Wildlife and Conservation at Ipswich Golf Club
Here at Ipswich Golf Club it has been long recognized that the course is not just a wonderful area to play golf but is also a good site for wildlife. Many different habitat types can be found on the estate, including heathland, acid grassland, wetlands and woodland. This variety results in a wealth of different species of flora and fauna in a relatively small area. For many years here at Ipswich these habitats have been manages to improve and maintain their wildlife interest by the sites own staff with more recently guidance from Natural England under their Higher Level Stewardship scheme. Recognition of this good work within the golf industry has resulted in the club winning the BIGGA (The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association Ltd) national golf environmental competition twice, in 1995 and again in 2003.
Heathland - In the process of being expanded and restored. There are extensive areas of Heather along with patches of native acid grassland and Gorse. All are managed by cutting sections on rotation to provide a range of age structure for different species to live in.
Species found in these areas include Green woodpecker and Kestrel around the grassland. Hobby (occasional), Common lizard and many species of solitary bees and wasps around the heather areas. Linnets and Green hairstreak butterflies around the Gorse.
Wetlands - A range of habitat types present, including lakes, reed-bed area, wet grassland and fen meadows. The reed-bed and grassland area are managed by cutting sections on rotation and clearing material to maintain low nutrient levels.
Species noted in these habitats include Otter, Little egret, Kingfisher and numerous dragonflies around the lakes. Harvest mouse, Water vole, Reed warbler and the rare White-mantled wainscot moth in the reed-beds (found only in Suffolk and Norfolk). The wet grassland and fen meadows are very good for a range of wildflowers including Ragged Robin, Cuckoo Flower and Southern Marsh Orchids.
Woodlands - Ranges from wet Alder Carr woodland in the Mill river valley to mixed native wood in the centre of the site containing open glades. The glades are mown annunally to stop tree encroachment and dead log piles have been created within the woods for invertebrates and fungi to use.
Species noted include Nightingales (in the more scrub edges of the woods), numerous Bats, Purple haristreak butterflies, a great variety of moths and Britain's largest beetle the |Stag beetle. A nature trail runs through part of the central woodland and around the lakes that is available for members and invited guests to use.