Birchwood Park near Dartford, part of BGL Golf stable of courses, is one of the first public pay-and-play facilities to be certified by the Golf Environment Organization. GEO Certified recognises golf businesses which demonstrate an operational commitment to the three core principles of sustainability – planet, people and profit. The international ecolabel is administered to strict codes set by ISEAL, the global leader in defining credibility in sustainability standards.
Recognising the value in achieving GEO Certified status, BGL Golf appointed Assistant General Manager Howard Craft at Burhill Golf Club to spearhead the company’s campaign to earn the certification at all of its venues. Located in an area receiving some of the lowest annual rainfall in the UK, Birchwood Park has demonstrated a special focus on sustainable water use and thanks to a £200,000 investment in a state of the art irrigation water holding reservoir, making it totally self-sufficient.
Howard Craft, an environmental biology graduate, explains, “To achieve high quality sand-based greens, which Birchwood Park boasts, regulating irrigation is crucial and as water is an increasingly scarce resource, there is a growing importance on golf facilities to be self-sufficient. Consequently, a lake holding 11 million litres of water was installed, as well as a rainwater harvesting infrastructure, which takes water from the car park and clubhouse and passes it through filters before irrigating greens, tees and approaches over the Main Course as well as greens on the Short Course.”
In addition to Birchwood Park, other BGL Golf facilities to have achieved GEO Certified status include: Hoebridge Golf Centre, Woking, Redbourn Golf Club, St Albans and Abbey Hill Golf Centre, Milton Keynes.