Fusion Media's Posts (562)

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Martin Lingard, Contracts Manager for Lowther Forestry, has reported that ICL’s Ecoplug Max is helping him manage an extensive tree and shrub clearance project throughout Yorkshire.

Lowther Forestry – a nationwide forestry, landscaping and fencing contractor was established in 1979 and now has four regional offices. Over the years the company has significantly grown and prides itself on providing exceptional quality, value and sustainability to businesses and organisations throughout the United Kingdom.

Martin Lingard has been with the company for 19 years and after looking for an alternative to liquid glyphosate for stump control, he turned to Ecoplug Max – which he purchased through ICL distributor Green-tech.

Ecoplug Max is a patented tree stump control application method which delivers glyphosate directly into the tree stump, killing its root system and preventing re-growth. Each plug contains 300mg of granular glyphosate which are simply placed into holes drilled into the stump using the Ecoplug drill bit. The plugs are then hammered in forcing out the sides of the plug, releasing the glyphosate into the phloem.

“We have been using Ecoplug Max for the past few years as part of a tree and shrub clearance project for the Environment Agency,” says Martin. Based on the work last year we have seen fantastic results - we’ve had no comeback or re-growth of willows.”

Ecoplug Max supports requirements of the sustainable use directive to minimise use of pesticides. With the glyphosate encapsulated inside the unit, it never gets in direct contact with anything else but the plant, in turn minimizing the risk of the operator coming into contact with chemical or chemical spillage. Furthermore, it also eliminates the risk of damage to surrounding trees and vegetation. Quite simply, it stays where it belongs – inside the plant.

“As a product, it is so much better than spraying the stumps,” says Martin. “The beauty of it, is that it is so easy to use – we just apply the plugs easily into the holes that have been pre-drilled. It is certainly more efficient as well; in the past when we were spraying, just a little bit of breeze would mean that we would have to stop and wait until it passed. We’re also not having to carry lots of liquid so it is ideal from that point of view. It is safe to handle as well because you have no risk of spillages.

“We work in environmentally sensitive habitats and by using Ecoplug Max there is no risk of drift or contamination of habitat and the product, when applied, is not at risk of wash off by rain or flood. There is also the added benefit of less handling on site of concentrated herbicide product.

“Overall, I would say that it is a very good product and one that I would not hesitate to recommend.”

For further information, please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie

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MM is the solution in Hertfordshire

In order to satisfy the needs of the members at Hertfordshire Golf and Country Club, course manager James Bonfield is using a range of Limagrain UK’s MM grass seed mixtures to produce the best possible playing surfaces.

Designed by Jack Niklaus II, the 6,266 yard course winds through ancient parkland, blending beautiful contours with trees and water to present an enticing challenge to golfers of all abilities. The club is under the Crown Golf umbrella, which boasts 23 prestigious venues around the UK.

James has been in his current role as course manager for eight years and claims that he has assembled the best team he has ever seen in all his years of greenkeeping. The team all play regularly on the stunning course in Hertfordshire, which James believes is essential as they need to understand the course from a player’s perspective: “As a team, we are all very passionate about this place and are always striving to make improvements where we can,” he says.

So, when James was not achieving his desired results from a previous grass seed he used, he decided to look for an alternative, as he explains.

“I had been using a different seed for a couple of years and it hadn’t really worked out, so I met Richard Sheppard (amenity seed specialist for Limagrain UK) at BTME in Harrogate and we arranged an appointment for him to come in and see me.

“We walked around the 18 holes and looked at what I needed from a seed on various parts of the course. In particular we focussed on the fairways because at that time they were suffering after a season of very little rain and a lot of play. Richard suggested MM22 and MM25 – which was dependant on the position of the fairway as well as other factors such as acidity levels.”

Limagrain’s MM25 is an ideal mixture for the construction and renovation of sports pitches, whereas MM22 is great for divotting, repairing, overseeding and construction of tees, fairways and outfield areas that are subjected to high levels of wear. The course in Hertfordshire is divided by a road, of which, one half is old farmland so the soil is very rich and the other side being parkland tends to grow more efficiently. With both MM22 and MM25 at his disposal, James had the flexibility to apply the two mixtures where he felt most appropriate.

“The results have been most dramatic on the fairways because normally they don’t do very well in the summer,” he said. “We have limited irrigation which doesn’t allow me to water fairways as often as I would like and we have an evaporation rate of about 30mm at the height of the summer – which has always been an issue. This year, however, the fescues came through incredibly fast on the 17th, the 3rd and the 5th which was amazing. It’s provided me with really good results and they just look much healthier. They are better to present and the members have noticed a massive difference – they are really pleased.”

James also relies on MM22 for his tees and uses a slightly higher application rate due to the complexity of them.

“We are trying to get as much seed as possible on the tees so we go as high as we can possibly go, maybe 20g per square metre depending on the location. For example, on our par 3’s we have seed coming through to replenish what is going out. Our tees here are tiny (under a hectare of tees) and part of the Niklaus design is that they are all round, so you lose a bit of teeing space there as well. It can be a hindrance because you are up against it when you are trying to keep things looking as best they can. You don’t want to stand on the tee and see divots everywhere. Therefore, we go quite high when overseeding with the MM22 and, again, we have seen great results.”

Where it is difficult to maintain fescue in the sward or where levels of wear are greater, many greenkeepers and course managers choose MM9 – a three way browntop bent mixture, which James applies to his greens shortly after renovations in late September in order to get more bents into the surface.

Completing his range of MM products, he applies the all ryegrass mixture MM50 to his walk off areas “just to give them a bit of love towards the end of the season.”

In reflecting on his use of the Limagrain products, James said: “From the MM seed mixtures 9, 22, 25 and 50 I have had the results that I wanted from each one of them - which is all I want. As a course manager you want to know that what you use is going to work because you don’t want to waste money. I want to make sure that I get value for money and good results and with the MM range I feel that I am.”

For further information, please contact Limagrain UK on 01472 371471 or visit the company’s website www.lgseeds.co.uk/mm

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After Richard Ayling, grounds manager at Merchant Taylors’ School, drew up a shortlist of new potential machinery to purchase, the Dennis Razor fine turf mower saw off competition to receive a unanimous vote from himself and his team.

The illustrious Merchant Taylors’ School in Hertfordshire has a glowing reputation for good reason. It boasts first-class results both in the classroom and outside on the magnificent playing fields.

