The golf links at Littlehampton is situated on and adjacent to the West Beach Local Nature Reserve, a complex of sand dunes on the west side of the mouth of the river Arun. Parts of the course also fall within the broader Climping Beach Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which has national protection. This unique and diverse setting ensures that the course supports a wealth of wildlife, insects and plants and offers our golfers an experience not found on many courses in the UK.
The dune system supports a large variety of grasses and wildflowers including sand catchfly, sand sedge and viper’s bugloss as well as evening primrose and a variety of orchids. In the spring, the dunes are often covered in a blue haze of early ‘forget-me-not’ Myosotis ramossisima.
The birdlife found on the course consists of several overwintering wading birds including sanderlings and sandpipers as well as kestrels and buzzards which hover over the dunes searching for prey. In the spring, Meadow pipits nest on the ground, concealed by the dune marram grass, and may often be seen perched on the fence posts which separate the course from the beach. On top of this, Little Egrets and Grey Herons are often to be found hunting for fish or amphibians in the rife which borders many of the holes.
Far harder to spot is the rare Sand Lizard Lacerta agilis, which is protected under international law and can occasionally be found during summer months sunning themselves in bare patches of sand or scurrying through the marram and fescue dune grasses.
To play golf at Littlehampton is to play through a landscape rich in nature and wildlife and Littlehampton Golf Club recognises its responsibility in the conservation of the area’s unique and special flora and fauna.