Hi to the 'Net, and especially to Rohan
I, like many people, have felt that whilst reports of birds on golf
courses show that birds do use these environments, a golf course is
essentially a green desert with some patches that birds use.
Yesterday I was forced to alter this thinking, but only because of the
particular golf course that I saw.
This course is sited in the middle of an upmarket village type
development of some 800 housing units, all on large plots of land, and
the development has had one major feature which has yielded up a list of
233 bird species, namely, the services of an environmental consultant
who was a part of the development team, and who wielded immense
influence in the decision making processes.
The second major feature has been the involvement of the residents in
birding on the estate. They are encouraged to submit their sightings to
the estates office, and this office produces and distributes regularly
updated lists of birds which have been seen on the course. The common
interpretative areas have displays of birds and the other wildlife which
occurs on the course, including small forest antelope. The whole
atmosphere is one of friendliness to birds, bats, mammals, fish,
butterflies and all other insects, etc. An incredible amount of detailed
thinking has gone into the environmental planning, down to artificially
cut banks for Bee-eater nesting.
Even once the development has been completed, and the estate settles
down to a day to day life, rules relating to the preservation of the
natural and transformed but bird friendly environment, will apply. The
philosophy which pervaded during the development will mean that this
golf course will always be a prime birding spot, and will be home to the
species seen, not a place where they occassionally forage.
A number of golf courses in the Durban area are bird-friendly places,
but largely because they are surrounded by relatively "wild" natural
bush which is where the birds actually occur, and not on the courses per
se. It takes a little environmental planning, little disruption to the
way a course plays, to make it bird friendly, and by and large the
courses in my area have achieved a measure of success in this.
And I don't even play golf!
tel: 031-7016700 (w)
Fax 031- 7090858
> From: Rohan H. Wickramasinghe[SMTP:
> Sent: Thursday, 05 June, 1997 3:49AM
> To: SABirdNet List
> Subject: Re: Elephant Hills GC
> Thanks a lot, Stewart, for this message which I must save for
> future reference when people tell me that golf courses
> invariably spell doom for the environment.
> Rohan H. Wickramasinghe,
> Institute for Tropical Environmental Studies,
> 41 Flower Road,
> Colombo 7,
> Sri Lanka