Cumberwell Park Golf Club in Bradford-on-Avon

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Conservation Report - Autumn 2019

As we head into autumn and the leaves begin to fall, it’s a good opportunity to look back on our environmental work from earlier in the year.

Now that summer is over, we have been cutting the areas of long rough around the course that form the backbone of many of our environmental projects. As many of you will be aware, the wide expanses of long rough that we have here at Cumberwell Park are the ideal habitat for mammals such as voles and mice that help sustain our raptor bird population. This year we once again had two pairs of breeding barn owls, a pair of kestrels and a pair of little owls. The pairs of barn owls each raised one chick whilst the little owls and kestrels reared four chicks each. All our raptor chicks were ringed by members of the Hawk and Owl Trust with the records sent to the British Trust for Ornithology to help build a picture of populations nationally. In addition to supporting birds, the long grass has also been a magnet for butterflies and moths. This year we have partnered with Butterfly Conservation to survey our wildflower meadows. A night time survey for moths revealed more than thirty species present on the course, whilst daytime butterfly surveys were conducted for the big butterfly count. Cumberwell is also participating in Operation Pollinator to look after and increase our wildflower meadows for wildlife.

As well as our grassland habitat, Cumberwell also contains many aquatic habitats used by fish, amphibians and birds. Kingfishers are present here on the course and we have created a habitat to simulate a shear riverbank, their natural breeding site, to help increase numbers on the course. Keep an eye out for a flash of electric blue if you are by one of our streams!

Conservation never stops at Cumberwell and we will be continuing our work throughout the winter. As we coppice hazels and remove trees which may pose a safety risk, the wood will be used to create other wildlife habitats or be chipped and used on the flowerbeds to ensure nothing is wasted.

This year we have again entered the Golf Environment Awards (which are endorsed by the R&A) to highlight the work we do around the site in promoting a more environmentally sustainable and conscious mindset to golf course management. In October we will be visited by a representative from the GEAs who will look at our work, fingers crossed we will be shortlisted for the finals!

This year has also seen the arrival of ‘Conservation Corner’ in the clubhouse. Our new noticeboard will keep you updated with all our latest environmental work, provide identification guides for wildlife on course, and give you the opportunity to record any sightings whilst you’re out playing. You can also contact me directly with queries via email at conservation@cumberwellpark.com

Jon Keepen

Head of Conservation, Cumberwell Park


 

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