Penlanlas is restoring 2160 metres of hedgerow as part of the Tir Gofal scheme. Hedgerows are important habitats in their own right. They are especially important for butterflies and moths, farmland birds, bats and dormice and are essential refuge for a great many woodland and farmland plants and animals. Hedgerows may also act as wildlife corridors for many species, including reptiles and amphibians, allowing dispersal and movement between other habitats and providing valuable foraging areas.
The main reasons for the loss of hedgerows are: Neglect (no cutting or laying) leading to hedgerows changing into lines of trees and the development of gaps. This reflects modern high labour costs and loss of traditional skills. Too frequent and badly timed cutting leading to poor habitat conditions, the development of gaps and probable species changes. Loss of hedgerow trees through senescence and felling, without encouraging replacements.
Unimproved flower rich grasslands are now very rare. Over the past 50 years it is estimated that 98% of hay meadow habitats have been destroyed, mainly through agricultural intensification in the form of ploughing, high level fertiliser input and unsustainable heavy levels of grazing.
Water sources for the Golf course, other than rainfall, are from a natural spring located on the Estate, above the course. The spring flows in to a lake created artificially on the former farm, under the FWAG scheme 1989. This scheme was an environmental scheme designed to create wetland habitat, with a secondary objective of making water available for irrigation. A video exists of the construction of this lake; and has been shown in the past on the TV program “Country File”.
The objective is to maintain a healthy sward on the greens through applying preventive measures, to avoid the need for curative responses. This is achieved by routine aeration and scarifying. This minimises any turf disease to eliminate any chemical control required. Aeration is produced by use of a mechanical solid tine attachment to the compact tractor, and scarifying by a unit fitted to a greens mower.
Penlanlas applies a strict recycling programme. The plan is applicable to the course, club house, restaurant and farm. Litter bins are available and all contents are sorted out into – plastic, tins, glass and paper for re-cycling. We take all these separations to the municipal re-cycling facilities. Water cooking oil is stored and collected for recycling for bio-fuel.
Environmental issues are communicated to staff and public by the promotional “Penlanlas Handbook” and through educational leaflets. Information on the site is made available by personal introduction and/or mail from the Proprietor and aides, to a wide range of organisations such as Schools, Colleges, County Council, and Environmental groups.
Educational access to environmental areas is open to golfers and non-golfers as well as catering for the disabled. Signage is in place along access routes and is continually being improved. Educational groups can be guided or on their own. The proprietor, Mark Lloyd, often accompanies these groups. In 2008, Penlanlas had visits from Coleg Ceredigion College, The Ramblers, Parkinson’s Group, Women’s Institute, Merched Y Wawr.
We have regular open days held at Penlanlas. Most recently we have hosted the following:
Ceredigion County Council
Countryside Council for Wales
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
Welsh Wildlife Trust
Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group
CALU – Centre for Alternative Land Use.
Penlanlas engages with the following organisations:
ADAS – Consultancy in progress – predominantly soft fruit but incorporating elements of the Tir Gofal environmental scheme.
TIR GOFAL – Agri-environment Scheme for Wales. This is delivered by National Assembly for Wales (NAW) through the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) in partnership with Farming and Rural Conservation Agency (FRCA).
SYNGENTA – Assist with advice on biological products used on soft fruit.