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Dennis PRO 34R Works Wonders for Wolves

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC have recently purchased seven Dennis PRO 34R rotary mowers and deputy head groundsman Anthony Parker claims they have made a huge improvement to turf maintenance operations at both the Molineux Stadium and the Club’s Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground.

Since the 2016 takeover by Fosun – a Chinese conglomerate and investment company, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, one of the greatest names in early professional football and one of the first of the Football League’s 12 founder members, are back where they belong.

Promoted back to England’s top flight and impressing on their return to the Premier League, exciting times lie ahead after the Club finished in a very respectable 7th position and continue to make their presence known in the transfer market. However, while it may well be the results on the pitch which are grabbing the headlines, improvements are also being made behind the scenes. 

“It just all seemed to come together at the same time,” said Anthony. “The new owners arrived and more investment was available for equipment, the club were doing well and it just all went hand in hand.”

At a time when the Club was investing in new turf maintenance equipment the Dennis PRO 34R was launched and Anthony explained why the purchase of these new machines became the number one priority.

“We used to use six small rotary mowers which did a decent job but because of the additional pitch lighting we purchased, we needed to take more staff off the rotaries in order to have more help putting the lighting rigs out during the winter months. When we saw the PRO 34R’s come to the marketplace, it just made complete sense to get a fleet of these in so we purchased four for the training ground and three for the stadium.”

3429649543?profile=RESIZE_710xThe Dennis PRO 34R is a 34" (860mm) rotary mower which has been designed to help groundsmen achieve an aesthetically pleasing appearance and desired playing surface. It is ideal for sports pitches producing the enviable 'Dennis Stripes' while a powerful vacuum flow collects debris quickly and efficiently.

The angle of the cutting deck and twin blades can be easily adjusted using a single 'click adjuster' ensuring the mower is suitable for changing conditions and meeting groundsmen's requirements.

Since its launch in 2018 the PRO 34R has received rave reviews with many groundsmen praising the machine and the speed of its operation.

“With these bigger machines you are allowing more staff to go elsewhere to do additional jobs,” said Anthony. “At the training ground we didn’t rotary cut very often because it was such a time consuming task – normally we had to wait until the first team were off for a day and then maybe six of us would get on the small rotaries and it would take quite a while.

However, with these new PRO 34R’s the staff are using them straight away after a training session to clean the pitches up. They are using them every day and they have improved the pitches no end.

"It is a very user friendly machine and it is extremely adaptable because it has so many different gears. If the time allows then you can go over the pitch as slow as you want cleaning up all the debris efficiently but it is also incredibly quick – you put it into fourth gear and you are done in no time at all. You can get a pitch cleaned up in about 40 minutes with three of you.

“It is great when you leave the stadium after a match-day knowing everything has been done and everything is clean – it certainly helps me sleep easily!”  

At the stadium, Anthony and the team use the PRO 34R and the Dennis G860 in conjunction by relying on the rotaries to cut down to 25mm before switching to the cylinder mowers for the final presentation cuts (23mm) in preparation for match-day.

While the G860 has long been the industry’s number one mower of choice for presentation, Anthony is hugely impressed with the finish achieved by the PRO 34R.

“The finish on the rotaries is absolutely superb and I think you could even use them for a match-day cut because they will provide presentation of the highest quality.”

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

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Chris Hale, course manager at the Warren Golf Club in Devon, turned to Sherriff Amenity after looking for solutions to help decrease the percentage of thatch in the greens profile.

Sited on the Dawlish Warren National Nature Reserve, Warren Golf Club is a one of the only true links courses on the south coast of Devon. The course is an 18 hole with beautiful views of the Exe Estuary to enjoy and each hole provides a rare challenge for both the experienced golfer and newcomers to the beautiful game.

3425378924?profile=RESIZE_710xChris joined the club as course manager six months ago and quickly found that he had to seriously consider a nutrient programme appropriate for the Warren’s greens.

“After STRI results, I met with David and discussed the 2 inches of thatch in the greens which we identified as not just being a result of possibly a lack of aeration, but potentially too much nitrogen being applied aswell,” he said. “I wasn’t sure exactly how much was being applied as I couldn’t find any records kept, but I knew that a liquid ‘when required’ feed was more suitable than using a granular.

“After hollow coring and starting the process of neutralising the thatch, my first aim was to promote a healthy grass plant through a steady liquid feed programme.”

Chris called in the expertise of Sherriff Amenity’s David Chammings and together the two of them developed a programme which would help to prevent too much organic matter.

“I did a bit of research and spoke to a few companies but I was really impressed with David’s knowledge and the advice that he gave me.

“We both looked through a number of fertilisers and then we found the correct formula for us which was the E2Pro 12.0.12 liquid. We felt that this would be ideal to help reduce the organic matter in conjunction with aeration and mechanical tining.”

3425381707?profile=RESIZE_710xThe E2Pro high performance liquid fertiliser range is based on advanced formulation technology that provides rapid leaf penetration and quickly relieves nutrient deficiency symptoms. The 12.0.12 is a phosphate free NK fertiliser which contains added potassium for strengthening cell walls and improving resilience to drought stress and disease.

Chris applies the E2Pro 12.0.12 to the greens at 30 l/ha once a month and has found that an application of Sherriff Amenity’s Seavolution (seaweed liquid) at 20 l/ha two weeks later has hugely complimented the E2Pro.

“The E2Pro and the Seavolution mix have helped us to reduce the nitrogen levels and the two products have been really good for us. It’s early days, but results have been good. I’m hoping to see substantial growth and at the same time I’m confident that these products will provide the correct amount of nutrients without being overly excessive.”

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

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In what turned out to be the hottest day of the year, the 2019 ICL Independent School Seminar, held at the illustrious Cheltenham College, saw a record-breaking number of attendees soak up a memorable day of knowledge, networking and first-class cricket.

Over 70 turf professionals made their way to the historic spa town of Cheltenham to network and enhance their education on a variety of different turf management topics in a seminar tailor-made for those working within the Independent Schools sector.

The seminar was held in the College’s Thirlestaine House, which over the years has housed some of Cheltenham’s most creative and forward-thinking students. It was therefore an appropriate setting to discuss the future of turf care and explore new and innovative methods.

Christian Brain, Head of Grounds at Cheltenham College, was the first to take to the stage and proceeded to offer a wonderful glimpse into the College’s rich history in which he reflected on the years, the great changes that have taken place, and the significant marks that history has carved in its life.

