Nature is our life support system; from the food we eat to the air we breath. But nature is vunerable to environmental and human influences. Climate change is noticeably impacting wildlife by disrupting natural events such as breeding and flowering. Intensive farming has resulted in the loss of habitats such as wildflower meadows, hedgerows and trees. Woods and trees are vital to us. They lock up carbon to fight climate change; improve our health and wellbeing; reduce pollution and flooding; support people, wildlife and livestock. But we need more of them. If the UK is to reach its carbon neutral target by 2050, the Committee on Climate Change has recommended an increase in woodland cover from 13% to 19%.
Doing Our Bit
- At Rudding Park we plant native tree saplings grown from seeds collected on the estate. We have planted over 1,000 trees which will contribute to offsetting approx. 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over their lifetime.
- Where trees and woods are essential to filter our air, bees are vital to pollinate the food we need to survive and many of the trees and flowers that provide habitats for wildlife. Which is why we have introduced a number of bee hives and are creating areas of wilding in our grounds. These areas benefit a huge range of bees, butterflies, insects, and provide cover for small mammals and amphibians.
- During the 2022 golf season the greenkeeping team made the decision to increase the amounts of areas where long rough would be grown. This is mainly around the Teeing areas and the edges of each hole. This helps an increase in biodiversity within our grounds and the uncut grass provides an excellent habitat for small insects and invertebrates, which in turn become food for larger animals such as birds and small mammals such as hedgehogs.
- Allowing long grass to grow reduces the amount of mowing the greenkeeping team need to carry out. Not only is this a reduction in man hours but a reduction in fuel and emissions produced by machinery. It is estimated around 3 to 4 hours a week would be saved from growing the long rough.
- We are in conversations with St Aidan's, a local High School in Harrogate to collaborate on a Bird Box Project. We will provide the wood for the students who will produce a variety of bird boxes to be installed all around the course. We hope this will encourage a variety of new bird species, some of which, such as Starlings will reduce the population of pests such as leather jackets in the golf greens. This in turn will allow us to reduce the use of insecticides and other chemicals and adopt a more practical approach to pest control.
We plant native tree saplings grown from seeds collected on the estate and on Christmas morning guests are invited to plant saplings and many do this in memory of a loved one.
The inaugural Rudding Park 10K in May 2022 saw us to commit to planting a tree for each of the participants to support the Queen's Green Canopy to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee.
We hosted the Acorn Awards in 2022 which recognises 30 of the UK hospitality industry's most talented stars aged under 30. Each of the winners will took away a living souvenir of their stay with us in the form of a small oak tree, and we commit to planting an Acorn Winners' wood on the golf course as a living memory.
Watch this space for more conservation initiatives.