Thursday, 6 October 2016

Woodland Management Proposals 2016-2017

The next stage of woodland management is focusing on the wettest corners on the course, holes that suffer the most from closures due to wet conditions and where conditions have a limited opportunity of improving, due to the heavy vegetation and shading that surrounds them.

This work is all part of the long term plan to improve sustainability, by reducing costs and the need to apply chemicals which are harmful to the environment and wildlife.

Please see the Map for reference.

T311: The plan is to thin this area of woodland to improve sunlight penetration and air circulation across the 11th green and 3rd carry.
T911: to thin this area of woodland to improve sunlight penetration and air circulation across the 9th green, 10th hole and the 11th carry to the fairway.
T114: to thin the woodland to improve sunlight penetration and air circulation across the 1st green and apron.
T15b: to continue the work undertaken in this area by removing three trees identified for creating the most shade nearest to the green on the east and south side. Further canopy reductions will also be undertaken.

Other work will focus on improving the line of play where trees have grown wide and tee shots in particular have become very tight in recent years.  These trees will only be decreased in size and not removed.
All this work has been agreed for implementation by Bromley Councils Arboricultural Officer.
Any large specimens or veteran oaks will not be removed unless they pose a risk to safety, or agreed upon for removal by Bromley Council. General pruning reducing canopies and raising low branches with continue as part of the normal tree works program. Other trees under the 30cm limit (agreed by Bromley Council), may be removed where necessary. 
Plans to re-stock in practical places will also be undertaken. Some locations have already been 
identified as suitable.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Course and Habitat Management

In response to a few concerns about certain areas on the course, here is a detailed explanation as to why this approach is taken. Lakes, ponds, streams and ditches are a regular features found on most parkland courses, and contribute to the diversity of species on the golf course. Larger ponds and lakes will often support breeding waterfowl, but also provide much wider ecological benefits for birds. Wetland areas such as these will provide habitat around the edges of the water feature for many types of prey insect, particularly dragonflies, damselflies and craneflies, as well as giving cover in which birds will nest. To ensure maximum ecological benefit from such wetlands, it is best not to cut the fringe of reed, grasses and other vegetation which grows at their edges. If it is necessary, it should be done in the autumn, after breeding birds have left. In addition, a buffer zone should be left between the wetland margin and the mown and sprayed areas of the course, so that polluting run-off does not reach the wetland areas.

Recommended Habitat Management for birds and other wildlife on parkland golf courses
1. Reduce the extent of frequently mown areas of grassland, to create carries and areas of rough or semi-rough, thus improving course definition and increasing areas of habitat for birds. Avoid fertilising – and minimise other inputs into – these areas to encourage diversity of habitat and species;
2. Allow the development of discrete and managed areas of native scrub within areas of rough grassland;
3. Consider planting native berry-bearing trees such as rowan, wild cherry, blackthorn and holly in small groups in areas of rough grassland. Mix species randomly and plant at irregular spacings;
4. Avoid planting of non-native tree species and species not characteristic of the area 
5. Consult with the local authority tree officer, Natural England or English Heritage (as appropriate) before undertaking any management works on veteran trees. Minimise the amount of dead wood removed from or beneath old trees;
6. Leave fringes of reed, grasses and other vegetation around the edges of wetland features (lakes, ponds and streams) to provide cover for breeding birds and to buffer against runoff into the wetland;
7. Maintain, restore or replant hedgerows within the course or along its margins, leaving a wide buffer strip (at least five metres) between the hedge bottom and the mown areas.

Please note, it is due to this policy of management that the club was asked to enter into the STRI Golf Environment Awards.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Greens Maintenance

On Tuesday 9th August work will commence on the greens.

The work will consist of veritdraining across the putting surfaces creating holes 9-12 inches deep and 16mm in diameter. The holes will then be filled using a straight sand mix, brushed into the holes using a specially designed brush/sweeping piece of equipment. Weather permitting this exercise should only take 2-3 days. This may however change if conditions are wet.

This work is being completed earlier than usual in the hope that conditions will be far better than later in the year to aid in a much quicker recovery of the playing surface. 

This work is necessary to improve and maintain firmer and better draining putting surfaces. It also helps to reduce organic matter which contributes to softer surfaces, more susceptible to disease. 

Monday, 14 March 2016

Greens Maintenance Week March 2016

Greens Maintenance during this period is to focus on removing organic matter in the upper 15mm of the soil profile.
This will also include two passes using pencil tines to a depth of 4-5 Inches, one pass before and one after the scarifying and a straight sand top-dressing.

This process creates very little disruption to the playing surface, which is the preferred current policy the Club have adopted for Spring Maintenance in recent years.

Also during this week we are verti-draining the aprons, around the greens, tees and fairways. 

This form of aeration will help improve drainage, rooting, and generally improve the ground conditions after the long wet winter.

The tees are also being overseeded ready for the ground temperatures to rise for germination and grass cover, moving into the summer period.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Woodland Management

Work continues around the 3rd Tee/11th Green area. As agreed with the Bromley Council, work has begun to improve both sunlight penetration and air movement, and to encourage and retain the features of the veteran oak trees, while improving the general presentation of the area.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Re-Stocking (Tree & Woodland Management)

The Tree & Woodland Management program is not just about tree removal. It is a combination of various strategies to improve the course and to formulate practical locations of where trees can be a benefit to the course, while not impeding on the development of the finer turf areas.

This winter we plan to re-stock with over 30 trees in various locations to offset against some of the larger specimens removed. These are all native trees and have been selected to add a diverse and attractive appearance for both aesthetic and wildlife benefits.

33 trees have been selected and these are:

6x Betula Pendula birch

5x Carpinus Betulus hornbeam

5x Acer campestre field maple

5x sorbus aria whitebeam

3x Alnus alder

3x Prunus avium cherry

3x Fagus sylvatica

3x Quercus robur

These trees will be planted in due course

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

End of Year Update 2015

This year has been another unpredictable year and particularly this winter. No hard frosts to date and unusually mild conditions which has very rarely seen temperatures drop into single figures.With these conditions comes the risk of very high disease pressure. Many other Clubs have suffered severely in these conditions, fortunantely we have managed to contain any aggressive outbreaks to a minimum.
We believe this is all due to a combination of our pro-active management which includes preventative fungicide applications, assisted by practical methods of regular aeration, greens maintenance (hollow-coring), and by increasing levels of sunlight and air movement across the fine turf areas through our woodland management. All of these methods help to compliment each other and it is essential that these practises are continuously maintained for the future sustainability of the Club. Their are many positives to be highlighted during this mild period. Although there are many unsightly marks from machinery and golfer traffic, we have managed to keep most areas completely free of leaves and the need to use temporary greens or to close the course has not yet been required.

All in all another succesful year with many improvements just adding onto those already just a thing of the past. Before these changes become just a part of LPGC's history, lets remind ourselves of some of the highlights and improvements of 2015.

New Practice Nets

The Loggery 

Greens Maintenance / Hollow-Coring

Dry Rainge Practice Area

Tree & Woodland Management