Severn Trent
- installation of on-site solar panels to generate their own energy
- a new fleet of fuel efficient greenkeeping equipment and electric buggies to reduce energy consumption
- energy efficiency measures within the clubhouse including use of natural ventilation, low energy lighting, motion sensor lighting, educational materials and an upgraded energy-efficient air conditioning system which was installed in 2015
- a new efficient boiler supplying hot water to clubhouse showers has helped reduce natural gas consumption by over 40,000 litres since 2012
- introduction of a cycle to work scheme set up for staff, along with the addition of on-site shower for greenkeepers
- raising funds for on-site conservation activities through selling of surplus logs to members for firewood recycling of spent trolley batteries
- collaboration with Severn Trent and the Environment Agency to host volunteer teams on Himalayan Balsam eradication programme
- restoration of the remains of Bagots Castle, located within course grounds, by English Heritage
- university projects and work experience placements regularly carried out at the club
- afterschool clubs run by the pro shop for local children
- two charities given courtesy of the course every year to help with fund raising.
Phil Weaver, member of The Environmental Group at Coventry Golf Club said: “Coventry Golf Club is a traditional private members club, with a very modern outlook and values. Our sustainability efforts remain wholly in balance with members and visitors’ enjoyment and fulfillment of playing the game on a well maintained, picturesque and mature parkland layout. We are delighted that our sustainability work has once again been recognised as holding up to the credible high standards of a GEO Certified® club.”
Martina Irwin, Business Partnerships Officer for WKWT said “Warwickshire Wildlife Trust has been working with Coventry Golf Club over a number of years and we the commitment of the team at Coventry Golf Club to wildlife and the environment has been brilliant. From their Himalayan balsam eradication efforts on the golf course to the management of ponds, installing nest boxes and feeding stations for birds and setting aside an area for Operation Pollinator – and even hosting guided bat walks, the team has helped create a stunning place for wildlife to thrive and for members and visitors to enjoy golf on such a well looked after parkland course.”
The GEO re-Certified® verification report can be found here.
Coventry Golf Club is a great example of what can be achieved through hard work and dedication. Their innovative approach to sustainability brings benefits to the local community and the environment, as well as tangible gains for the Club and its members.