It was then down to business as Henry Bechelet, ICL Technical Sales Manager UK & Ireland, delivered his thoughts on The Future of Fertilizer. After nearly two years of negotiations the European Parliament have agreed on a new regulation for fertilizers. Set to commence in 2022, many questions have been raised as to how the new regulations might affect the industry and Henry was on hand to clarify the situation.

“The whole point about the regulations is to protect the end user,” he said. “The other key aim of the legislation is to bring into play added transparency and more sustainable and circular economy ingredients. At ICL we view the new regulations as being progressive because we can always demonstrate the performance of our products, but they are going to have a big impact on how some companies sell their products. No longer will companies be able to falsely market their products – which is a step in the right direction because hopefully it will take out of the marketplace those companies that don’t have the evidence to support their product claims.”

After addressing the new forthcoming fertilizer regulations, Henry discussed the use of the new Pearl granules that ICL is incorporating into the renovator grades in the SierrablenPlus range.

“These are slow release forms of nitrogen but mainly phosphorus which have been proven in trial work to really encourage root development. We are very excited about these new materials because we feel that they will massively enhance renovations and encourage better rooted plants,” he said.

3414303274?profile=RESIZE_710xAttendees then got the opportunity to receive a tour of the grounds and Christian explained how he and his team prepare for the Cheltenham Cricket Festival. At over 140 years of age, Cheltenham is the world's oldest cricket festival and has, over the years, witnessed some legends of the game such as Wally Hammond, Allan Border and WG Grace. Taking place every July, over a two-week period, the festival now features a selection of T20 Blast games – something which the delegates would later enjoy.

As everyone gathered back in Thirlestaine House and re-took their seats, student Tamsin Williams captivated the audience with an insight into ICL’s unique four-year research project which is exploring the effects of seaweed products on turfgrass plant parasitic nematodes.

The project, which is taking place at Royal Holloway, University of London, was founded due to the apparent rise of nematodes. As it stands, there are few options available for the turf manager who has a nematode problem but ICL is currently researching whether seaweed could offer a solution. Tamsin is of the opinion that when the right seaweed is applied to a grass plant it could change the resistance of the plant to disease and insect attack and she revealed her current findings.


“The research into the nematodes and how seaweed can be used as a preventative was very interesting,” said Matt Wharton, Grounds Manager at Reading Blue Coat School. “The technical detail was outstanding – Tamsin is working on something really special that will increase our knowledge and benefit the whole industry.”


At the 2018 ICL Independent School Seminar held at Edgbaston Stadium, Andy Richards, Grounds Manager at Shrewsbury School revealed how he uses data recorded from his weather station and moisture metres to improve playing conditions and to identify what equipment he needs in order to continue to ake improvements. Inspired by Andy’s seminar, Glenn Kirby, Syngenta's Technical Manager for UK Turf & Landscape unveiled a year’s worth of recorded data which undoubtedly piqued the delegates’ curiosity.

“The talk from Andy last year ignited my excitement to get out there and have a look for myself,” said Glenn. “It was an opportunity to talk to the delegates about the limitations I have found within some of the data and how I feel it could help people manage their turf moving forwards.

 “Weather conditions are changing all the time and due to this turf managers are becoming under increasing pressure so having a really firm hand on exactly what is going on in the soil can only help them. It is going to be very challenging and will be very different to what they have seen before.”

Glenn’s presentation seemed to strike a chord with attendee Carl Reeves, who is enjoying his first role in a Head Groundsman position at Bradfield College. “I think the last seminar about climate change and how it’s continuing to adjust was a real eye opener because we have obviously affected the planet quite badly. Yes, we have some huge challenges ahead but this seminar demonstrated how to use certain technology to ensure that we are always that one step ahead.”

As the delegates reflected on yet another insightful ICL seminar, keeping on top of turf management and looking to the future in an ever-changing industry seemed to be the general consensus.

“I think that a lot of the research and the projects ICL are working on are key to how we change turf management in the next ten years,” said Charlie Seager, a Groundsman at Warwick Independent Schools Foundation. “You have got to be ahead of the times because of the way technology is changing so it is very beneficial to come to events like these.”

Charlie was one of four grounds staff from Warwick who attended and Duncan Toon, Grounds Manager, explained why it was so important to make the seminar a team outing.

“These seminars are essential because it isn’t just all about what we learn in the seminars - it’s also about networking and what you get from chatting to other groundsmen. I can guarantee that we will be sitting round the table on Monday and I’ll have twenty new ideas from everyone who attended and that is why I like to bring the whole team.”

Gary Austin, Deputy Head Groundsman at Radley College, praised the event for simplifying what can potentially be some incredibly overwhelming topics.

“What I like about these seminars are that you can tell that ICL are genuinely trying to help groundsmen like us – they are on our side. I also think ICL present all of their data and research in a non-scientific manner which general groundsmen can understand. They break the research data down really nicely for you, in an easy to understand way and you can then go ahead and put it into practice.”

The day was rounded off in style as the delegates joined a sell-out 5,000 strong attendance to watch Gloucestershire inflict a first defeat on Middlesex in this season's Vitality Blast.

Organiser of the event, ICL’s Emma Kilby, first launched the Independent School Seminar back in 2011 and is pleased to see just how far it has come over the years.

“This is a huge sector and consists of a very particular group of people that look after schools which have a multitude of different surfaces - all of which require very different approaches.

When I first joined ICL eight years ago I just felt that they were not receiving the kind of support they needed. It was at that point I started discussing the idea of an event with various school groundsmen and we launched the first seminar in 2011 at Radley College.

“The event has run every year since at different venues and the bar is raised each time. These guys are real experts in lots of different disciplines and their requirements are quite individual so to actually focus on them and to get them along to an event where all the seminars are aimed at topics they are interested in is one thing but also the opportunity to get them all together so they can talk with one another and network is invaluable.”

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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Syn-Pro by SISIS thrives at Beaumont

A range of Syn-Pro equipment by SISIS is helping Cameron Flitten, head groundsman for De Montfort University at Beaumont Park, keep the synthetic surfaces in impeccable condition.

With the emergence of synthetic surfaces becoming more common over the years in a wide range of sports, the SISIS brand has continued to go from strength to strength with its impressive Syn-Pro portfolio. Today synthetic surfaces are playing such a large role in a groundsman’s overall responsibilities, many have turned to the reliable and efficient Syn-Pro range and Cameron is no exception.

Originally from New Zealand, Cameron’s career in sports turf started with an apprenticeship on a golf course before landing a role working on the cricket squares at Loughborough University and then progressing to being in charge of the rugby and football pitches.

