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Andermatt Swiss Alps

On lively singers and Ice Age relicts

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The 18-hole par 72 championship golf course at Andermatt is harmoniously nestled into the mountain landscape. It spreads over 130 acres and offers a breath-taking backdrop. When the course was designed and built, the pre-existing landscape and ecological aspects were taken into special consideration. Thus the dry meadows on the hillside, with rich biodiversity, and the valuable biotope on the valley floor were carefully conserved.

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Many marsh areas, which are traditionally cut only once a year for straw, have been kept unchanged. They provide a perfect habitat for a variety of species. The alpine salamander and the rare large marsh grasshopper feel perfectly at home there. On the rough meadows, which are typical for the Urseren Valley, one finds 40 % of all plant species occurring in Switzerland and 50 % of the animal species. In addition to their ecological significance, they have important agricultural and touristic value: These meadows, profuse with flowers, are a typical element of the Swiss Alpine farming countryside.

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Did you know that our Ötzi is about 3,000 years older than the “real” one? The oldest archaeological finds on the Andermatt golf course date back to 6,000 BC. During the excavations, very small stone implements were found that were probably made by people about 8,000 years ago. Also originating long ago is an animal that attentive observers can see and hear on the second hole: the groundhog – a relict of the Ice Age.

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Thanks to the rich biodiversity, some endangered species of birds can be observed. In the early morning, the sky lark sings and exults in the fields along hole 14. The late cutting time of the non-intensively used meadows also gives the endangered whinchat ample time for brooding. They hide their nests in earthen troughs among the stalks of the tall grass. These tiny meadow birds can be seen near hole 12.

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Each hole has its own particularities. We have summarised and compiled them into a brochure about the ecology of the golf course. Are you interested? You can get the brochure at the golf course or at the Sales & Information Center Andermatt. Or ask for it by e-mail at: info@andermatt-swissalps.ch.

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