Eco-friendly golf course for Scotland

It was a matter of time before golf courses go eco-friendly and, true to the sport’s tradition, Scotland is leading the way.

The Machrihanish Dunes on the west coast of Scotland is due to open next Spring, billing itself as the first true links course in that part of the country and the only one ever to be built on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

SSSI status means there are flora and fauna that should be protected in the area and for Machrihanish, it includes species of rare orchids such as March, Frog and Pyramidal.

According to a report in The Telegraph, many of the plant species need the grazing of animals in order to thrive. The golf course’s answer to this is sheep, which do an expert job in this respect.

Also, there are no chemicals, pesticides, heavy machinery or artificial irrigation systems in use on the course, which encompasses 270 acres and sits in Campbeltown near the Mull of Kintyre.

The course was created by well known architect David McLay Kidd and the report estimates that it will contribute £18 million a year to the regional economy.

However, it took a lot of research and evaluation of the environment before the plan was given the go-ahead. Stan Philips, of the Scottish Natural Heritage, was quoted as saying:

“We took a lot of convincing because the initial thought was this isn’t something we want to hear about – a golf course on a SSSI. The fairways went on the less interesting ground, the greens and tees went on the areas which weren’t of any special interest and those parts of the site considered important were declared out-of-bounds.”

Only seven acres of the actual area have been changed or cultivated and any substance to artificially control the growth of plants in not allowed anywhere except for the greens and tees. The grazing of sheep keeps the rough in check.

One Response to “Eco-friendly golf course for Scotland”

  1. David Worley says:

    I don’t think Old Tom would agree,and neither do I, Mach Dunes is hardly the first true links in that area-what happened to Machrihanish?

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