Three years ago, he became the head groundsman for De Montfort University, which coincided with the university agreeing to lease the vast playing fields at Beaumont Park. The site received a multi-million pound investment and transformed the facilities into some of the best in the county. Along with seven other members of staff, Cameron maintains the wide array of sports surfaces at Beaumont Park which now includes two recently built all-weather 3G synthetic pitches.

3413005002?profile=RESIZE_710xTo maintain these two pitches, Cameron chooses to use the Litamina 1200 and a combination of the Flexicomb fitted with straight and zigzag brushes.

The Litamina 1200 is a compact sweeper for efficient collection for unwanted debris from sand filled or rubber crumb synthetic surfaces. With its spiral design brush helping to stand up the pile and improve collection, and a large capacity mesh hopper collecting debris but allowing infill to be returned to the surface, the Litamina 1200 is ideal for helping to keep surfaces free of contamination and harmful debris.

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. For greater results, Cameron attaches either the zigzag or straight brush to the Flexicomb which helps to even out the rubber crumb.

“We use the Flexicomb with the zigzag or straight brush three times a week, especially now with the high usage the pitches get. It helps to de-compact all of the rubber, levels it all off and stands all of the grass fibres back up.

“The Litamina is an essential piece of equipment and this is used at least once a month, sometimes more if there are a lot of leaves on the surface. It is perfect for removing all of the rubbish and debris from the surface.

“These two pieces of equipment are all I need for my synthetic surface maintenance and you can always rely on them to do a brilliant job. I like that they are solidly built but I also like the simplicity of them. You can tell that SISIS have thought a lot about the groundsmen using them because they are easy to set-up and are generally very user-friendly. They also never break down either.”

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

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Glamorgan County Cricket Club head groundsman Robin Saxton believes that a range of Limagrain UK grass seed is helping the venue stand up to the demands of modern day sport and the constant scrutiny that pitches are under.

Sophia Gardens Cardiff, a 16,000-seater stadium, is the home of Glamorgan Cricket and an established venue for international cricket. In an average season, the venue will host four day championship games, T20 games, international and domestic fixtures and a mixture of local and corporate games. Robin estimates that there are approximately between 45-50 days of cricket played at the venue each year and this is in addition to pre-season concerts and events.

It is safe to say that Robin, who has been at Sophia Gardens since 2013, has his work cut out and that is without the increasing pressure grounds personnel are under, as he explains.

“Due to the demands of modern day sport and because of the TV cameras, pitches are always under scrutiny and it needs to be at its best at all times.

“Even the outfields used to be the square’s poor cousin not so long ago but that has all changed now. What you don’t want is a square that looks great and an outfield that looks patchy because it will be quickly noticed.”

For his outfields, Robin overseeded with Limagrain’s Action Replay which is a 100% Ryegrass hard-wearing mixture.

“The Action Replay is a winter sports mix, designed for the likes of football and rugby so we thought that this mixture would be ideal for the outfield,” he said. “It is wear and disease tolerant because it is a broad, robust seed.

3411154567?profile=RESIZE_710x“We first applied it last year and we had a fantastic take with it which excelled during a particularly hot summer. Since using Action Replay we have seen a lot less burn off and a lot less dry out on the outfield.”

When it comes to the 15 wickets and practice pitches on the square, MM50 has stood the test of time and has been used at Sophia Gardens for as long as Robin can remember.

“I’ve been here since 2013 and even before I arrived MM50 was being used,” he said. “It shows that myself and others before me have always had faith in the seed and deservedly so because we have tried other seeds against it in side-by-side trials. MM50 has always come up better, nothing has ever beaten it.”

MM50 is the ideal seed for cricket squares. This hard-wearing mix has rapid germination, a very fine leaved appearance, high shoot density and is tolerant to very close mowing, along with high disease resistance. All these attributes together produce a fantastic sward that has great colour all year round. It is also widely praised for its rapid recovery – something which Robin quickly noticed.

“MM50 is by far the best seed in terms of recovery. When trialled against the others, it has proven to be stronger, it has come through thicker and it is more wear tolerant. It has consistently outperformed other seeds we have trailed.

“You are left with a stronger plant that is going to take the activity across the square better than a slightly finer plant - which with a full calendar of cricket is a big bonus. With MM50 you just have the confidence in knowing that it will handle the stresses of four-day cricket where we can’t really water the square as much as we would like to.

“There has never been any reason to change the seed,” continued Robin. “In fact it has probably been the one constant product we have stuck with over the years – we may have changed the fertilisers, the chemistry and the biology but not the actual grass plant because it has always been a great base to work from.

“For me, the consistency of MM50 is the best feature. I don’t remember one year where we have had a batch that has not performed how we would like it to. It has got to the point that if something isn’t right then we look at things we might have done incorrectly because it is no doubt a mistake on our part rather than the seed because we know how good the MM50 is.”

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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KAR UK has announced the launch of the new Hunter ST-1700V Turf Rotor which offers unrivalled high-performance irrigation for synthetic surfaces.

The ST range of Hunter irrigation products, which are expertly designed to cool and clean synthetic turf sports surfaces, have long been a market leader. Simple to specify, contractor-friendly to install, and easy to service and maintain for the end-user, the Hunter ST System is the first and only cost-effective, fully integrated solution designed to exceed the unique and specific needs of the synthetic turf irrigation market.

3408882993?profile=RESIZE_710xNow, KAR UK - distributor of Hunter Industries irrigation equipment, has revealed that the renowned ST portfolio has been further strengthened with the addition of the new ST-1700V Synthetic Turf Rotor.

Simplicity is the key to the ST-1700V as it integrates Valve-in-Head (VIH) capabilities and a Total-Top-Service (TTS) design to simplify installation and maintenance.

Performance wise, the ST-1700V is unbeatable. Key benefits include:

  • TTS design provides convenient no-dig servicing without the need to cut into the synthetic surface
  • VIH configuration makes installation fast and easy
  • Heavy-duty internal gear drive provides years of reliable operation
  • Includes all the features and benefits of the popular ST-1600 rotor

The ST-1700V rotor is now available exclusively in the UK and Ireland from KAR UK.

For more information, please visit www.karuk.com or www.hunterindustries.com.


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After winning the 2018 SALTEX College Cup, students from Bridgwater and Taunton College in Somerset, recently enjoyed their prize of a behind the scenes tour at The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), Wimbledon.

