A thriving golf course as a new community goal

“Blühpakt” – a promising name that also affects Bavaria’s golfers since yesterday, after a Blühpakt Alliance was signed between the Bavarian Ministry of the Environment and the Bavarian Golf Association in the GC Herzogenaurach. Behind this is the attempt to force far-reaching protection of insects with the help of large compensation areas on golf courses.

The cooperation between environment ministries and golf in Germany is unusual. which is also related to the fact that one rarely looks behind the scenes of the golf courses from the side. Bavaria’s golf courses contribute around 10.000 hectares to the cooperation, only around a quarter of which is actually used on playing surfaces. “This is a gigantic area that can be used for near-natural management,” summarizes Regierungsdirektor Dr. Stephan Niederleitner, who acts as Blühpakt manager. “I was actually surprised by what I found during my site visits.” Niederleitner got an idea of the golf courses in Munich Riedhof, Abenberg and Herzogenaurach . “I definitely got the impression there that the topic of near-natural management was being dealt with intensively.”

What is the aim of the “Blühpakt”, which actually also includes stipulated criteria for golf courses? Above all, the change in awareness : “What the private garden owner or the citizen often appears as “unkempt” ensures the survival of our insects,” says the Bavarian Minister for the Environment, Thorsten Glauber . Transferred to the golf course, this means: Especially on the compensation areas, seemingly untidy areas, for example with deadwood, do more to promote biodiversity than a perfectly maintained environment. The Bavarian Ministry of the Environment is also hoping for more Blühpakt partners in the future.

Golf courses can now acquire the “Blühpakt Golf Course” award as part of the Blühpakt alliance. The new cooperation celebrated its premiere with the GC Abenberg , which has already received this honor. This requires an application on the Blühpakt Alliance platform . Free advice on plant selection, soil preparation and care for insect-friendly areas is also provided if interested.

Minimum Criteria for the “Blühpakt Golf Course” Award

  • At least 30% of the open spaces of the golf course are designed in a natural way. In particular, this means: continuous supply of flowers from spring to autumn; different habitats of native, biennial meadow flowers, perennials, shrubs and woody plants.
  • No extensive use of chemical pesticides. If pesticides are used on the playing areas, there must be no wind drift; preferably used in the morning or evening.
  • Areas of flowering areas remain unmown over the winter (preservation of breeding and wintering sites for insects).
  • No use of peat-containing substrates in the design and maintenance of open spaces.
  • At least two structural aids (insect hotels, lying/standing deadwood, sandy areas, small bodies of water suitable for insects) are available.
  • Documentation must be submitted for registration
    • Plants for flowering all year round
      Maintenance plan with section-by-section mowing of the near-natural areas and removal of the clippings