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Your wildlife adventure at Manchester Golf Club starts as you park your car in the main car-park. To the left is a young woodland with Alders growing along the edge. The masses of tiny cones on these trees attract Redpolls and Siskins especially in winter when they are more visible without the leaves. When you are on the Putting green you are more than likely to find Song Thrushes feeding next to you. The mature trees close by have good numbers of Nuthatches feeding and breeding in Spring.
The wildlife flourishes thanks to the natural landscape and space afforded by the expanse of the golf course. Please help us to protect their environment and habitat by observing from a distance and remember that there are no public rights of way.
Click image to enlarge.
There is no public right of way on the course.
The first hole gradually rises north to its elevated green. On the right-hand side is the young woodland and it is here that you may have your first sighting of a Roe Deer. You should see many more during your round of golf. The left hand side of the fairway has a fence that protects a peat bog of some ecological importance. Snipe can sometimes be seen on these fence-posts and if you are playing in the early morning or at dusk you may be treated to the sight of a Barn Owl. On the left just before the green is some newly planted gorse. This is already proving popular with Linnets whose males sing from the highest points.
As you stand on the second tee look to your left and you will see an area extending through the boundary fence to the ecological protected area. It was here in 1986 that a spectacular event took place when at least seven Short Eared Owls spent the whole winter catching voles that had bred in exceptional numbers. They only started to hunt at dusk so very few members saw them as they hunted all night over the course! Sadly it has never been repeated. As you work your way up the fairway you have a good chance of encountering a Hare.
This hole is one of the very few blind holes on the course. The level fairway at the start of the hole was once the best place on the golf course to hear and see Skylarks. Sadly, in line with the rest of the country, there has been a rapid decline in Skylark numbers and none have bred on the course for at least ten years. On the left hand side of the fairway as you descend towards the hole is an area of rough grassland that extends to the ecological area. This is the best part of the hole for wildlife especially birds and you may see Stonechats, Reed Buntings and good numbers of Meadow Pipits.
The natural setting of this hole makes it one of the most stunning on the course especially in early summer when the rhododendrons are in flower. Its main feature is Trub brook which crosses the hole and its bridge provides Kingfishers with a vantage point from which to fish from. Dippers which breed in Hopwood woods also occasionally visit. The pine trees on the left of the hole are inhabited by Goldcrests and at times Herons. The lush grassland around the green is favoured by Deer and Hares especially at first light.
Long-time time member and wildlife enthusiast, Gordon has been studying and cataloging the wildlife at Manchester Golf Club for more than 40 years. Gordon has been a member of the RSPB for over 50 years and is an Honorary Life member of three local wildlife groups in acknowledgement of his contribution to Wildlife Conservation. Gordon has won several still photography awards with BBC television, RSPB, Scottish Wildlife and the Scottish Ornithologist Club.
The entire Wildlife Gallery on this website has been photographed by Gordon at the golf club and kindly provided with his compliments for members and visitors to enjoy. He hopes that everyone will enjoy the wildlife and will help us to protect the unique environment so that it will continue to flourish.