Greenkeepers urged to establish pollinator schemes in the rough

Greenkeepers are being encouraged to introduce pollinator schemes to their golf courses on the back of their success on agricultural land.

Delegates at the Turf Science Live event in Bingley, Yorkshire, last week were talked through the benefits of transforming their roughs into pollinator schemes. The project started 10 years ago and has developed through various guises, such as the Buzz Project and Operation Bumblebee.

Syngenta turf and landscape technical manager Dr Simon Watson explained: "The project has now become Operation Pollinator and, building on its success, we are hoping to expand it across Europe. Our goals are to mimic what we have done in agriculture and try to bring in an agronomic solution for greenkeepers."

Trial pollinator schemes were launched at the Sports Turf Research Institute by turfgrass protection head Dr Ruth Mann. "It's such a good idea and well established in agriculture," she said.

"We want to have flowering species that go through the whole of the summer so that the insects have food the whole way through. You are not looking for plants coming back each year, you are looking for seed coming back. This is in the process of being written up and hopefully that will give it some weight to show it really works."

Flower species used in trial plots include red clover, yarrow and wild carrot, which were sown after scarifying and adding PrimoMaxx to existing grass. Greenkeepers are advised to factor in a two-year period to establish pollinator schemes on the roughs of their golf courses.

Pollinators are also featuring on the political stage, with environment minister Caroline Spelman referring to them during the launch of Defra's white paper for the natural environment.

Spelman said: "Our honey bees, butterflies and other pollinators contribute up to £440m to our economy every year - that's 13 per cent of the country's entire income from farming. Defra is providing £2.5m over the next five years as part of a join initiative to better understand what the threats to our pollinators are."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

Upcoming reforms to water abstraction licensing will for the first time cap the amount of water that fruit growers can take for trickle irrigation.

Getting a measure of the production labour crisis

Getting a measure of the production labour crisis

At a debate during last week's Fruit Focus trade show in Kent, senior industry figures painted a bleak picture of an increasingly difficult seasonal labour market that is already impacting on investment.

What will post-Brexit pesticides authorisation and capital support for fresh produce look like?

What will post-Brexit pesticides authorisation and capital support for fresh produce look like?

The likely impact on seasonal labour has dominated discussions of the consequences of withdrawal from the EU for UK production horticulture.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production
 

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon