Our environmental biologist, Oriol Dalmau, who has ten Life Science courses and degrees, explains how the resort is positively impacting the environment
When it comes to people’s perceptions of golf and the environment, I am a man on a mission! It is widely thought that golf courses are environmentally damaging, and I used to believe that too, but it’s very wrong.
When golf is planned correctly it can create a great diversity of habitats and therefore act as host for an incredible diversity of species. I want to re-educate people so they understand a golf resort can have a very positive impact on the environment.
PGA Catalunya Resort has been planned with an environmental focus. As far as I know, it’s the only golf course in Spain to have a biologist on its staff.
My eyes have been opened to not just how golf resorts can limit their environmental footprint but actually improve and nurture their surrounds. We have worked very hard and it is pleasing that this social responsibility has been recognised with awards such as the IAGTO Sustainability Award for Nature Protection 2020. PGA Catalunya Resort has also been GEO certified since 2013.
Despite being born and raised very close to the resort, it wasn’t until I started working here in 2012 that I fully realised its potential. I had been working at the University of Mallorca and decided that after 15 years away, it was time to return to my hometown. I started looking for a work, and a friend told me PGA Catalunya Resort was looking for gardeners.
I love how this place not only stimulates the local economy but most importantly it stimulates the ecological environment and aesthetic.
We introduced a colony of one million bees, hundreds of nests and every day we work to promote the life of endangered local species in and around the golf courses.
Annual production of honey is about 50kg and it is used by the chef in restaurant dishes and sold as gifts in the resort’s shop.
The amount depends on the climate each year and the intensity and duration of the flowering of the plants, as well as the ever-increasing interaction with the Asian wasp, which preys on a multitude of bees like honey if it manages to enter the swarm.
From the very beginning, PGA Catalunya Resort was a pioneer in the use of purified water and this showed a high sense of responsibility
The most incredible thing that most of us don’t realise is that purified water is only clean enough to maintain a small number of species. Storing it in lakes for months and distributing it over a widespread area, results in a much more effective depuration.
Here we have a very advanced water system that promotes this process and therefore the resort has the potential to become a micro-biosphere reserve.
I work closely with David Vives, our executive chef, to provide PGA Catalunya Resort’s restaurants with aromatic herbs.
It’s very satisfying that we can grow herbs and use them in our dishes. It reduces our impact on the environment because we are not importing them from elsewhere.
The menus change with the seasons; it’s how nature intended.
The next generation
One of the most important jobs is ensuring the next generations learn about the environment and how to protect and nurture it. When I was a young boy I was so interested in plants and animals and their habitats, behaviours and functions.
Today I only read articles and books on biology and ethology, although now I have broadened my horizons and I am also interested in topics related to genetics, biochemistry and microbiology, physiology of animals and plants, ecology – in short, everything that teaches me about the life that surrounds us and how it behaves.
Here we run a number of programmes and activities for youngsters such as an animal trail and building birds’ nests.
This is something that really brings me a sense of personal achievement. Some children don’t have any connection to nature and I feel like a true pioneer in their lives, opening their minds to a whole new world for them.
Seeing their excitement, their emotions is really gratifying. After all, they are the next generation to take care of the planet and it is very important to help create that connection to nature.