A Myerscough College learner has been recognised with a national award.
Anthony Darker, who graduated from Myerscough recently with a Level 3 Diploma in Sportsturf, was honoured at the Golf Environmental Awards, facilitated by the STRI (Sports Turf Research Institute). Anthony, from Elsham Golf Club, was crowned Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year.
The awards were part of the 2016 BTME (BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition) event, where Myerscough College took their usual stand to showcase what opportunities the College can offer to the industry.
Anthony said: “In 2010 I moved clubs and soon after started studying for my NVQ Level 3 with Myerscough College. When you start looking at golf courses there is more to offer then golf itself, if you take a look at any out of play area you will see it is teaming with wildlife. This got me thinking that we should do more to accommodate for all this wildlife it was here long before the golf club and should be there.”
“At my club we started by sowing a wildflower meadow. After two seasons it became a colourful paradise for pollinating insects. I started writing articles for greenkeeping magazines about my new found passion and pushing the name of my club in any way possible. I found myself spending my break time making mammal homes, hanging bird boxes, making log & brash piles and coming up with creative ways of making shelters out of recycled goods around the yard.
“What started as a side line project had grown and changed the whole look of the course bringing little changes to each hole in 2016 my efforts payed off. To be crowned golf conservation greenkeeper of the year at the STRI environment awards was a great night and one I won't forget for some time to come.”
Anthony had to showcase his commitment to sustainability and best practice, by presenting a clear understanding of current and future environmental projects across the golf course.
Bob Taylor, STRI’s Ecology & Environment Manager, said: “The standard this year was incredible, as always, and highlights the considerable contribution golf courses deliver to their natural surroundings.
‘’Anthony showed innovation, using the knowledge he’s learned to nurture the land for ecology and wildlife. Environment and ecology issues continue to be a major factor for golf as they not only enhance landscapes but directly influence the quality and overall playing experience of golf courses.
'’The winners were chosen for showing a remarkable level of commitment and energy in delivering high quality courses, whilst working to successfully improve their local environment.’’
Anthony wins the trip of a lifetime to Europe and the chance to visit some of the world’s leading golf facilities and sites of specific ecological interest.
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by Dave Salmon