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Recycled Water Irrigates Sussex Course


Environmental experts and other golf courses have shown great interest in the system used to water Ashdown Park Hotel's 18-hole course and keep it green in every sense of the word.

Last year, the country house hotel at Wych Cross, near Forest Row in Sussex, added another nine holes to its existing nine-hole layout. As the costs of irrigating the greens doubled almost overnight, the hotel decided to install a new system that would save money and protect the environment. In addition to saving on water bills, the system's main benefit is that it recycles water used in the hotel, cleans it, stores it and automatically irrigates the course set in 186 acres of parkland.

Water used throughout the hotel, including the kitchen and laundry, is fed into the irrigation system and goes through a cleansing process before being stored in a 20,000-gallon underground tank that is topped up by a natural spring in the grounds.

Ashdown Park's estates manager Kevin Sweet said: "A fully computerised control system is used and the tees and greens are automatically irrigated with 10,000 gallons of recycled water every night. We are very proud of the new system, which shows that hotels and organisations with high water usage can recycle water to help the environment and save considerable amounts of money. An environmental specialist has approached us and asked to come and study the system because he has not seen one like this in use before. Other golf courses have also shown an interest in it and it looks as if it is the way forward for future irrigation systems."

Environmental issues were at the top of the agenda when the new course was planned. In addition to the recycling system, a pond was built by one of the greens and is fed by most of the drainage around the course. A tree planting programme, following completion of the course, includes a mix of native trees and shrubs. Part of the old orchard is going to be replanted with a mixture of apple and pear trees.