Enhancing biodiversity with wildflower habitats at Little Aston Golf Club
For our latest case study, Germinal Amenity expert Alex Beesley returned to Little Aston Golf Club to meet with course manager Dave Gibbons, this time to discuss his experience with establishing wildflower habitats in the out-of-play areas.
The team decided to sow a wildflower habitat in the out-of-play areas of the golf course to provide a burst of colour and encourage more biodiversity to the site.
With a desire to create a colourful display, Dave collaborated with Alex to select the ideal wildflower seed mixture. After careful consideration, they opted for WF1 Flowering Meadow.
A delightful blend of annual and perennial wildflowers, the mixture comprises captivating species such as Corncockle, Oxeye Sunflower, Coreopsis, Corn Poppy and Phacelia, ensuring a vibrant meadow.
Supporting pollinators and wildlife
For the most successful establishment, Dave cleared and sprayed the area to prepare the soil. The wildflower seeds were then carefully broadcasted by hand to create a thriving habitat for pollinators and wildlife.
Alex wanted to know if pollinators, such as bees, butterflies and other insects had increased in the area. Since the establishment of the wildflower habitat, Dave has already seen hundreds of bees and many butterflies.
Wildflower habitat valued by members
The greenkeepers of Little Aston have received positive feedback from members, who have expressed admiration for the vibrant colours and the club has been encouraged to continue with further wildflower meadow establishment. It intrigued Alex to see if golfers would prefer to play on a course that had more wild areas. Dave explained that golfers appreciate the presence of wildflower habitats as long as they don't interfere with the playable sections of the course.
Capturing beauty and positive impact on biodiversity
To dispel the misconception that golf courses are simply green deserts, it is important to highlight their positive impact on the environment. To tackle this issue, Dave believes raising public awareness about efforts to enhance biodiversity on golf courses is the best way to address it.
Dave highlighted that while maintaining the aesthetic appeal and playability of these courses is essential, there is also an opportunity to repurpose out-of-play areas with wildflower habitats and transform them into environmentally functional spaces. Dave will continue to establish wildflower habitats in the off-play areas over the next few years to enhance the visual appeal of the course but continue to preserve their playable surroundings.
You can find out more about wildflower meadow maintenance in our expert guides. If you need help with the ideal wildflower mixture for your golf course, contact our technical experts.