The site in total including the prep school is approximately 280 acres and that comprises of 80 acres of sports fields on the main school site, 20 acres on the prep school site while the rest of it is made up of buildings, lakes, lawns and woodland.

In managing the maintenance and upkeep of this vast area, it is safe to say that Richard, who has been working at the school for nearly 23 years, certainly has his work cut out. He heads up a team of ten which consists of groundsmen and gardeners – all of whom play a vital role. Therefore, when it comes to purchasing new machinery, Richard insists that it must be a team decision.

“We were looking for something that was fairly simple to use, had easy height adjustment and a nice balance,” he says. “I took my staff to SALTEX in November last year and had a good look round the show to see what was on the market. We looked at various machines and drew up a shortlist. After a couple of demonstrations we were all in favour of the Razor.”

Superbly balanced and ideal for cricket pitches and other fine turf surfaces, the Razor features a 560mm (22in), 11 blade cutting cylinder for a perfect finish. An ultra-short wheelbase ensures easy manoeuvrability and excellent performance, even on undulating surfaces. The Dennis Razor encompasses the simple ‘no tools required’ click height adjusters for quick and easy operation, a feature which particularly struck a chord with Richard and his team.

“Its ease of use is the best feature and I particularly like the click system on the height adjustment setting. The Razor was exactly the machine we were looking for.”

Richard purchased four Dennis Razors – one for the school’s lawn areas and three for cricket pitch preparations. The team normally start using the Razor 8-10 days prior to a game taking place and Richard was quick to praise the machine’s quality of cut.

“For cricket preparation we use the Razor to cut down to 3-4mm but they are superb for trimming off the squares as well and they cut nicely at 15mm too. Ultimately they produce a fantastic finish on every occasion.”

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact Dennis 01332 824 777 or visit www.dennisuk.com

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David Hodgson, groundsman and president at the Kirkstall Educational Cricket Club in Headingley, Leeds, believes that a lot more local cricket clubs would see significant improvements if they used a SISIS Rotorake TM1000 tractor mounted scarifier.

Established in 1853, Kirkstall Educational Cricket Club is one of the oldest cricket clubs in the country. The club, which is based at the Field of Dreams on Queenswood Drive in Leeds, boasts two Saturday league teams, a Sunday 3rd team and a range of junior teams from under 9’s to under 17’s.

David, or ‘Hodgy’ as he is more commonly known in the local area, has been looking after the facilities for the past twenty years and president of the club for the past twelve. The compact ground surrounded by trees, hosts on average, between 85 and 100 fixtures per annum and David leaves no stone unturned when it comes to preparation.

‘Hodgy’ is passionate about sports turf and particularly cricket – he is a previous winner of a Yorkshire Cricket Board OSCA (Outstanding Service to Cricket Award) and was also commended by the West Yorkshire and Leeds branch of the Institute of Groundsmanship for his work in developing and presenting “Understanding of Groundsmanship” courses to Yorkshire’s cricket development groups and raising the profile of groundsmanship in the region.

When he is not tending to the pitch at Kirkstall Educational Cricket Club, David has his own groundcare business and applies his expertise at a number of sports clubs throughout Yorkshire. With his workload increasing, he felt it was time to invest in new machinery and specifically something that would make his end of season renovations easier.

“I’m getting no younger and I thought that instead of operating pedestrian machines it might make sense to have a tractor mounted machine. I have colleagues who have the Rotorake TM1000 and they gave me very good reports on it. I have known of SISIS for years and own a SISIS Variseeder (tractor mounted seeder), which has served me incredibly well for over twelve years now.

“As my business developed I made the decision to increase my machinery stock to make my life easier – hence the purchase of the SISIS TM1000.”

The SISIS Rotorake TM1000 is a tractor mounted heavy duty scarifier and linear aerator and is un-rivalled when it comes to removing and controlling thatch. It includes a collector box and floating unit to follow ground contours and its contra-rotating reel throws debris forward ensuring a clean, consistent groove resulting in an excellent finish. With interchangeable blades and a quick, simple depth setting without tools, it seemed to be the perfect machine for David.

“I’m highly delighted with the purchase - the strength of the machine and the durability is excellent. I’ve used it for all of my recent autumn/winter renovations at around 25 venues throughout Yorkshire already.

“It’s great for ease of use and I like the fact I can adjust the depth setting depending on the site and the level of thatch that is in the profile. It’s a great feature to have and you can adjust it very easily without any tools.

“I have the scarification reel and the fraze mowing reel – which I think is absolutely brilliant. I’m also now looking at purchasing the brush for cleaning the squares during the playing season.

“Personally, I think that a lot of local cricket clubs would benefit from using the SISIS Rotorake TM1000.”

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact SISIS on 01332 824 777 or visit www.sisis.com

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James Bledge, Course Manager at Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club in Deal, Kent, says he has successfully treated Dry Patch with monthly applications of Qualibra wetting agent.

Formed in 1892, Royal Cinque Ports is a Championship Links course situated on the narrow stretch of coastline between Deal and Sandwich Bay in Kent. The 18 hole course offers a stiff challenge to golfers of all abilities and in particular the last seven holes are reputed to be amongst the toughest in golf.

With the course being so close to the coast, one would think that James and his team would spend most of the time trying to get water off the course, but situated in the driest corner of England, and with the aid of an artificial sea wall, Royal Cinque Ports has no such problems.

However, the course has repeatedly suffered from Dry Patch even with previous wetting agent programmes and as a result, last year James trialled Syngenta’s Qualibra – which is distributed by ICL.

“I’ve used a number of wetting agents before but I’ve always had a problem with Dry Patch, we are situated on sand with only around 3” of topsoil so infiltration rates are pretty high. We also lose a lot of moisture – Sometimes up to 10% Volume water content in a day. Therefore, I decided to look at Qualibra and trialled it last year to see how it performed. I’m a big believer in doing a full year’s trial with products, especially a wetting agent, because I think you are wasting your time if you do anything less than that. You need to see it consistently throughout every month to see how it is performing and also just give it a chance. - not just apply it on a turf nursery in June and see how it performs in one month.

“Because I haven’t had much luck with wetting agents in the past, I was thinking that if it didn’t work out then we would just try something else next year. However, at the end of the year I remember telling Darren Hatcher (ICL Technical Area Sales Manager for the South, London and the Channel Islands) that it was perfect.”

James applied Qualibra to his greens, tees, approaches and fairways at 20 L/ha in March and continued with monthly applications until October. His goal was to optimise the use of water resources and move surface water down to maintain, firm, fast conditions, as well as improving the playing surface quality for members.

“We wanted the greens to play firm and fast and Qualibra has been a big part of that,” he says. “I also wanted to avoid the unsightly burnt off crests and lush valleys on the fairways and if you irrigate them the water just runs off the top. However, Qualibra reduces the surface tension and goes in from the very top. In June they were the perfect colour, consistently that transition between green and brown.

“I’ve got a guy who has been working here for 40 years and every morning he comes in at 3.30am and hand waters all of the greens before the golfers come out. He absolutely loves Qualibra and he says that throughout his time here it is by far the best wetting agent we have ever used. I really value his opinion as he’s seen it all so we discuss at length what products would make his life easier when it comes to moisture control, on a links course it’s one of the most important factors to success and that’s why we don’t sacrifice on quality.

“We are also definitely using less water now and we didn’t have any Dry Patch last year - which was the first time in years. To me that was a huge success because it was one of the driest years on record.”

Please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie if you are in Ireland.

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The Dennis FT510 and SISIS Dart are currently helping Mark Audin prepare the green at the Waterloo Hotel, Blackpool, for the biggest national tournament in the crown green bowling calendar.

Regarded as the ‘Wembley’ of crown green bowling, The Waterloo Hotel has been hosting tournaments for well over 100 years. In particular, The Waterloo Championships has been in existence since 1907 and this year it sees a phenomenal 512 entries from all over the country. Qualifying starts in July and concludes with the final 8 competing to get their hands on the famous trophy on 26 September.

Mark Audin has been working at The Waterloo for 10 years and for the last 5 he has held the position of bowls manager. He has a number of tasks under his remit but Mark’s main priority is to focus on the fabulous green at The Waterloo – which is a year round job, as he explains.

“Out of season when the green isn’t being played on, I cut down to about 7-8mm and during the winter we can leave it slightly longer at 10mm. From May onwards I like to keep it at around 7mm and that will gradually go down to about 6mm and possibly 5mm depending on how it is playing towards the end of the season. There is a misconception that you need to take the grass on a bowling green right down and scalp it, but that really isn’t the case as long as you regularly verticut and generally look after it all year.”

For the essential task of verticutting, Mark relies on the Dennis FT510, which is an interchangeable cassette cylinder mower. It offers the operator ultimate versatility by having the option of fitting twelve different cassettes including scarifiers, verticutters, brushes, spikers and slitters as well as 5 or 10 blade cutting cassettes. 

“In the lead up to the Championships we will verticut with the FT510 once every four days in four different directions so that the playing surface will be completely smooth. Therefore, going into the Championships the green will become quicker and quicker to play on.

“We’ve got the sorrel roller cassette, the 10 bladed cylinder, the scarifier and verticutter Tungsten tipped cassette and it is all we really need here – it’s my complete maintenance tool. The FT510 is fantastic and it is so easy to use - one cassette out, one cassette in and off you go. In the past we have had machines which take half an hour just to change one cassette.

“I also really like the click adjustment on the FT510 for the height of cut, it is easy to set-up and is adjusted by 0.25mm with every click. Again, with other machines you will have to get a spanner out but on the FT510 it is adjusted in seconds. The fuel consumption also seems to be better than any others I have used in the past too.”

For reducing turf compaction at The Waterloo, Mark uses the SISIS Dart – which is an independently powered vertical action aerator. This popular bowling green aerator has a working depth of up to 100mm (4 inches) which can be easily adjusted from the operator’s position using the balanced depth control lever. Powered by a 6.5hp engine, the unit can also be fitted with a wide range of interchangeable tines to meet the operator’s requirements making it ideal as a bowling green aerator.

“We normally start using the SISIS Dart in July when the ground starts getting hard. We have a number of various interchangeable tines and we tend to go about 3 inches deep into the surface. It does a brilliant job at breaking the surface up, enabling you to get some moisture in and it really helps to reduce thatch and compaction. We’ve always had a bit of an issue with compaction because we have so many people on the green throughout the year,” he said.

“I would say that it is arguably the most used green in bowls and with all the games throughout the season, the green stands up remarkably well. That is, in part, due to the quality of the machines - I’ve tired others in the past but none are nearly as good as the Dennis and SISIS equipment.”

Dennis and SISIS are proud supporters of the Waterloo Championships and have a long history of supporting the sport of bowls. The British manufacturers of turf maintenance equipment host an annual series of free educational bowling green seminars throughout the UK, which have significantly grown year on year.

Further information about the range of bowls maintenance products available can be found by visiting www.dennisuk.com / www.sisis.com.

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Event organisers have announced that visitor registration for SALTEX 2018 is now officially open at www.iogsaltex.com.

SALTEX 2018, Europe’s largest annual event for groundscare professionals, takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, on 31 October and 1 November and visitors can now register their attendance for free via the newly-designed website.

The new website has been built to provide the ultimate user-friendly experience with improved navigation and functionality throughout, allowing both visitors and exhibitors to access all the information they need in preparation for SALTEX 2018.

The site is compatible with many browsers and all mobile devices meaning that visitors and exhibitors alike will have easy access to the site and stay informed with the latest show news and exhibitor event previews. With over 230 exhibitors signed up to date, visitors to the website will see an extensive exhibitor list complete with individual profiles - each containing relevant information on products, services and show offers. 

Visitors will also be able to find out more about new and exciting show attractions as well as popular features such as Learning LIVE – SALTEX’s free and all-encompassing education programme; Outdoor demonstrations – which take place directly outside the SALTEX halls 6, 7 and 8; the SALTEX College Cup - a national student-led sports-turf challenge; Pathology & Soil Science LIVE - allowing visitors to look in detail at the symptoms of some common turfgrass fungal disease problems; Ask the Expert - a team of 10 IOG regional pitch advisors providing free pitch care advice; the Job Clinic -  a chance to receive specific career advice and find out all the latest job opportunities from industry expert Frank Newberry, and the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) 10th annual Industry Awards celebration. 

