Golf Course Ecology

Over recent years the Club has been working with The National Trust (from whom we lease the land for our golf course), Natural England and English Heritage, with a view to enhancing the way we manage the course to the benefit of the environment without detracting from our ability to produce a quality golf course.

Afton Down is categorised as a SSSI (site of special scientific interest) and organisations rate our course no.1 in the country for many of its ecological and historic features.

The salt weathered downland turf supports cowslips, orchids, and rare plants that only survive in this landscape, birds such as skylark, wheatear, linnet, and kestrel, animals like badger, snakes, small rodents and insects. There are burial mounds (tumuli) and long barrows, some in an undisturbed condition since the stone age.

Our course is small in area for an 18 hole course but is surrounded by large areas of grassland, which provides the main resource for the flora and fauna. Sheep grazing has been introduced on some areas to maintain open grassland and stop further scrub encroachment, benefiting many plants and insect species. The use of ropes to direct traffic away from areas where we want to encourage growth to semi rough height for golfing reasons also has environmental benefits..

Golfers should keep trolleys and buggies out of the rough and semi-rough. Replacing fairway divots is not just good golfing etiquette but also an environmentally friendly act! Please be mindful that it is a privilege to be playing golf in such a scenic and important landscape.