BIGGA staff help Harrogate Golf Club create wildlife habitat

Staff from the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) have joined greenkeepers and members at Harrogate Golf Club to plant a community woodland comprising more than 200 trees donated by exhibitors at the upcoming BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME).

BTME is due to take place at the Harrogate Convention Centre January 24-26, with more than 5,000 golf greenkeepers and turf professionals in attendance.

High on the agenda each year is sustainability and the increasing importance of environmentally friendly practices on golf courses, particularly with the annual Golf Environment Awards taking place in Harrogate concurrent to the trade show.

British golf courses cover an area roughly equivalent to the whole of Greater Manchester and provide wide-ranging habitats including wetlands, wildflower areas and woodland. Golf clubs around the UK are undertaking activities that boost their environmental credentials and the team at BIGGA wanted to do their bit.

When booking their spot at the 2023 exhibition, supporting companies were invited to Plant a Tree for BTME, and it is hoped that over the years sufficient trees will be planted to create a network of BTME community woodlands around the UK, with Harrogate Golf Club the first to participate in the scheme.

Reesink UK purchased 100 trees, Aquatrols purchased 50 and The FairWays Foundation purchased 20. Other contributors included Advance Grass Solutions; Bernhard and Company; Campey Turf Care Systems; COMPO Expert; East Riding Turfcare; EVEN Products; GreenBest/Velvit; LFP Civil & Environmental Engineering; Redlynch Leisure; Shelton Sportsturf Drainage; and The Double A Trading Company.

James Hutchinson, membership services manager – ecology & sustainability at BIGGA, said: “Plant a Tree for BTME is a wonderful scheme and I’m delighted that so many exhibitors purchased saplings. This is such a brilliant idea because trees sequestrate carbon in the soil, meaning we are able to offset some of the carbon that is generated at BTME.

“Not only that, but trees create wonderful habitats for the great British wildlife. Golf clubs are often overlooked by the general public, but they provide priceless habitats for countless species, often forming safe zones for wildlife to thrive in urban areas. Harrogate Golf Club is a fantastic example and the addition of these silver birch, downy birch, rowan and cherry trees will create outstanding habitats for years to come.”

Ken Ward, head greenkeeper at Harrogate Golf Club, added: “I was thrilled when James asked if we would like to take part in the Plant a Tree for BTME scheme. We are very much about ecology and sustainability and creating new wildlife habitat by planting trees is very much in line with the ethos of the club.

“Harrogate Golf Club is hugely appreciative of BIGGA and all the exhibitors who contributed to this scheme as it is such a worthwhile cause, not only for us but also for our kids, grandchildren and future generations.”

Lauren Frazer, head of business development at BIGGA, said: “We’re committed to making Plant a Tree for BTME a fixture on the BTME calendar and I’m hopeful that next year we’ll be planting even more trees at another brilliant golf club and once again highlighting the vital work golf greenkeepers do to support the wider environment.

“Thank you to all of those who contributed to this wonderful scheme and I’m really looking to seeing all our exhibitors and the attendees at BTME in just a few short weeks.”

For more information about BTME 2023, visit