Wildlife Initiatives at Sickleholme GC during 2020

A brief summary of what has been achieved during the year.

  • Formal approval of the Club’s Environmental Policy.
  • A draft Ecological Action Plan prepared for the board. This received support and was due to be discussed, and hopefully agreed, at the August/September board meetings. That has been delayed by the priorities created by the Covid-19 virus and the need for truncated Zoom meetings. Some of the initiatives in the plan have been progressed, however, thanks to local permissions from club officials.
  • The bird nest box scheme was successfully maintained despite some restrictions imposed by the virus guidelines.
  • Permission granted for beehives on the fringe of the course. Matt also built bee boxes which were fitted onto the machinery sheds.
  • We managed to extend the wildflower surveys. Matt also came up with proposals for further wildflower areas.
  • Regular observations added to our knowledge of the birds, butterflies and dragonflies that utilised the site.
  • “Patrick’s Project” around the brook below the 13th tee was successfully implemented and this also improved water flow.
  • The first aquatic invertebrate survey was successfully completed with more planned for different times of the year.
  • Matt’s is working on the provision of invertebrate banks as an excellent way of beneficially using surplus and rotten timber.
  • An initial survey of fungi was competed at the north end of the course with a promise to cover more areas next year. The same surveyor also has an advanced knowledge of Hoverflies and has offered to survey those during the summer of 2021.
  • Simon initiated a very successful Children’s Wildlife Event which he would be happy to repeat.
  • There have been discussions about tree planting and tree replacement. It is also good to learn that a Copper Beech is to be planted in memory of the late Neil Fletcher.
  • It is agreed that the efforts embraced by the above, with a contribution from the monthly wildlife notes (website, club newsletter and Facebook), has found favour with many members. That has been most encouraging, with more and more people contributing wildlife records or making contact with questions about wildlife identification or seeking similar information.
  • Overall, an encouraging year despite the restrictions experienced, thanks to the response from the club, club officials and a number of willing volunteers and supporters.