Can golf courses also be beneficial habitats for pollinators?
Golf courses may appear to be manicured greens, bunkers and occasional rough grass but many can be improved to become bumblebee friendly.
The rough areas are already potential habitats for nesting and hibernation and within these rough areas or any corners and crevices that golfers don’t use, flower diversity can definitely be increased. Also ponds can be improved by planting and become beneficial to nature.
The Bumblebee conservation trust (who I am a member of and get regular newsletters and updates from; which is where this story has came from) have been working closely with a golf course on Lydd, Kent to improve the area for bumblebees.
Surrounded by open spaces, an allotment and bumblebee friendly farmers, 4 rare bumblebees have already been spotted;
Moss carder bee (Bombus ruderarius)
Red-shanked carder bee (Bombus muscorum)
Brown-banded carder bee (Bombus humilis)
Ruderal bumblebee (Bombus ruderatus)
In 2014, a Beewalk transact was set up, and since then work has been ongoing to improve the habitat for bumblebees.
In rough areas, black horehound, white dead nettle, mellows and snapped have been planted. Where the grass is naturally short and less fertile, perennial seeds such as red clover, birds foot trefoil and vetches have been added. Yellow flag iris, purple loosestrife and water mint has been planted and encouraged in ponds.
A small piece of unused land adjacent to the car park was turned into a herb garden with comfrey, lambs ear, rosemary, mint, sage and bulbs.
Across the golf course the floristic diversity has been increased and created an area of continuous forage available for all bumblebee species.
If you are a member of a golf course, or live near one, why not suggest to them that they follow the Lydd example and make golf courses bee friendly.
Check out the Bumblebee Conservation Trust