The club works closely with Natural England and The Environment Agency to maintain the dune lands which are situated on a SSSI site ( Site of special scientific interest). As part of our higher land stewardship agreement we need to undertake a certain amount of activities to preserve the land and create new habitat. Around 0.3ha of grassland has been lost with the new 3rd fairway but given back by the construction of the new dune on the right hand side of the hole using the translocated turf. The area where the new wetland is situated held no ecological value as it was an area of rank unkempt agricultural grasses. The area is now fenced off to prevent dogs and members of the public disturbing nesting areas when grasses grow up around the water.
Wetlands provide a refuge for a great wealth of wildlife, creating a food chain that supports aerial predators such as dragonflies and secretive birds such as the little egret, which stalk their prey in shallow water. In the height of summer when drought threatens, wetland can still support a great range of plants, attracting pollinating insects and providing cover for amphibians and reptiles, including frogs, newts and grass snakes. Phil Williams, Natural England
This is a fantastic attraction now and we are confident that it will be a haven, especially for a fantastic variety of birds.
The reservoir was constructed 20 years ago at the same time as the last irrigation installation. There was an option to clean or re line it this year however the decision was made to ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ and not disturb any of the weed or silt on the bottom, instead we have opted for a floating suction pipe where the water is always pumped out from the surface meaning no weed would ever get in to the system. By adding blue dye we have managed to suppress the amount of weed as it is unable to photosynthesize because light can not get through. The liner is still in a decent condition so hopefully it won’t need replaced for a while.
The water level needs to be low enough in order to attach this floating suction pipe top the lowest outlet pipe in the reservoir, this also had to be carried out without damaging the liner so as you can see in the photo it is a fine example of problem solving at its best!
The reservoir holds 11,000 m3 and is situated to the right of the 15th tees. Refilling will commence shortly in time to test the new irrigation system in February.
November has been incredibly unkind to us with constant rain. This area has been incredibly difficult to work on with a number of set backs. The main in play area has now been turfed with the edges still to be finished when it dries out a little.
The approached have been turfed with a fescue / dwarf rye mix, this mix was chosen so we have maximum wear tolerance and recovery when the area is heavily used. the approaches will be cut down as low as 6mm, feathering out to 10mm then in to 1.5″ rough, much like the approaches on the course. The greens were turfed with pure fescue and will be overseeded with bentgrass in the spring to add some strength.
A wildflower banking will be sewn between this area and the range in order to create separation. It will also be a nice backdrop and a great place for pollinating bees and insects. The short game area will be open when the turf is strong, healthy and ready to be played on, it is essential that this is not rushed and will all come down to how cruel or kind the winter and spring is.
In modern turf management we are very lucky to have access to so many knowledgeable trade representatives, all of which have the opportunity to come to the club and talk about any of their products, what the products do and how they are made.
This week Luke Hunt from Barenbrug (seed) gave the team a talk on how seed is grown, bred and modified to suit the needs of a variety of different turf situations, whether that be wear, salt, shade, heat tolerance, or colour and height of cut. Seed production is one of these areas that many greenkeepers no very little about so it is great to have an understanding whilst you are putting it in the ground!
It is also extra special when one of the slides is explained by using a picture of Royal Cinque Ports very own Stevie Bledge!