Broadstairs golf club course manager says this is most 'punishing' summer in 40 years

A golf club in Kent which runs off its own reservoir has been forced to rely on mains water following weeks of hot dry conditions.

Bosses at North Foreland Golf Club in Broadstairs say they only have around ten days worth of water supply left in the reservoir to keep the club running at a normal level.

The reservoir is currently more than two thirds down on what it would usually have after two heatwaves within the last month.

It comes as parts of the UK have today (Friday 12 August) officially been declared in a drought.

General Manager Chris Dowrick said, "We've got a lot of footfall, so they are continually wearing away the turf.

"Without the rainfall to top up our reservoir we're relying on mains water now so we've got the maintenance cost.

  • General Manager Chris Dowrick

"This autumn we'll have to increase man hours and turfing, so it's gone from one extreme to the other.

"Our costs could run into tens of thousands.

"It's worrying as with active fish life in the reservoir, we can't take much more out."

  • Report by ITV Meridian's Joe Coshan

Course manager Simon Brand echoed Mr Dowrick's concerns. "In forty years in green keeping, I've never experienced conditions as punishing as this summer has been.

"It's brought some major challenges for us managing the turf in these conditions.

  • Course manager Simon Brand

"At the moment we are having to conserve as much water as we can because we are limited on resources. Our reservoir is 70% down on where we would be normally.

"We're targeting the watering more specifically to greens and tees on the golf course.

"Our main issue is surrounding a drought order.

"That would mean we can't rely on mains water. So we would have to rely on what's in the ground here and what comes out of our borehole."