SALTEX exhibitors will notice some improvements to the portal, which is an indispensable tool for maximising event presence and making connections with potential customers in advance of the show. All of the exhibitor forms, such as the Health and Safety Declaration and the Risk Assessment Form, have now all been digitalised, meaning that exhibitors can fill out the relevant forms online without having to print them off. 

Visitors can register to attend SALTEX via the website – www.iogsaltex.com. Visitors will receive a confirmation email with their badge to print and take along to the show, to gain free entry.

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John Jennings, Course Superintendent at Castleknock Golf Club in Dublin, always used to struggle with achieving longevity from the fertilizers he was using – that was until he applied ICL’s Sierrablen Plus Stress Control 15-5-22 +2MgO.

Located in the leafy suburbs of Dublin, Castleknock Golf Club is one of the finest parkland courses in the country. With its undulating greens, the course is designed to test golfers while maintaining that all important element of fairness. There are a number of memorable holes on the course, most notably the 9th and 18th, and two par 3’s over water that share a double green, with the clubhouse providing a stunning backdrop.

Tasked with keeping the course in impeccable condition is John Jennings. John started his career at Castlebar Golf Club before moving to the Grange Golf Club in 1984 – where he worked for 16 years.

In 1999 John accepted the position of Assistant Superintendent at Carton House where he worked under John Plummer. During this time he undertook the responsibility of the grow-in of the O’Meara and Montgomery Courses. He spent four years in this position before taking the role of Course Superintendent at Castleknock Golf Club in 2004 – which corresponded with the opening of the course.

Now a vibrant club with a growing membership which currently stands at approximately 900 members, Castleknock can see up to 40,000 rounds of golf a year played on the course. As you would expect, to cater for this high amount of usage the course is maintained to the highest standard.

Generally, John does not encounter too many issues, which is testament to his work, but he does admit to a slightly problematic area on his fairways.  

“I have used many controlled release fertilizers over the years and struggled to get longevity and colour due to the high sand content in my fairways. However, since I began using Sierrablen Plus fertilizers two years ago it has become a game changer.”

John is one of many turf managers who has benefited from using a range of products in the Sierrablen Plus portfolio. This is largely thanks to the Poly-S and PACE technologies which are contained within each analysis. They have been scientifically proven to provide consistent feeding, enhanced longevity and a low-scorch risk. Furthermore, its small-sized granules allow for even coverage and equal nutrient distribution. These fertilizer products offer a wide choice of analyses for proper nutrient input for every growth phase of the turf, and John has certainly noticed significant improvements since the product.

Featuring high potassium content to strengthen cell walls, John applied the analysis to his fairways in September 2017 and despite the incredibly harsh winter, it was still having a positive effect in March 2018. John was so impressed with the product that this year he applied Sierrablen Plus Stress Control to his tees and was pleased to see remarkable progression so soon – again in unfavourable weather conditions.

“I am extremely impressed with the early response and sward density achieved when using the product, giving uniform growth that lasts 6 – 7 months. I will continue to use it and would highly recommend it to anyone,” he said.

For further information, please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie

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The national football team won’t be the only team of professionals flying from England to Russia this summer. In fact, a whole fleet of Dennis G860 cylinder mowers will already be making their mark in Russia before the England squad is even announced.

After being selected as the official mower at the two most recent FIFA World Cup’s in South Africa and Brazil, the 2018 tournament in Russia is the third successive World Cup that the Dennis G860 has been selected as the mower of choice.

A staggering 88 Dennis mowers will have the task of preparing stadium and training complex pitches for the world’s greatest football players throughout the tournament while some venues will also utilise the Dennis Premier in conjunction with the G860 for matchday preparation.

7 of the 11 stadiums will use Dennis mowers, including those hosting the quarter finals, the semi-finals and the final, and 70% of the training camps will also be maintained by Dennis.

Steven Rienks – managing director of Queens Grass, who are the official Dennis dealer in Russia, has orchestrated proceedings and admits it is a proud moment for himself and his company.

“This is the greatest show on earth and is not just another contract.  Yes, it is fantastic to be a part of it but it is also a responsibility,” he says. “After all, the quality of play depends on the quality of the pitch. But this is why the G860 has been chosen – due to the quality and the presentation it offers. They all want that perfect stripe which the G860 provides because they know it will be watched by a worldwide audience.”

However, the task of preparing the pitches is made slightly more difficult by unfavourable weather conditions, as Steven remarks: “In Russia, the weather is not ideal – for instance, in one area we only have around 60 days of sunlight over the course of a year. The interchangeable cassette system really helps with maintenance procedures in a difficult climate. Also, the mowing height may differ and the sandy materials on the pitches are different.”

While the games will no doubt attract billions of viewers worldwide, many will be oblivious to actually what goes into ensuring the pitch is up to the standards expected for a tournament as prestigious as the World Cup. Even before the pitch is prepared, contracts must be concluded and signed and Steven admits that it can be somewhat of a rigorous process.

“Russia is a whole different ball game and one of the attractions of working with companies such as ourselves is the fact that we have been working with the groundsmen at the stadiums since 2001. Russian clubs prefer to be supported by local companies that supply European machines but quick, straightforward contracts are hard to make.”

“Every offer was made specifically for each stadium and training complex and all were tendered by the Russian Government. Then of course there are the complications of dealing with an eastern European country – let us say that the customs and borders in Russia are an interesting challenge.

“It is not easy but of course it is fantastic to work at such a tournament. We love our profession and it is a nice challenge to have!”

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact Dennis 01332 824 777 or visit www.dennisuk.com

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Emma Kilby, Technical Area Sales Manager for ICL, has not only beaten three types of cancer but she has also just conquered the London Marathon and in doing so raised over £3,000 for Children with Cancer UK.

Emma’s battle with cancer started when she was just 16. She was again diagnosed with cancer on two other occasions but after a long and difficult battle, enduring months of operations, chemotherapy and radioactive iodine, she pulled through. Her struggle with this terrible disease didn’t allow it to get in the way of life however – she finished her studies at university, got married and gave birth to two beautiful daughters.

Emma wanted to give something back and made the decision to run the London Marathon in a bid to raise funds for Children with Cancer UK.

Almost 4,000 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer every year in the UK. That’s ten every day. Children with Cancer UK is the leading national children’s charity dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer. They fund life-saving research into the causes, prevention and treatment of childhood cancer and they work to protect young lives through essential welfare programmes.