Simon Cook, Jacob Camplin, Ryan Tate and trainer/assessor Cary Rawlings experienced an unforgettable day when Neil Stubley, the AELTC’s Head of Courts and Horticulture, provided them with an in-depth look at court preparations the week before The Championships, Wimbledon took place.  

Sponsored by Ransomes, the competition took place at SALTEX 2018 at the NEC in Birmingham, where the three Bridgwater and Taunton students competed against other UK-based horticultural colleges in an in-depth academic test of turf management knowledge.

Commenting on being involved in this extraordinary opportunity, college student Ryan Tate said: “The experience was really educational. I was very lucky to get to see turf management at the highest tier and I’ll really benefit from it.”

3400907460?profile=RESIZE_710xFellow college student Simon Cook added: “It has been a real eye opener, especially getting the chance to speak to and learn from someone like Neil Stubley.”

“The attention to detail here at Wimbledon is incredible and I feel very lucky to have been here to witness it,” said Jacob Camplin. “We’ll be back at SALTEX this year to defend our title and we’re going for our second win so bring it on!”

Commenting on the SALTEX College Cup, Neil Stubley said: “I was fortunate to be invited to sit on the judging panel at the SALTEX College Cup in 2018 and it was a great experience to see up-and-coming grounds personnel with their key knowledge and their willingness to learn. I’ve enjoyed showcasing what we do to the winning team and explaining the challenges we have to work with to deliver exceptional surfaces for The Championships.”

The Wimbledon tour follows two extraordinary SALTEX College Cup prizes in previous years. In 2017 the winning students were part of the Wembley grounds team at the FA Cup Final and the 2018 winners enjoyed an unforgettable experience of helping with pitch preparations at the 2018 Six Nations Championships at BT Murrayfield Stadium.

Since its launch in 2017, the SALTEX College Cup has grown each year both in size and reputation, and Cary Rawlings believes that even more colleges should enter the competition.

“I can highly recommend the SALTEX College Cup to all colleges that are involved in delivering sports turf. It is a fantastic opportunity for young students to challenge themselves and it provides them with the opportunity to gain experience of delivering a presentation to industry professionals that will set them in good stead for future job interviews.

“It also gives a good overview of the knowledge that your students have taken on-board during their course and also highlights any areas that may need to be revisited.

“We are looking forward to entering again this year and I implore other colleges to participate in this event. It is not every day that your students get the opportunity to experience life behind the scenes at a major sporting event. Once the seed has been planted for something like this it will drive our future custodians of the industry on to bigger and better things.”

All colleges interested in participating in the 2019 SALTEX College Cup should email Dan Prest at dprest@iog.org for more details.

Toro and Reesink are the new 2019 sponsors of the SALTEX College Cup. The 2019 winners’ prize will be a trip to Real Madrid’s Bernabau Stadium.

For more information visit www.iogsaltex.com

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Turf Rewards 2019 is now open for greenkeepers and turf managers to claim their points, and convert them into essential tools for their businesses - to further enhance turf quality and work performance.

This year there are some important new additions and upgrades to benefit from, along with a host of new qualifying ICL and Syngenta products and packages. A new look Turf Rewards website is also easier and faster to see what is available and to make claims.

3391200984?profile=RESIZE_710xOperated by ICL and Syngenta, Turf Rewards includes offers to improve turf quality, provide education, aid business management and enhance the environment.

ICL UK Sales & Development Manager, Ed Carter, reported the popular scheme has continued to grow year-on-year: “Not only do people get great quality products, but there’s the opportunity to improve turf management, business performance and the whole team – at no added cost.

“Some of these tools may be difficult to get directly from the turf management budget, but Turf Rewards makes them accessible and affordable.”  

Customers simply log their purchases of qualifying Syngenta and ICL products from any authorised distributor on the Turf Rewards website, and points are automatically added to their account.  

Glenn Kirby, Syngenta Technical Manager, highlighted that many of the Turf Rewards offers have been selected to improve Integrated Turf Management programmes and get the best results from the qualifying products involved.

“Using tools such as remote sensors and precision measuring devices can help with better decision-making processes. Turf Rewards makes some of the latest technology readily available, without additional club investment.”

This season there is greater emphasis on ITM packages involving ICL nutrition and Syngenta fungicide programmes designed to optimise turf health and surface quality. Some popular products and combinations carry double Turf Reward points to multiply the benefits for customers.  

At West Malling Golf Club in Kent, Course Manager, Samuel Young, used his Turf Rewards to claim a Team Scout precision pedestrian sprayer. “The sprayer is great quality and very useful, but it might only be used five times a year, so without Turf Rewards it would be difficult to justify the expenditure. It’s just a great and beneficial scheme,” said Samuel.

New qualifying Turf Reward products for 2019:

  • Ryder
  • H2Pro DewSmart
  • H2Pro FlowSmart
  • Sierrablen Plus Pearl

You can view the Turf Rewards website by visiting https://turfrewards.com/

For more information, 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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ICL and Syngenta recently held a series of Turf Science Lite events, which took place at Aston Villa FC’s stadium Villa Park, Slaley Hall Golf Club in Northumberland and Liverpool FC’s Academy facility in Kirkby.

The series, which showcases the latest research information and technological innovations in turf agronomy, attracted over 200 delegates including turf managers, groundsmen, agronomists, greenkeepers and course managers.

3259821360?profile=RESIZE_710xSyngenta Technical Manager, Glenn Kirby, kick-started each event with an insightful presentation entitled Life After Propiconazole – an outlook on future disease management strategies. Within his presentation Glenn explained that good practice of integrated turf management techniques to promote turf health is going to become ever more important with the loss of important fungicide actives. He also revealed that there are exciting new fungicide options in the UK registration system, and that the company’s £1.4bn annual investment in R&D will continue to create new innovations.

“The loss of propiconazole is undoubtedly a serious concern for maintaining turf quality,” warned Glenn. “Adopting new turf technologies alongside fungicide programmes, such as Ryder pigment, Qualibra wetting agent and the potential for bio-stimulants will be key. Furthermore, pioneering innovations, such as sensor technology, predictive modelling and application, does offer a positive future for turf management.”

Dr Andy Owen, ICL’s International Technical Manager, was next to take to the stage to present The Devil is in the Detail in which he talked about controlled release fertilisers (CRF) and the technology which goes into developing each product. Andy focussed on how to select a CRF in a crowded marketplace and the questions that could be asked about products; for example, what is the % coated material in the bag? How are the claimed longevities calculated? Also featured in the presentation was the Pearl technology found within two new SierrablenPlus products and how these can be best used to support sports turf renovation and establishment.

