By Geoff Garnett
EDDIE Ainsworth the course manager at AVRO Golf Club, Woodford, has made the finals of the STRI national award for Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year for 2015.
Having won the BIGGA national award for Greenkeeping Achievement of the year for 2014, the latest honour provides further evidence of his dedicated work at the nine-hole club, which was established around 40 years ago adjacent to a former aerodrome site.
Victor Tarr, the greens chairman at AVRO, said: “Eddie’s enthusiasm for promoting natural habitats around the course in ‘out of play’ areas has made a positive impact on the numbers and varieties of insects, small mammals and birds seen on the course.
“He has also aroused the interest of members and other greenkeepers in the area as the club follows a three-year management plan provided by their course ecologist James Hutchinson. Eddie has more plans to continue the exceptional work done so far.”
Sophie Vukelic, the ecology and environment consultant who recommended Eddie for his latest award, added: “Eddie is a firm believer in using what you have and that is exactly what the team at AVRO have done to create such great results.
“With Eddie’s enthusiasm and will power the management of AVRO golf course is in very capable hands.
“He communicates the conservation works at his club via Facebook (Nature on Course and personal account), articles in local media, Pitchcare and the other AVRO greenkeepers.
“Using an array of platforms to spread information is great to reach a wider audience.
“As a keen bee enthusiast Eddie regularly holds seminars all over the UK (and more locally) encouraging people to do more for our native bees and the honey produced by the six beehives on the course provides income for the club projects.
“It is a great talking point for members and the general public and information boards are also installed in the vicinity of the hives.”
Pictured is Eddie Ainsworth, centre, with Victor Tarr and assistant greenkeeper Wayne Atkinson, left.