This year's London Marathon was officially the hottest on record and Emma ran the 26.2-mile race in gruelling temperatures of 24.1C and recorded a time of 5 ½ hours.

“I’ve been training for 16 weeks and we trained in extremely cold weather conditions,” said Emma. “Nothing prepares you for the heat we were running in on Sunday but I never felt that I was going to quit. It just wasn’t an option. The spirit of the day was indescribable, as is the pain that accompanies it. The crowd and the adrenaline really help you to cross the finish line.

“For me, it was a personal challenge and a mental challenge too because it has been on my bucket list ever since I was ill. There were times when I wasn’t even able to walk from all the treatment I was receiving so for me to be able to run a marathon was a huge, emotional achievement.

“It has taken its toll though! I’ve been extremely tired and I haven’t been able to eat properly since the race. It takes a mile per day for your body to recuperate so it will take about a month to totally recover.”

Emma is now back to work after raising an incredible £3,300 for Children with Cancer UK and says that she is overwhelmed with the amount of support she received.

“I got to the finish line and I had over 120 messages on my phone from people within the industry and from friends and family.

“I just want to say a really massive thank you to everybody for all of their support and generosity because it would not have been possible without them. It is unbelievable to see the amount of money that I have raised so far for such a great charity. It was a privilege to run for CWCUK which is close to my heart and it is good to know that this money will help the charity to determine the causes, find new cures and provide care for children with cancer.”

There is still time to make a donation to Emma’s worthy cause. Please visit - https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/emma-kilby

For further information, please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie

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Lee Ballard, senior groundsperson at the University of Kent (UKC) in Canterbury, believes that his new SISIS Flexicomb is the perfect tool to help extend the life of one of the University’s synthetic sports surfaces.

Canterbury in Kent may well be known predominantly as the place of Thomas Becket’s murder at Canterbury Cathedral or for Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th-century literary classic The Canterbury Tales, but it also boasts an internationally recognised university.

Ranked in the top 10 in the UK in a national student survey, with over 5,000 students from different nationalities, the University of Kent has a reputation for academic excellence. It also has outstanding sports facilities, which includes two grass football pitches, two grass rugby pitches and synthetic sports surfaces.

Overseeing the maintenance of the sports pitches is Lee Ballard, who admits that one of the synthetic surfaces requires extra special attention due to its age and heavy usage.

“We’ve had one of the pitches for nearly 12 years now and that houses full-size football games, four five-a-side pitches and lacrosse games. It gets a lot of usage and is used from 5pm until 10pm seven days a week. You have the students who use it as well as local sports clubs and Gillingham FC’s academy teams.

“The pitch has had years of not having the best machinery to get deep enough to give it a good clean and we are trying to extend the life of the surface as much as we can,” he said.

The common misconception is that synthetic surfaces are maintenance free. Just like natural turf surfaces, synthetic surfaces require maintenance as soon as they are constructed if they are to perform to the standard expected of them. Regular brushing along with periodic aggressive brushing and maintenance is required to ensure that the playing surfaces achieve their full life expectancy, and to help Lee with this task he chose to purchase the SISIS Flexicomb.

“When I first started in this role my aim was to improve the synthetic surfaces. Previously we were using a machine which just had tines on it and it never seemed to do a very professional job. So, we started looking around and I saw an online video of the Flexicomb being used at Tottenham Hotspur. It looked great so I took all the details down, passed it further up the chain to say this was the machine we needed, and luckily there was money in the budget to purchase it.

“We obviously had a demonstration before we bought it but if I’m honest I knew that it was the tool we wanted because when I saw the video it just ticked all of the boxes.”

Designed primarily for use on synthetic surfaces, the Flexicomb ensures even distribution of infill materials and lifts the pile. The adjustable setting ensures the effect of a rake, but with the softness of a brush, reducing the risk of damage to the fibres. The bristle sections are replaceable and the Flexicomb is designed for a long working life with minimal maintenance.

Furthermore, it can be used with SISIS Singleplay, Twinplay or Quadraplay mounting frames, which can all be connected to any tractor with 3 point linkage and utility trucks with suitable frames.

“We tend to use the Flexicomb three times a week depending on the maintenance schedule and make sure we give the surface a good brush after every ten hours of usage,” says Lee. “Sometimes we will double brush it both ways if time allows.

“It has so many good features – I like how easy it is to set-up and how simple it is to use. It does such a good job and leaves you with a great finish which is important because presentation is key. I also like how you can be slightly more aggressive on the ground and get in and move some of the crumb about and get rid of some of that compaction.

“The pitch is our front window so we try to look after it as much as possible and the more you put into it the more rewards you reap. The SISIS Flexicomb plays an integral part in helping us to achieve this.”

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact SISIS on 01332 824 777 or visit www.sisis.com

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Since SALTEX 2017 took place at the NEC, Birmingham in November last year, a number of exhibitors are still generating business as a direct result of the show – re-affirming that the exhibition is the must-attend event for any company involved in the grounds care industry.

Fivesquared, a brand of Earlsmere, is a leading vibration management provider to the grounds care industry. After exhibiting at SALTEX 2017, the company reported a 15 per cent increase in stand enquiries compared to the previous year with a number of significant leads coming from professional sports clubs, schools, universities and colleges.

The company now boasts a number of prestigious clients such as English Heritage, Southampton FC, Manchester United FC, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Manchester City FC, Wimbledon (The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club) and Merchant Taylors School – all of which were a direct result of exhibiting at SALTEX.

“Predominantly I would say that the majority of our overall business comes from exhibiting at the show,” says director Jeremy Hoyle.

“We have been exhibiting at SALTEX for about eight years now and since it moved to the NEC we have found a location that we are really happy with. In my opinion you can’t just exhibit at a show like SALTEX the once and not return. You need to establish a presence year-on-year because that is when you see an upward increase in business.

“It is not just after the show that you see the results – business continues to come in throughout the year. In fact, we are still getting enquiries from people who visited our stand – literally on a weekly basis.”

SCH Supplies, specialists in attachments and accessories for garden tractors and ride on lawnmowers, reported that SALTEX 2017 significantly helped increase its European dealership network. 

 “SALTEX is very important to us because we don’t employ any outside sales representation,” says managing director Andrew Rodwell. “The event is our only vehicle for engaging with potential customers face to face, while showcasing our products, which is enormously important.