3260033786?profile=RESIZE_710xFollowing a complimentary lunch, Daniel Lightfoot, Syngenta’s UK and Ireland Business Manager, gave an informative presentation on the Art of Application, explaining how best to get the active ingredient where you want it. According to Daniel, this includes understanding the product being applied, where you want it to end up and then fine tuning the variables of nozzle selection, water volume and sprayer set-up to deliver to the right place at the right time. Daniel also demonstrated how too little water volume may not achieve sufficient coverage, while too much could over wet leaves and run off. “The sprayer operators’ role is vital to balance all these factors to optimise results,” he added.

Henry Bechelet, ICL Technical Manager for UK & Ireland and Simon Taylor, ICL Product and Business Development Manager for Turfgrass seeds, were next to provide top tips on how to Improve your Grass Seed Knowledge in which they discussed various topics regarding seed breeding, selection and management. The audience were asked to select from a list of 10 seed topics and then Simon and Henry thrashed out the issues in an entertaining and forthright fashion to get to the nub of each issue.

Commenting at the event which took place at Liverpool FC’s Academy facility, Tony Sinclair, Manchester United FC Grounds Manager, said: “I came along today and realised just how important these days are in terms of upgrading your education and learning new things. One thing about the industry we work in is that everything changes so quickly and every day is a new day so it is important to keep up with everything that is going on. There is no question that as things continue to move forward ICL will be a part of that – they are a massive player in educating people around the country.”

Scott Reeves, Course Manager at Leyland Golf Club, added: “We are at an interesting point within the industry regarding the use of chemicals and there seems to be a lot hearsay and misinformation around. Therefore it is worthwhile coming to an event such as this to get an update and find out exactly where we are.”

Dr Christian Spring STRI, Research Operations Manager, said: “Today we have been looking at the practical demonstrations and they have been really fascinating because they have focussed on how to get the best out of the products we use and how to get optimum efficiency when we are applying wetting agents, fungicides, liquid nutrition and granular nutrition. It has been incredibly beneficial because it is all about getting the best bang for your buck and looking in details at all the stages we need to focus on in order to get the best possible results.”

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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Duncan Toon, Grounds Manager for Warwick Independent Schools Foundation, says that when he heard rumours about the new Dennis PRO 34R rotary mower, he added it to his wish-list straight away.

Warwick School, Warwick Junior School, King’s High School and Warwick Preparatory School are justly proud of their sporting success, including national awards, and the ability to provide all its pupils the opportunity to play their chosen sport.  Essential to their achievements are high quality and well-maintained sports pitches.  Therefore, the Foundation has recently made additional investments in its grounds in a bid to ensure the very finest sporting facilities.  

3255343723?profile=RESIZE_710xAfter joining the Foundation from Birmingham City FC nine months ago, Duncan’s first port of call was to acquire a new fleet of machinery which would help him to maintain the sports surfaces to the highest standards. It was while he was researching an extensive list of equipment that he first caught wind of the news Dennis was bringing out a new product.

“I had heard rumours about this new machine which was set to be a game changer and Dennis was always on my wish-list because I know they manufacture reliable machinery. I arranged a demonstration as soon as I could and based on what I saw I knew I just had to have one. I was amazed with how well built it was – it was robust and the finish was fantastic.”

As Duncan says, the rumours started to mount after the PRO 34R was first introduced to the industry at SALTEX 2017 with the sole purpose of gathering feedback from potential end users. Over the course of the next twelve months, the mower was refined and developed based on the input from the groundsmen who would eventually be using it. With no stone left unturned, the all new PRO 34R was unveiled at SALTEX 2018.

The Dennis PRO 34R is a 34” (860mm) rotary mower which has been designed to help groundsmen achieve an aesthetically pleasing appearance and desired playing surface. It is ideal for sports pitches and lawns producing the enviable ‘Dennis Stripes’ while a powerful vacuum flow collects debris quickly and efficiently.

3257771446?profile=RESIZE_710xThe angle of the cutting deck and twin blades can be easily adjusted using a single ‘click adjuster’ ensuring the mower is suitable for changing conditions and meeting groundsmen’s requirements.

“The best feature about the PRO 34R is the presentation and the incredibly fast clean-ups. We use it to clean the pitch up after rugby matches and also after training sessions and the brush on the front is a big bonus as it enables you to really get into the sward.

 “You’re achieving two key maintenance tasks with it – you are cleaning up all the debris and you are also getting that amazing finish. I’m really impressed with it.

“It is also incredibly simple to use, especially if you have previously used a Dennis G860 cylinder mower. The handlebars are similar and it is just like riding a bike – you never forget.

“In fact, I’m seriously considering ordering more because of the speed of the clean-ups. We just haven’t got the staffing levels to use our other rotary mowers but because the PRO 34R’s are so much bigger, it would enable us to get the task done in no time at all.”

Based on the success of his PRO 34R, Duncan did indeed order more and is now the proud owner of four Dennis PRO 34R rotary mowers.

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

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Okehampton Golf Club in Devon has signed a deal which sees Sherriff Amenity as its preferred supplier of products for a period of three years.

Okehampton Golf Club features an 18 hole parkland course, sheltered by the highest tors of Dartmoor, on the northern edge of Devon’s magnificent National Park. It is a challenging course and can be deceptive if the wind is blowing - especially on the 12th hole where the West Okement River awaits to the left and behind the green.

3209826862?profile=RESIZE_710xStuart Entwistle has been the course manager at Okehampton for just over four years and is pleased with the progress he has made in that time.

“I used to work at a large club but was quite restricted in trying new methods and products. However, once I came here I had a free reign to trial a number of new products. I personally feel there has been a big improvement to the course. My main goal to start with was to be able to offer golf all-year round and we have already achieved that.”

Stuart initially focused his attentions on the tees and after a recommendation from Sherriff Amenity’s David Chammings, he turned to Evolution Xtra 24.4.4 granular fertiliser for the summer and then Evolution Controlled 18.0.32 in the winter.

“I would say that the majority of our members have said that the biggest improvement here has been on the tees,” said Stuart. “When I first arrived the tees just looked tired and weak so they needed immediate attention. I went with an initial application of the Evolution Xtra 24.4.4 at a rate of 30g/m² in the middle of March. It gave me a great initial hit and I applied it twice more in that first year.

