The re-greening of Royal St George's, host of The Open in 2021


The Royal St George's, hosting the Open in 2021, is re-greened with plants and wildlife

From CNN Sports/ Golf Sustainability:

Ten years ago following Darren Clarke's win at a wild and wet 2011 Open tournament, one of the world's top golf courses embarked on a modernizing mission.

This isn't a tale, however, about technological upgrades and a futuristic vision, instead Royal St George's in Kent set out on a journey back to how it looked a century ago: a duneland paradise for flora and fauna.
With assistant greenkeeper Paul Larsen promoted to head in 2012, work with Natural England began in earnest in 2013 to improve the course's 'unfavorable' Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) rating.
"I think people are going to be surprised in a good way when they see it this time compared to 2011," Larsen told CNN.  "The rank, thick grass was rubbish for golf, because you'd lose your ball and take 10 hours to get around, but also for wildlife. Birds like skylarks nest in the grass, and when you start making rank vegetation they can't do that. What people forget is we're a dunelands."
"Some trees had started to come down, and we found a little family of beavers that had claimed the land for themselves. A night vision camera was put in an old tree and we saw three beavering about, like they do," he said.  "I'm a greenkeeper and I've learned so much about flowers and nature -- I've changed. We've got wild plants like bedstraw, broomrape that we never had. And that's because we've restored it to what it used to be."  Full article here

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