“We already have numerous dealers in the UK but as a direct result of the 2017 show we appointed several new dealers from Europe, which is a trend that we’d like to continue.

“SALTEX is usually the only show that we have a presence at. It provides a focal point for the company and allows us to consider the direction the industry is taking which in turn informs the decisions we make regarding development of new machinery.”

Market-leading machinery manufacturer, Kubota UK, used last year’s SALTEX as the ideal platform to showcase its latest range of innovative and high-performance compact tractors and ride-on mowers.

“SALTEX is a great platform to showcase new solutions to groundsmen, greenkeepers, estate managers and turf professionals,” says Adrian Langmead, business development manager for Kubota UK’s Groundcare Division. “We had a fantastic time meeting with everyone to discuss our current and latest product ranges.”

The results of the SALTEX 2017 exhibitor survey is further testament to the success of the show with over 95 per cent of SALTEX exhibitors’ generating new sales leads while 83 per cent took direct orders on the show floor.

No doubt these statistics are a reflection of the growing trend in new exhibitors to this year’s show. Honda Engines and Honda UK, Case IH UK and ISEKI UK are just some of the newcomers in 2018.

David Withers, managing director at ISEKI UK, is certainly looking forward to exhibiting at SALTEX for the first time.

“As we continue to grow our ISEKI business in the UK we are always looking for relevant opportunities to meet with existing and potential customers to understand their needs and share the latest technologies that our product range has to offer. As such SALTEX offers us a great opportunity to meet a wide and diverse group of customers in one place. We look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones at the NEC later this year.”

Commenting on the growing trend of new exhibitors Charles Neale, event sales manager, says: “The show continues to grow and we are receiving new enquiries every week alongside existing exhibitors investing in bigger stands. Demand at this period in the sales cycle has never been higher.”

To view show highlights and key interviews please visit www.youtube.com/MyIOG  

For more information visit www.iogsaltex.com

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ICL has announced the appointment of Craig Lalley as its new Technical Area Sales Manager covering North East England, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire. 

Craig joins ICL with a wealth of experience having spent his entire working career within the turf and landscape industry. It all started in greenkeeping where Craig enjoyed 13 years working on golf courses. He then moved into amenity sales before joining Mansfield Sand as Football and Golf Sales Manager – a position he excelled in for the past four years before joining ICL.

Complimenting Craig’s experience is his impressive list of qualifications which includes BASIS, Level 2 and 3 in Amenity Sports Turf, a Technical Certificate, a degree module in Construction & Design and certificates PA1, 2 and 6 in the Safe Use of Pesticides.

Craig starts his new role with ICL on 1st May and will be responsible for providing support to distributors and end users by offering high quality technical advice and product recommendations as well as creating tailored nutritional and disease control programmes.

For further information, please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie

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Sherriff Amenity is delighted to announce that it is now the exclusive UK distributor of Carbon Gold’s Enriched Biochar Turf Improver.

Carbon Gold’s aim is to increase soil fertility and improve turf health through the use of biochar-based products and projects. Its blends are approved by the Soil Association for organic growing and are certified by the FSC®. This important alliance significantly widens Carbon Gold’s market reach and improves the availability of enriched biochar to the UK sports turf industry.

Biochar is a highly porous, high carbon form of charcoal used to improve soil nutrition, growing conditions and turf health. It is made from untreated waste woody biomass that has been charred at a low temperature with a restricted supply of oxygen, a process called pyrolysis.

Biochar improves the physical nature of soils by increasing their water holding capacity and improving aeration, lessening the risk of drought and waterlogging. It also improves the cation exchange capacity of the soil, influencing its ability to hold onto essential nutrients.

Thanks to its microscopic honeycomb-like structure, biochar provides the perfect habitat for beneficial soil microorganisms - such as mycorrhizal fungi and actinomycetes bacteria - to flourish, encouraging increased root growth and plant vitality.

Carbon Gold’s Turf Improver enriches biochar with optimum levels of beneficial fungi, bacteria and trace minerals for optimum soil and sward health. Where prevention rather than cure is key, adding enriched biochar to soil provides the foundation on which to build resilient, attractive, playable turf, as recent sports turf trials have shown.

The growing popularity of enriched biochar in the professional and amenity turf sectors signifies a positive shift to a more biological approach, as part of a wider movement away from harmful chemical inputs and towards soil health.

Turf Improver is available immediately from Sherriff Amenity.

For further information, please contact Sherriff Amenity on 01638 721 888 or visit www.sherriffamenity.com

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The winner of the Irish Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award 2018, sponsored by ICL and Syngenta, has been announced as Rody Kilbride from Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo.

For a number of years, ICL and Syngenta have been proud sponsors of the Irish Student Greenkeeper of the Year Award - which is part of the Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board's (KWETB) Greenkeeping Training Course.

Colman Warde, ICL Country Manager for Ireland presented Rody with his trophy and a gift voucher at Naas Golf Club, Co Kildare said: “As a company we are very proud to continue our sponsorship of this award. The training course is a fantastic opportunity which helps prepare the students for a promising future in this industry. It was great to present the award to Rody, who is a good example of enthusiastic, young greenkeepers. It’s good to see so many students interested in this course because they are the future of the industry.”

“Aisling does a tremendous job arranging the course and it’s great to see the likes of David Behan from Naas Golf Club, David Callanan from Beech Park Golf Club, Mark Kirwan from the Heritage Golf Club and Tom Carew from Craddockstown put so much time and effort into helping train these students” commented Colman.

For the duration of the 48 week course Rody was placed at Beech Park Golf Club under the watchful eye of Course Superintendent David Callanan. With the student course now complete Rody has successfully gained a full-time greenkeepers job at Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Course in Co Limerick, with the newly redeveloped course, designed by Tom Fazio, due to open in April 2018.

Now in its twelfth year, the course continues to go from strength to strength, which is testament to the hard work and meticulous planning carried out by Aisling Mahon, course co-ordinator who’s commitment to nurturing the future of greenkeeping has ensured the success of the course. Aisling is delighted to have seen the course open a number of doors for aspiring greenkeepers, including full time employment, further education and oversees internships at prestigious golf courses such as Bay Hill and Pebble Beach in Ohio, USA.

Last year’s winner, Tiernan Crawford, impressed Naas Golf Club so much throughout the duration of the course that he was offered a full time greenkeeping position. He has been working in this role for the past year and is now moving to Beech Park Golf Club – a position which commences in just a couple of weeks. He intends on furthering his education and will be studying Sportsturf Science Level 6 in September 2019.