3209856491?profile=RESIZE_710x“This really worked in getting them in a better condition and for the second year we went with two more applications of the 24.4.4 but then for winter we went with the six month release fertiliser - Evolution Controlled, which was the perfect feed to see us through. The growth was steady and strong – exactly what we needed.

“The other good thing about Evolution Controlled is that it is chloride free so it has a low scorching index. Therefore, I can put it down and not worry about the scorch, which was one of my concerns at first because we don’t have any irrigation on the tees.”

For the greens at Okehampton, Stuart claims that he just wouldn’t be without Sherriff Amenity’s GoGreen Energy – a concentrated bio-stimulant, formulated to assist plant health and relieve stress symptoms.

“GoGreen Energy works really well for us – we go through the summer with it at four weekly intervals at the full rate of 60 l/ha. Before we started using the product, the greens were starting to yellow and were a bit stressed but now they are a beautiful green colour and it has really helped with root depth.

“We have tried a number of similar products in the past but GoGreen is the one we have consistently stuck with. I honestly believe that if we didn’t use it for one summer then we would notice the difference.

“It’s a nice low nitrogen product, contains simple sugars, a bit of chelated iron, has a bit of seaweed in it and is a complete trace element package - but not too much of one thing and that’s what we want. It just gives you a nice steady pattern.”

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

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Entries to the SALTEX 2019 Innovation Award are now open for all SALTEX exhibitors to take part – allowing show visitors the chance to witness a stellar line-up of brand new products and services that are pushing the boundaries in groundscare innovation at the NEC, Birmingham on October 30 and 31.

Since its launch at SALTEX 2017, the Innovation Award has helped to highlight some of the most ground-breaking, innovative products and services within the groundscare industry.

136170473?profile=RESIZE_710xAll of the submitted entries are evaluated by an independent panel of judges before a final shortlist is devised. The finalists are then given an opportunity to impress judges and visitors in a seminar theatre on the first day of SALTEX as representatives from each company take to the stage to deliver product presentations.

Entering the award is an unmissable opportunity for exhibitors as every innovation will be featured on the SALTEX website and in the official show guide. Being shortlisted as a finalist offers even more exposure as they will be given dedicated time to showcase their product or service in front of industry giants, judges and influencers and can draw even more of a crowd to their stand. 

The worthy winner will be presented with the coveted award at the exhibition and will receive a dedicated news article in post-show reports.

The winner of the SALTEX 2019 Innovation Award will join previous winners: Rigby Taylor’s Intelligent One autonomous robotic line marker and Fleet Line Markers’ MAQA line marking machine were joint winners of the first ever SALTEX Innovation Award and in 2018 Sherriff Amenity’s ground-breaking new app, PrecisionPro, picked up the top prize.

To enter the SALTEX 2019 Innovation Award, please visit www.iogsaltex.com/innovation-of-the-year-award/   

For more information visit www.iogsaltex.com

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SALTEX 2019 registration now open

Registration for Europe’s largest annual groundscare exhibition SALTEX 2019 is now open and visitors will notice some notable improvements to the registration process. 

Visitor registration is an integral part of the customer journey and new for SALTEX 2019 event organisers have partnered with LiveBuzz – the largest registration specialist in the UK which is the preferred supplier for some of the world’s most prestigious events.

Commenting on the new registration partnership, SALTEX event director Matthew Knight said: ““It’s important that our visitors, our exhibitors and their customers have the best possible experience at SALTEX. We are always aiming to make improvements to the show each year and following an open tendering process we appointed LiveBuzz because we want the very best in all aspects of the show.

“We are confident that our visitors will experience a best practice registration process – it will be smoother, more interactive and in addition there will be ten registration terminals at the show entrance meaning that visitors will gain faster entry.”

Taking place at the NEC, Birmingham on 30 and 31 October, SALTEX 2019 will feature over 300 exhibitors including some of the biggest names in groundscare. The two-day event will offer visitors a unique opportunity to experience the very latest industry trends and innovations, enhance their education and learn from industry experts.

The exhibition is the longest-standing event of its kind in the world, having been held almost every year since 1938, and the show is continually evolving with the people of the industry in mind.

3081624966?profile=RESIZE_710xThis year the show floor will be bursting with everything a visitor needs to increase their efficiency and improve operations – and attendees can expect features such as:

  • NEW! Eco Village – live demonstrations purely dedicated to environmentally-friendly products.
  • Learning LIVE - SALTEX’s world-class free educational programme.
  • Pathology and Soil Science LIVE – a look in detail at the symptoms of turfgrass fungal disease problems.
  • SALTEX Innovation Award – celebrating the very best in new groundscare technology.
  • Ask the Expert - free face-to-face turfcare advice.
  • Outdoor Demonstrations – the latest products in action in an area directly outside halls 6,7 and 8.
  • SALTEX College Cup - land based colleges compete in an academic test of turf management knowledge.
  • Lawn Care Legends LIVE – a fantastic networking opportunity for landscapers and gardeners.
  • Job Clinic – free one-to-one sessions covering CV writing to interview techniques.

Registration is accessible through the SALTEX website and visitors can simply bring their email confirmation (on a phone or a printed copy to the registration desk) which will be located at the show entrance.

SALTEX 2019 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham on October 30 and 31.

For more information visit www.iogsaltex.com

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Gary Barnfield, head greenkeeper at Oswestry Golf Club in Shropshire, claims the SISIS Flexibrush has proved to be an ideal solution for controlling worm casts.

Oswestry Golf Club is a mature parkland 18 hole course set in the glorious Shropshire countryside and Gary has been working at the club for an impressive 31 years after joining as an apprentice. Over the years he has worked his way up through the ranks and six years ago he was promoted to the position of head greenkeeper. 

Since taking over as head greenkeeper Gary has implemented a number of changes to the maintenance regimes which has no doubt reinforced the club’s reputation for being in an excellent condition all year round.

However, over recent years Gary claims that he has faced arguably his biggest challenge after a number of chemicals were removed from the turfcare market.

“With the ban of certain chemicals we have not been able to use what was once in our armoury,” he said. “This proved to be problematic, as it no doubt did for every other greenkeeper, but the biggest loss was Carbendazim. Unfortunately the worms came out and more and more casts were appearing so we had to come up with a solution. 

“An STRI advisor came to visit us and recommended that we apply some sand to top dress to the areas and also to brush the worm casts and level them off before we cut. We needed to find ourselves a reliable machine that would give the worm casts a rigorous brush and we trialled four brushes from four different brands. The SISIS Flexibrush was the stand out machine.”

