England's oldest golf club banning plastic t-shirts from January

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Royal North Devon Golf Club

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The Royal North Devon Golf Club is grazed by sheep and horses and borders a long beach

Golf Course officials say they have become the first to prohibit the use of plastic golf pieces to protect wildlife.

The Royal North Devon Golf Club, near Bideford, is the oldest in England and took the decision to allow a recent committee meeting to allow only wooden tees.

It said: "Plastic tees are more likely to damage the birds and animals with which we share our beautiful course".

The golf club is on common land that is grazed by sheep and horses, and borders on Westward Ho! beach.

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Golfers place their ball on a tee to play certain shots and they are often thrown away on the ground

From January 1, 2020, the store at the club only sells wooden tees and extra "tee-bins" are provided on the course.

A statement from the club on the issue was: "Starting the new decade of how we want to move on – no more plastic tees."

Part of the course, which was founded in 1864, was washed away last year after a storm, and there are fears that more could be in danger in the future.

& # 39; Clean and natural & # 39;

Commissioner Richard Hughes said: "We want to keep the golf course as clean and natural as possible.

" Nature has made it difficult for us lately and we want to calm nature to a certain extent.

"Birds pick up the plastic tees that are often screamed and drop them everywhere, including on the beach and in the sea. We have previously found tees in bird nests."

Wooden tees are usually colored white or wooden, which means that they are not as attractive to birds and decompose over time.

The National Golf Club Managers & Association said it believed it was the first club to ban plastic tees.

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