Holiday Village Andermatt Reuss: a golf course serves as a habitat for rare bird species

Since 2009, Andermatt Swiss Alps has been developing the Holiday Village Andermatt Reuss, with hotels, multiple dwellings, chalets, a concert hall and an 18-hole golf course. An environmental impact assessment was required for the entire resort due to inclusion of the golf course and new parking facilities. Environmental monitoring in 2019 showed that nature is thriving in the new holiday destination.

Expertise involved

Environmental planning

Client

Andermatt Swiss Alps Ltd.

Implementation of various environmental protection measures

The holiday village and golf course in the vulnerable Alpine region of the Urseren valley could only be approved if added value was to be created for nature and the environment. The environmental impact report presents the environmental consequences of the project and the measures required to protect the environment. A variety of protection and enhancement measures were implemented in all phases of the project. During construction, the dust emissions, surface water and groundwater were monitored. Checks were also carried out on the environmental standards of the machines and vehicles used, and on the environmentally friendly treatment and disposal of waste water and waste from the construction site. Particular emphasis was placed on the planning and implementation of ecological replacement and compensation measures on the golf course. The golf course also includes the newly created Bäz cantonal nature reserve, which covers almost 40% of the golf course’s area. The periphery of the golf course is home to a wide variety of animal and plant species, including rare and endangered breeding birds. The primary goal of planning was therefore to ensure that these species would continue to feel at home at the site in the future.

Birds are thriving at the golf course

The Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach has carried out extensive monitoring in close cooperation with environmental planning experts from Basler & Hofmann in order to assess the impact of the implemented protection measures on the birds. The institute surveyed the breeding birds on the site in 2006 before the golf course was built, in 2012 immediately after construction, and in 2019 after several years of operation. The results are extremely positive: the number of different breeding bird species remained constant and a significant increase in the number of breeding territories could be observed. The population of some rare species such as the whinchat had even increased. It was also found that the golf course provides an important resting place for migratory birds, especially in spring and autumn.

Our services

Support for the client in environmental matters. Preparation of the environmental impact report. Support during the approval procedure and during negotiations concerning objections. Overarching environmental construction support: coordination between the client, environmental authorities and specialists. Leadership of the ecological specialist committee for the green areas of the golf course. Coordination and support of environmental monitoring.