The SISIS Flexibrush is a tractor mounted brush which is equally effective to disperse top dressing and remove excess material on natural turf and on synthetic surfaces. The versatile Flexibrush can also be used for dew dispersal and striping for improved presentation. It has a 5.35 metre working width, its brush sections float to follow ground contours and the outer sections fold for transport and storage.

“It’s not only great for brushing the worm casts but it also stands the grass up before we cut – which improves the quality of the cut and gives us better presentation,” said Gary.

“In fact, the Flexibrush has got multiple uses because we use it for knocking dew off in the mornings and also in the winter months when the turf is not growing so much we will brush instead of cutting to keep the presentation to a high standard.

“Ultimately, we had to do something about the worm casts and the Flexibrush has done a brilliant job. I think it is a great alternative to spraying the worms and I think more greenkeepers will go down this route.

“It has been a cost saving exercise for us too because we used to have contractors come in and spray the worms but the SISIS Flexibrush was a one off payment and we get to keep it for us long as we like.

“It’s such a well-built machine and nothing can really go wrong with it – I think it will probably even outlast me!”

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

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David Dixons has been appointed as a new Etesia dealer and will be distributing Etesia’s complete product range throughout the North East of England.

Based in Hexham, Northumberland, David Dixons have been suppliers, service engineers and advisers to the arboriculture and horticulture industries in the North East of England for over 37 years.

The company will now be supplying the complete range of Etesia ride-on mowers, scarifiers, brushcutters, green technology and pedestrian mowers, and Julian Weightman - dealer principal at David Dixons is delighted with the announcement.

“We had a good chat about the products with Etesia, I could see the advantages that the products offer and it just went from there,” he said. “I am confident that the products are going to be popular with our land owner clients and our professional users who are wanting machines that perform day-in day-out consistently.”

Specialists in manufacturing high quality grass cutting machinery for both the professional and domestic market, Etesia's extensive range of products have been in consistent high demand for a number of years. It is for this reason that the company's vast dealer network continues to grow. From the UK to Ireland, Etesia dealers are providing their customers with innovative solutions for their green space requirements.

With immediate effect the range of Etesia products will be available from David Dixons in the areas of Northumberland, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, and Middlesbrough and up to the Scottish borders.

“From our point of view as a dealership, we are interested in selling quality equipment,” said Julian. “We are interested in working with customers that we are going to be working with for 20-30 years and Etesia’s equipment is perfectly built to last and that fits very much in line with how we operate our business. We want to sell quality that will last customers a long time and do the job well and that is where Etesia comes in.

“On the face of it Etesia may appear expensive but when you look at the life you will get out of the machines – then I know that our customers will get excellent value for money.”

For further information, please contact Etesia UK on 01295 680120 or visit www.etesia.co.uk.


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Grounds manager Andy Richards claims that Limagrain UK’s MM brand of grass seed has proved time and time again, to be the best mixtures for the sports pitches at Shrewsbury School.

Set on the banks of the River Severn, Shrewsbury School is one of the country's leading co-educational independent schools for 13-18-year-olds and attracts boys and girls from all over the country.

Academic excellence aside, the school prides itself on a strong sporting ethos and boasts some of the finest teams in UK education. The main sport in the Michaelmas (autumn) term is football, in the Lent term fives and rugby, and in summer cricket. During term times, pitch usage is seven days a week and with over 800 pupils, many of whom participate in sports, it is safe to say that the pitches encounter a lot of wear.

It is for this reason that Andy is very particular in choosing a grass seed that stands up to such high usage.

“Three years ago we made the decision to change to Limagrain’s MM60 on our football pitches,” he said. “We were experiencing a lot of disease, especially on our first team pitch, and I think we sprayed four times to tackle fusarium. With this in mind I thought it was worth trying something different to see if we could find a seed that was better for our site.

“We trialled MM60 on one pitch against the seed that we were previously using over the course of a season – to see which one was the best. Results showed that there was a lot less disease from using MM60 and it stood up a lot better to the really high usage that we have. The pitch that we trialled it on had 112 uses during a twelve week period and it felt like the MM60 provided a much more upright leaf which seemed to protect the pitch more than our previous seed.

“It was an easy decision to change to the MM60 and we implemented it across all of the football pitches – we didn’t even need to spray it for any disease in that first year.” 

Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed is renowned for producing an excellent playing surface. It is a 100% Ryegrass formula which is perfect for renovation and divot repair, has a high disease resistance, fantastic aesthetic qualities and offers extremely fast germination – which is boosted by the inclusion of Headstart GOLD®.

Developed using the latest scientific findings and field experience, Headstart GOLD® is a natural revolutionary grass seed treatment that ensures rapid germination and is perfect for enhancing performance on grass seed coatings for sports fields, golf courses, lawns and amenity turf.

For 2019, MM60 now includes Limagrain’s new Ryegrass cultivar Annecy which has outstanding disease resistance particularly against Leaf Spot. This along with excellent wear tolerance, density and recovery makes it a very valuable addition to the mixture at a time when plant health and disease management has never been so important.

After ‘Koro-ing off’ the pitches during the annual August renovations, Andy has just 28 days to ensure the pitches are playable for the opening fixtures. Therefore, when Andy sows the seed he needs absolute confidence that it will perform.

“We know that by the fourth or the fifth day MM60 is going to be showing; within seven days it is going to be green, and then between ten and fourteen days we will even look at putting a growth regulator down and encourage it to start tillering and get as deep rooted as possible. MM60 responds excellently - it’s hungry, it’s vigorous, it comes through well and it colours well. The Headstart can also take out the need for pre-seed fertiliser.”

In a similar move, Andy also decided to change to Limagrain’s MM50 for the school’s cricket pitches after his previous seed was not meeting his expectations.

“We were using a different seed on the squares but our recovery was so poor and the pitches were almost dead at the end of two or three games of cricket. We didn’t even trial the MM50 - we just went straight in on a whole square and the difference was incredible. The speed that it came through and the quality of the sward was really impressive. We had no disease through the winter and when we prepared our first wickets with MM50 the following spring – the denseness, the texture of the leaf and the way it cut down to the 6mm we aim for was amazing. The wickets looked good and they coloured up well but the most important thing was that we could water them after four or five days of play and within a couple of days they were almost green again.”

As Andy says, MM50 is ideal for cricket squares and outfields. This hard-wearing mix has rapid germination, very fine leaved appearance, high shoot density and is tolerant to very close mowing, along with high disease resistance. All these attributes together produce a fantastic sward that has great colour all year round. It is also widely praised for its rapid recovery – something which is incredibly important to Andy.

