Registration phase for Blühpakt Bayern 2024 starts
The Blühpakt Bayern enters the next round: The cooperation project of the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection and the Bavarian Golf Association has set itself the goal of “promoting biodiversity, especially insects”. After the cooperation began in summer 2020, it has now been extended for a further three years. Numerous golf courses that have taken part in the Blühpakt Bayern over the past three years have now been awarded the title of Blooming Golf Courses.
The program is financed in equal parts by the Bavarian Ministry of the Environment and the Bavarian Golf Association and participation is free of charge. As before, technical support for the program is provided by the LBV – Landesbund für Vogel- und Naturschutz, whose employees visit the areas of the respective golf courses. They then provide the greenkeeper and club management with assistance in enhancing areas for more biodiversity.
Developing Bavaria’s habitats
“The focus is certainly on the large meadow and open land areas, where it is being determined how to increase the number of small structures, plant species and thus also the number of insects,” explains Julia Larasser, who is in charge of the project at the ministry. The so-called Blühpakt, which has also been concluded with other associations and institutions in Bavaria, such as the Bavarian Beekeepers’ Association, plays an important role for the Bavarian state government. Finally, the Bavarian state government has set itself the goal of “permanently securing as many areas as possible in Bavaria for the preservation of natural diversity. Article 19 of the Bavarian Nature Conservation Act calls for a network of spatially and functionally connected biotopes, which should cover at least 13 percent of the state’s open land by 2027 and at least 15 percent by 2030. The aim of the biotope network is to preserve and develop habitats with great biological diversity in order to restore biodiversity to the landscapes typical of Bavaria.”
Experience from the past three years has shown that golf courses have great potential for promoting insect diversity. Now it is a matter of “sharpening our focus on the essential things”, especially for the plants that have been part of the group of participants for a long time. In meadows in particular, it is not always just the lushest possible flowering that is decisive, but the promotion of native species that are adapted to the climatic conditions in Bavaria. Blühpakt participants who have already been taking part in the program for some time have the opportunity, with the help of the LBV’s expertise, to further increase the value of their planting for the promotion of biodiversity and, above all, insect abundance.
This also means that participating plants are committed to so-called integrated crop protection with minimal use of chemicals. The use of chemical pesticides is completely prohibited on areas designated for nature and insect protection.
At the end of the new three-year, ongoing phase of the Blooming Pact, a jury of experts will select and honour the best of all the courses that have been awarded the Blooming Golf Course Award for their projects.
The requirements for participation in the Blühpakt Bayern can be easily met for almost all golf courses
- At least 30% of the open spaces of the golf course are designed in a natural way.
In particular, this means a continuous range of flowers from spring to autumn from native plants such as biennial meadow flowers, perennials, shrubs and woody plants.
Documentation is provided for this.
- The following points should be observed when tending to the flowering meadows:
- Mowing takes place 1-3 times a year on each area.
- The respective area is mowed in sections; Parts of the area remain with each mowing as a food supply and for the development of insects.
- Clippings should be removed from areas to reduce nutrient return. First, the clippings must always be removed from the same area of at least 1,000 m². The aim is to gradually increase this proportion of space.
- A care plan for carrying out the mowing is presented.
- In order to preserve breeding and wintering sites for insects, areas of the flowering meadows remain unmown over the winter.
The maintenance plan for carrying out the mowing also specifies which areas of the area will remain unmown over the winter.
- There are at least two structural aids, such as insect hotels, lying/standing deadwood, sandy areas, heaps of stones or small bodies of water suitable for insects.
- There is 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.
- There is no use of peat-containing substrates in the design and maintenance of open spaces.
- Effective insect protection requires a change in awareness when dealing with nature and the dissemination of specialist knowledge. In order to explain to members, players and guests what the Blühpakt alliance and the natural design for creating habitats for insects is all about, public relations and knowledge-building measures are carried out and a description is submitted with the application.