William Fitzpatrick, winner of the 2016 award, has been busy working and continuing his studies as well as becoming a first-time father. He is working full-time at Portarlington Golf Club and has just recently graduated from Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture, National Botanic Garden, Glasnevin, Dublin where he studied Sportsturf Science. William has also volunteered at a number of tournaments and is working hard to progress within the industry.

To make any enquiries about the Greenkeeping Training Course please email greenkeepingcourse@gmail.com

Please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie if you are in Ireland.

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Sherriff Amenity recently hosted the very first myTurfClub event at Syngenta UK’s Jealott's Hill Research Centre in Bracknell – and by all accounts it was a huge success.

myTurfClub is a new initiative from Sherriff Amenity which has an ultimate goal of helping to improve the UK turf amenity sector stewardship of pesticide and products. The event proved a great opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals, share and gain knowledge, learn best practices and ultimately enhance their education. Every delegate also gained 6 BIGGA CPD points by attending.

Following an introduction by Sherriff Amenity’s Joseph Dormer; Dan Lightfoot, UK and Ireland business manager for Syngenta, proceeded to provide a fascinating industry update and a great insight into fungicide planning.

Next up was Rod Burke, Syngenta’s portfolio development manager for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, who offered some extremely helpful tips in his presentation entitled “Pigments – a first look”

Prior to lunch, Joseph provided a virtual tour through the online mySherriffAmenity platform. Sherriff Amenity has always been a big advocate of education within the turf and amenity industry and many have benefited from using mySherriffAcademy which is a feature of this platform. mySherriffAcademy is ideal for learning more about the amenity business as users can participate in courses to enhance knowledge on a wide range of topics such as disease and the correct products to use.

Lunchtime offered all attendees a great chance to network before they embarked on a tour of Syngenta’s impressive, state of the art facilities. Jealott’s Hill is a key site in Syngenta’s global research and development network and key activities include research into discovery of new active ingredients, new formulation technologies, product safety, technical support of products and seeds research.

To conclude the event, Joe Kinder (Sherriff Amenity Technical Manager) advised on tank-mixes before Johnny Beck (Sherriff Amenity Amenity Specialist) delivered a captivating insight into trial work as well as revealing key results.

Sam Evans, Head Greenkeeper at Fulwell Golf Club in Middlesex, was in attendance and believes that an event like this is essential to the future of the industry. “I came along today because I wanted to develop my spray-tech knowledge and have a look around the impressive Syngenta site. There are some really exciting products coming out and it is good to know that companies like Sherriff Amenity and Syngenta are looking to the future and are passionate about developing products. Events like these are vital for head greenkeepers and course managers; it’s all about enhancing your knowledge and planning for disease prevention because it is so critical in our industry.”

Ben Mills-Reed, Assistant Greenkeeper at Rustington Golf Centre in Sussex, is currently working his way through the mySherriffAcademy modules and felt that by attending the seminar, he gained a greater knowledge of the products he is using on a regular basis.

 “I attended the event to find out more about the products we use, why we use them and how they are made. It has been really informative. I’m doing the mySherriffAcademy modules at the moment and I’m piecing all the bits together so today has been a big help.”

Commenting on the successful day, event organiser Joseph Dormer said: “We put this event together specifically because there is a need to become more pro-active in our industry. We need to be able to predict what is going to happen and have a plan in place because we are slowly losing all of the fire-fighting products.

“This event is all about giving something back and to not just host an event where everyone is sat there staring at a presentation on a screen. We wanted to create an event which is all about getting the delegates to be a bit more interactive and ultimately try to ensure that everyone leaves here with something - from the assistants all the way up to the course managers.

“I’m absolutely delighted with the turn out today, considering the pressure everyone is under at the moment with the weather. Plus a lot of people are trying to get greens renovations done and get their courses up to scratch for spring.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to Syngenta for hosting the event. I’m planning on partnering up with all of our key suppliers so there will be a number of different subject matters in this myTurfClub series. I’m sure this will be the first of many great events.”

For further information, please contact Sherriff Amenity on 01638 721 888 or visit www.sherriffamenity.com

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After some shading issues were resolved at the exclusive Blackwell Golf Club in Worcestershire, Head Greenkeeper Rhys Thomas has since restored the greens to their full health thanks to a range of ICL fertilizers.

Blackwell Golf Club may well be the most exclusive club in the Midlands. With approximately 170 members, but despite the club always having a small membership, it has never stopped the club from achieving. In fact, Blackwell has been ranked in the top 100 UK courses for a number of years, boasts three English Amateur Champions, has hosted the Open Championship Regional Qualifying Event six times and was home to the Midland Boys Championship, won one year by a 14 year old Sandy Lyle.

Blackwell Golf Club will be celebrating its 125th centenary and throughout that time the course hasn’t changed much from the original 18 hole design. The truth is – it hasn’t really needed to, which is perhaps testament to the vision of Herbert Fowler and Tom Simpson who designed the course in 1923.

 “Following a ecology report from the STRI (Sports Turf Research Institute), we decided to remove the trees around the greens and tees that had been planted 50 years ago,” says Rhys. “The trees had had little maintenance and the greens were in the shade and we’d struggle to get growth through the winter. Obviously, they would have a lot of wear during the summer and they never had an opportunity to recover.”

After the trees were removed, it was apparent that the greens would need a lot of attention after being in the shade for such a long time. Disease had crept in, which had resulted in a few scars and damage, and in Rhys’ own words – “If someone has a cold or is ill and they don’t take any medicine, then they don’t get any better. It’s the same with the greens – they need good products to keep them healthy.”

“ICL’s Greenmaster Pro-Lite Cold Start is great for the spring,” Rhys continues. “We know that the greens will kick-off immediately once we get it applied in March. Previously, members used to say the greens were not playing well until June. The right products are being used now and the members have certainly noticed the difference.”

Rhys was also quick to highlight Sierraform GT K-STEP 6-0-27+2MgO+TE, which has a high potassium content to harden the turf in particularly stressful winter conditions.

"In January or February, we turn to Sierraform GT K-STEP which trickles along nicely and we normally get a good amount of growth following application. We may also re-apply it in March if we are doing some renovation work just to give us a bit of recovery.

