Work is underway to re-establish heather across the golf course as part of a broader landscape restoration. The course is managed in such a way as to promote the heathland characteristics encouraging native flora and fauna including fine fescue grasses. Acidic grassland is a rare habitat of value that can support a variety of invertebrates and birds. Recognised wildflowers such as the Devil’s Bit Scabious (Bracknell Forest Biodiversity Action plan species) and native Harebells can be found amongst the heather and roughs. A tree management program is vital in re-establishing the heathland. Over time the course has been colonised by more trees as part of natural succession. Birch are naturally pioneers colonising the ground in the early stages and followed by pine and oak. Many examples of this can been seen around the course. The golf club is working in partnership with The National Trust in sourcing heather turf and seed from a nearby heathland site to supplement the heather expansion on the course. Two donor sites, Simon’s Wood and Finchampstead Ridges have been ear marked. As part of their ongoing management of these areas heather must be stripped allowing the natural regeneration of heather.
Heather turf harvested from areas of the course has been placed around the new bunkers creating an established look and feel. The carry in front of the 9th tee has been stripped to allow this area to regenerate from seed. A small fence will be erected along the edge of the path and through the bottom of the new ditch or ‘Haha’ short of the front bunker. This is not a drainage ditch as many people have suggested but will (hopefully) stop people from entering the area with trolleys. It is important to note the heather will take a few years to establish and is not a ‘quick fix’ – nature can not be rushed!