The awards promote the many ways golf course operators can proactively manage areas of their courses for wildlife, alongside the playing areas intensively managed for golfers. The result can be a golf course that is attractive for both wildlife and golfers.
Syngenta Operation Pollinator manager Caroline Carroll said all courses have the potential to integrate many of the measures championed by the initiative. These could range from wildflower meadows to nesting habitats.
"The awards have shown that even relatively small clubs have great capacity to make a real difference. It is incredibly exciting to see what they have achieved, and the immense passion that it generates for all involved with the club," Caroll said.
Entries are open until the end of September, followed by the judging, but greenkeeprs are advised to take plenty of pictures now while wildflowers are in bloom and pollinating insects most active.
STRI ecologist and awad judge Sophie Vukelic said many previous winners have pioneered ideas which other greenkeepers can incorporate into their course management.
"It is so important that we inspire others to play a part in conserving vitally important insects through creating the wildflower habitats promoted by Operation Pollinator."
Vukelic added that the golfing industry has changed over the past decade, with far more emphasis on the ecological value of golf courses and their ability to provide a wildlife resource within the wider landscape.