Respecting, safeguarding and sustainably developing the environment in which its 18-hole golf course lies is more than a priority for Golf Bastide de la Salette. We have a duty of responsibility towards the rich biodiversity we have inherited.
The building and 70 hectares of greenery that make up the Golf Bastide de la Salette estate owe nothing to chance. Today, they tell the story of a past we must protect and improve on in the heart of Marseille.
The site on which the 18-hole golf course was built is the result of the merging of two previously neighbouring estates. The historical owners of this land had already preserved its natural environment.
In the 1960s, the parcel on which you now find the 3rd through to 15th holes was divided. Part of it was made available to a market gardener/horticulturist, who took good care of the fertile land. The rest was used by the owners as a hunting ground, prized for its dry stone wall terraces, natural resources and close proximity to the city of Marseille.
Over to the west, in the section in which the Bastide (country house) is located, the driving range and top of the golf course stand in the former garden of the Château Vaudran, which belonged to a Marseille ship owner in the 18th century. The château has now disappeared, but you can still enjoy the many species of trees and shrubs brought back by the owner from his various travels and planted on the estate.
Hundreds of two-century-old cedars from the Lebanon stand side by side with strawberry trees and unknown varieties brought back from regions like Africa. These include red bark trees found nowhere else, which you can still admire to the left of the fairway at the first hole. White oaks, green oaks, maritime pines, Aleppo pines, plane trees, poplars, cypress trees, olive trees and many others bear living witness to his many past voyages.
It is therefore our duty to protect this rich heritage from the ravages of time. Sometimes weather conditions like rain or wind can make life hard. Pruning the plants to help protect them keeps us busy in winter.
The direct proximity of the golf club to the Calanques National Park—the only one in Europe that includes land, sea and suburban areas—makes it an oasis of green among the urban landscape, offering refuge and shelter to many different bird species. We are keen to protect them by keeping their habitat as natural as possible. It is not unusual to see a scattering of grey herons on the golf course, much to our delight. We also see buzzards and other birds of prey, and even red foxes.
We are now focusing firmly on developing this ecosystem even further. Insects like bees and other native species are protected as part of our maintenance plan, as we restrict the use of phytopharmaceutical products and safeguard their essential resources through targeted clearing.
We are also working on reducing our water and electricity usage through modern systems that help us keep our environmental impact as neutral as possible.
Our commitment never stops and we are proud that our contribution to the detailed biodiversity inventory was retained by the French National History Museum. We also want to take part in the various activities led by the golf industry to raise awareness, and demonstrate our commitment by aiming to obtain the highest environmental certification possible.
Our members have nicknamed “their” golf club “the citizens’ garden”, and this makes perfect sense with its proximity to the city and the diverse environment we offer them.
For more than five years, players have been greeted by Modestine and Tee Two between the first and second holes.
One of our valued members didn’t have enough room for his growing family of donkeys so, after discussing it with him, we offered him a parcel of land to use on the golf course. With a few adjustments and the help and cooperation of our members to build a hut, followed by a whip-round to buy their food, mother and son moved onto the golf course and now frolic there to the delight of young and old alike. A walk to see the donkeys is one of the highlights for children when they come to the Golf Bastide de la Salette.
Last November, the City of Cassis was faced with an overpopulation of ducks in its municipal ponds. After consultation, we created a special shelter in the pond at the third hole to encourage these birds to make it their home.
No task is too small when it comes to preserving our natural heritage and the local flora and fauna we inherited and still enjoy today. This will ensure we continue to enjoy it to the full in the future.
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