“Because of the microclimate we have here at Blackwell, it does make it hard to have a strict programme in place – we just have to judge it as and when. But I’ve been using ICL products for a long time and I use them because I know how they work and I can judge the timing of the fertilizers.

“The ICL fertilizers have significantly improved the greens because they are a lot healthier now.

On hand to offer Rhys all-year-round assistance is ICL’s Emma Kilby and he revealed that she has been instrumental in helping him bring the greens back to the standard expected by Blackwell members.

“I have a great relationship with Emma and she is always available if I need her.

Please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie if you are in Ireland.

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Dennis and SISIS have announced key dates and locations for their 2018 bowling green maintenance seminars.

Committed to educating greenkeepers and raising the standards of bowling greens, Dennis and SISIS have long supported the sport of bowls. Their bowling green maintenance seminars continue to go from strength to strength with delegates praising them for helping make an improvement to their greens. 

The informative, educational and interactive seminars combine insightful seminars and practical tips while a number of industry experts also take to the stage to discuss a wide range of key topics.

Attendees can expect tips on early spring maintenance of bowling greens, grant funding support, and choosing the correct grass seed. A complimentary lunch, which signals the halfway point, offers great networking opportunities before attendees make their way outside to an on-the-green demonstration. The demonstration not only provides a perfect opportunity to see some of the sport’s best maintenance equipment in action but also brings together the morning education with the practical elements of applying it to the greens.

In the afternoon, delegates can gain a greater understanding of chemicals and fertilizers before the day concludes with the hugely popular Turf Clinic Q&A session - allowing attendees to ask advice about their own projects or any issues that they may have.

The seminar schedule can be found below:

  • April 17th – Herne Bay Bowls Club, Kent
  • April 18th – Townsend Hook Bowls Club, Kent
  • April 24th – Exonia Bowls Club, Devon
  • April 25th – Oxford City & County Bowls Club, Oxford
  • April 26th – Ye Olde Knowle Bowls Club, Solihull
  • May 15th – Hunmanby Bowls Club North Yorkshire
  • May 16th – York, Venue TBC
  • May 17th – South Yorkshire, Venue TBC

All seminars start with registration at 9am. To register for the FREE and highly informative seminars, please contact Roger Moore on 01332 824777 or email roger.moore@dennisuk.com.

Further information about the range of bowls maintenance products available can be found by visiting www.dennisuk.com / www.sisis.com

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New 2 litre pack for ICL’s Esteron T

ICL’s Esteron T, a low volume dual action selective herbicide, is now available in a more convenient 2 litre pack.

Esteron T is an extremely effective turf herbicide containing the active ingredients florasulam and 2,4-D. It has been designed for the control of weeds in sports and amenity turf as well as domestic lawns and combats a broad range of weeds including Dandelion, Daisy and White Clover.

The more convenient sized pack will make it easier to measure out and its ultra-low application rate (1.2 L/ha) means the new smaller 2 litre pack can still treat 1.67 hectares.

Esteron T can be applied at low water volumes (100-400 L/ha) and for best results it should be applied when weeds are in active growth, normally between March and October when the soil is moist.

Rainfast in just one hour, one treatment a year of Esteron T is all that is needed to make a dramatic impact.

Please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie if you are in Ireland.

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Andy Richards, grounds manager at Shrewsbury School, has added to his existing fleet of Dennis mowers after recently purchasing three new Dennis FT510’s and two new G760’s.

Andy has been the grounds manager at the illustrious Shrewsbury School for nearly eight years and he and his team of eleven groundstaff tend to 120 acres of green space – three quarters of which are sports pitches. In addition to synthetic surfaces and other world class facilities there are ten grass pitches which cater for the School’s highly competitive sports teams.

The boys compete internationally in cricket, and Shrewsbury School boasts a string of historically strong football teams. Rugby is played at a high level and girls compete locally and nationally in hockey, netball and tennis. It’s no wonder then that with over 800 pupils, many of whom participate in sports, that the sports pitches endure an incredibly high amount of usage. This, however, does not keep Andy and his team from maintaining them to an exceptionally high standard.

“The trick is to be pro-active rather than reactive,” he says. “We try to keep the standards of our pitches to those of the football league. In fact, our first team football pitch is definitely better than the pitch I had when I was the head groundsman at a professional football club.”

Andy chooses to use a variety of equipment from Dennis to get the best out of his sports surfaces. For cricket square maintenance he uses his three Dennis FT510’s and for football two G760 mowers.

“This is my third batch of FT510’s and they work extremely hard here,” he says. “We use them predominantly for cricket wicket presentation and through the cricket season we host 250 matches – they are used for every one of those.”

The Dennis FT510 is an interchangeable cassette cylinder mower giving users options to fit twelve different cassettes including scarifiers, verticutters, brushes, spikers and slitters as well as 5 or 10 blade cutting cassettes.

“We’ve got a wide range of cassettes and by having the three machines we have the ability to use a different cassette in each one. We might have a cylinder, a brush and a verticutter out at the same time so we can use them back to back. On other days, one of the team may just work all day on a wicket and they can simply interchange their cassettes without having to get a different machine out. It’s a massive time saver and it’s great having that versatility.”

For his football surfaces, Andy revealed that he is an advocate of hand mowing and that he uses his G760’s in conjunction with his Dennis Premiers: “I’ve always been a fan of the G760’s and originally we used them on the cricket squares. However, we started hand cutting the first team football pitch with them and we have the added bonus of using a variety of different cassettes such as the verticutter and brush.

“To allow us to mow more pitches by hand we use the G760’s alongside the Premiers which have a slightly wider cut and it gives us a good contrast with the G760 because that is slightly smaller and slightly lighter. When the pitches are wetter we can get on with a G760; on other occasions we may veer more towards the weight of the Premier.

“We try and vary what we do and it may depend on the usage and what games we have but it is ideal having a variety of machines.”

With such a hectic schedule, Andy was also quick to praise the reliability of the machines and the back-up he receives from the Dennis team.

 “We are such a busy school and we haven’t got any downtime at all. Fortunately we don’t have many problems and that comes down to the quality of the machines. The back-up from Dennis is really good and reassuring and I could pretty much guarantee that if something did go wrong, I know that something would be sorted out extremely quickly.”

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact Dennis 01332 824 777 or visit www.dennisuk.com

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