Bearwood Lakes Golf Club GEO Certified

PUBLISHED: 11:34 14 September 2012 | UPDATED: 21:51 20 February 2013

Bearwood Lakes Golf Club GEO Certified

Bearwood Lakes Golf Club GEO Certified

Outstanding natural woodland refuge receives accolade

Recognised, as one of the finest inland courses to be built in Britain in the past 20 years, Bearwood Lakes has added another important accolade recently being awarded GEO Certified, golfs international ecolabel certifying comprehensive commitment and achievement around sustainability.

The 18-hole golf course in Berkshire meanders through a backdrop of mature pines, beech and cedar trees and three natural lakes that were originally part of Windsor Great Park and part of the hunting grounds of the Kings of England since the 11th century. The magnificent 19th century mansion of John Walter III, founder of The Times newspaper, can be seen across the lake on the 14th tee.

'The natural lakes and forested terrain on historically significant land perhaps add to the responsibility we all feel'

The original design by Guy Hockley under the direction of Martin Hawtree retained much of the original landscape, using tree coverage and nature of the area as a unique backdrop to the course that rolls around the Bearwood estate. This outlook has become even more deep-rooted at Bearwood Lakes. Managing Director, Carl Rutherford: We have integrated sustainability into our decision-making from every-day items like irrigation and pest-control, to purchasing decisions in the clubhouse and on the course, and certainly around the renovation work undertaken recently. The natural lakes and forested terrain on historically significant land perhaps add to the responsibility we all feel, but environmental stewardship also helps set our course apart from others, and makes good business sense.

Golf Course Manager, Daniel Lightfoot MG MSc added:As part of a rolling 5-year Ecology and Landscape Management Plan we have been doing good sustainability work for years. The GEO On-Course programme gave us an easy way to record and report this work and the GEO Certified ecolabel is something we can confidently and proudly show to members, guests, neighboring community, and the wider golfing world.

'We are already focused ahead on new ideas we have'

Ive been looking forward to getting this distinction for a long time. However, with the ink not long dry on the award, we are already focused ahead on new ideas we have, including a new irrigation storage reservoir which we become another open water habitat to benefit diversity of local wildlife, and continuing to improve our fleet which now includes three new John Deere electric ride-on mowers that lower our fuel costs, emissions and the risk of hydraulic leaks.

A great golf experience should draw on nature in many ways. And whilst we no longer have the bears here from past centuries, deer can be regularly seen along with badgers, grass snakes, red kite, kingfishers, lapwings, tawny owls, the bird of prey hobby, and a variety of aquatic wildlife. With the tall trees and lakes it can feel like youre in North Americas Pacific Northwest rather than a short drive outside the center of London.

Jonathan Smith, GEO Chief Executive added:Bearwood Lakes is a great story of a club that has been factoring sustainability into their operations for years and were delighted that the OnCourse programme and GEO Certified ecolabel have helped them tell this story more publicly. Its our hope that their results will inspire more clubs. Congratulations on excellent work and strong leadership.

'The GEO Certified label makes a strong statement to golfers'

Jim Croxton, Chief Executive Officer of BIGGA shared his endorsement: The achievement of Bearwood Lakes is an excellent example of leadership around the important subject of sustainability. BIGGA members are passionate about the environment they manage and we see a lot of value in participation in the GEO OnCourse programme as a great roadmap to improved environmental stewardship. The GEO Certified label makes a strong statement to golfers, local communities, and the overall golf industry regarding dedication to continued sustainable golf course management and we commend Daniel Lightfoot and all his colleagues at Bearwood Lakes for their achievement.

Dino Minoli, GEO Sustainability Associate (GEOSA), and accredited independent Verifier:The environmental performance of golf facilities is an important issue. Bearwood Lakes Golf Clubs GEO Certified ecolabel signifies commitment to environmental governance and positions the game of golf at the vanguard of sustainable sport and leisure. Demonstrating strong environmental aesthetics and effective ecological stewardship are an integral part of a challenging, rewarding and stimulating golf experience. This certification recognises the pro environmental values and actions of their excellent Course Manager, responsible Owner, pro-active Management and supportive Club Members.

The full reports can be viewed at


  • GEO is a stakeholder-funded, not-for-profit organisation, dedicated to helping the global golf community establish leadership in environmental enhancement and corporate responsibility.

  • GEO works with golf, government and environmental organizations worldwide, including The European Tour, United Nations Environment Programme, The R&A, and many national golf federations, managers associations, owners groups and greenkeepers/superintendent associations, including England Golf and the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association.

  • GEO Certified is the world's most comprehensive and transparent third party verified ecolabel, specifically for golf course and club management.

  • For more information, please


  • Bearwood Lakes Golf Club is fast gaining a reputation for being one of the finest golf courses in Europe. In November 2011 posted Bearwood Lakes as the top venue in Berkshire based on independent reviews which followed a similar ranking in 2010 by the highly respected web-site: who published a Your Top 100 list based entirely on independent reviews and ratings. Bearwood Lakes was ranked No. 2 (behind only by 2011 Open Championship venue Royal St. Georges) in the best golfing experiences in England and No. 3 (behind only by Royal St Georges and Northern Irelands jewel, Royal County Down) in the best golfing experiences in the U.K. and Ireland.

  • For more information, please visit

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