“With the amount of games we have here, recovery is a massive thing and we have to get them back quickly. MM50 has just proved time and time again to be the best cricket mix in the country.

“Limagrain is a great company to work with. They will come in a few times a year, have a look around and we will discuss things like overseeding pitches or seed mixtures. The service has been very good and I don’t think they could actually do anymore if they tried.”

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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Keith Porter, head groundsman at Leigh Sports Village in Greater Manchester, has added to his fleet of Dennis mowers by purchasing four G860 cylinder mowers and four PRO 34R rotary mowers.

Leigh Sports Village certainly lives up to its name by comprising of a main stadium pitch - a Desso Hybrid GrassMaster, three additional soil based sand ameliorated pitches with primary and secondary drainage and irrigation; and two full size, three seven-a-side and a 5-a-side floodlit 4G synthetic pitches. The village also features an indoor sports centre and a swimming pool.

It is home to a number of professional sports teams including rugby league side Leigh Centurions and Manchester United FC U23’s, U19’s and most recently the ladies team. It is also used by local teams and organisations such as Leigh East Amateur Rugby Club, Leigh Athletic FC, Team Elite Football Academy, Pro Football Academy and various age groups of Leigh United FC and Hindley Green Juniors.

Keith has been the head groundsman at this impressive facility for nearly eleven years and in that time has excelled in improving the quality of the playing surfaces.

To cut and prepare the pitches for match days he has long relied on the Dennis G860 cylinder mower. However, with games coming thick and fast, and armed with some rather ageing rotary mowers, Keith felt the time was right to add to his Dennis armoury.

“Quite often, we will have back-to-back games and have three games in a week – so we need good equipment for a quick turn-around,” he said. “Our old rotaries were about four years old and had become unreliable. I’ve used lots of Dennis machines in my time and they have always been incredibly reliable so we decided to look at their new rotary mower.

“We had a PRO 34R on a demonstration and were really impressed with it so we decided to go ahead and purchase four. It was also the ideal opportunity to bring in more G860’s because they have always given us great results.

“They are both light machines compared to competitors, so they are lighter on the pitch and therefore there is not as much compaction.”

The new Dennis PRO 34R is a 34” (860mm) rotary mower which has been designed to help groundsmen achieve an aesthetically pleasing appearance and desired playing surface. It is ideal for sports pitches and lawns producing the enviable ‘Dennis Stripes’ while a powerful vacuum flow collects debris quickly and efficiently. The angle of the cutting deck and twin blades can be easily adjusted using a single ‘click adjuster’ ensuring the mower is suitable for changing conditions and meeting groundsmen’s requirements.

Keith believes the two mowers perfectly complement one another and that both play a vital role in his maintenance programme.

“We use the G860’s to cut the pitches for match preparation and then the day after the games the rotaries are used to clean up and present the pitches in time for the next game,” he said. “The rotaries keep it free from debris and nicely stripes them up - in fact, the presentation on the PRO 34R is very comparable to a cylinder mower.

“The rotaries also save us so much time because before we had the PRO 34R’s we used to have six rotary mowers out there at one time but now we just have four which do the job in a faster time. This is because there are two blades as opposed to one and a wider cut. A quick turnaround is essential here especially if you are going from rugby to football.

For a number of years now the Dennis G860 has been the number one choice for groundsmen like Keith. Lightweight at just 166kg; it is easy to manoeuvre and comfortable to operate. The handlebar console houses the controls for - throttle, parking brake, roller drive and cutting cylinder drive. The mower also features a large diameter front roller with an adjustable scraper which has been designed for a precise height of cut control, giving an excellent finish on every occasion. The Dennis G860 also features an interchangeable cassette system to assist with a wide range of tasks.

“What I like about Dennis as a company is that they are very interested in your opinion,” Keith continued. “They are always asking you about your experience with their mowers and ask if they could make any improvements. They then go away and genuinely listen. 

“It just adds to the overall package and everything about the company is great. The mowers are British made, they have been around for a long, long time, they put a lot of thought into the machinery based on industry feedback and their main priority is their customer.”

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

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Dennis & SISIS have completed another successful season of insightful seminars which welcomed over 500 attendees at various venues throughout the UK.

Dennis & SISIS have, for a number of years, hosted free-to-attend educational seminars designed to educate groundstaff on a variety of topics associated with sports turf maintenance. High quality speakers and interesting subjects have ensured these seminars have a reputation as 'must-attend' events with groundstaff travelling considerable distances to be in attendance.

While the seminars continue to go from strength to strength, Dennis and SISIS continue to evolve the seminars with the people of the industry in mind, and this year, the British manufacturers launched a new multi-sport groundcare seminar which featured a number of high quality speakers discussing subjects such as renovations, sports-turf construction, drainage, winter sports pitches and the future of groundcare maintenance.

This new event, which took place at St. Albans School, Woollam Trust Playing Fields, saw an incredible 220 delegates in attendance and attracted grounds staff from all over the UK including volunteers and professionals representing schools, sports clubs, local authorities and contractors.

Nick Lockhart, cricket professional and head of grounds and gardens at Felsted School in Essex, attended the event and claimed that the Dennis and SISIS seminars are essential for anyone who wants to take their sports surfaces to the next level.

“It has been thoroughly enjoyable, informative and thought provoking,” he said. “I would go as far as saying that it is a must-attend event for people in this industry. It has been incredibly interesting listening to all of the speakers who have all raised great points that we can take away with us and put into practice. Speakers aside, the networking opportunities are also important because it gives us a chance to speak to other delegates, find out what they might be doing differently to us and hopefully learn from them too.”

The ever popular Dennis and SISIS bowls seminars, which have been credited for improving the greens at numerous bowls clubs throughout the country, offered tips on topics such as early spring maintenance of bowling greens, grant funding support, and choosing the correct grass seed, chemicals and fertilizers.

Kev Brazier, a contract greenkeeper working in partnership with Harpenden Bowls Club, attended the seminar at the Herts Bowling Club in Watford and felt that it was a great opportunity to enhance his greenkeeping knowledge. 

“It was an excellent and really informative seminar,” he said. “The speakers had great knowledge and they presented it in a way in which everyone could understand. It was great for networking and there was a broad range of subjects. They were all incredibly relevant and I took a lot away from seminar.”

As well as hosting their own events, Dennis and SISIS are committed to supporting sports turf education wherever possible and this year they also offered their expertise at eight Rugby Football Union (RFU) Pitch Maintenance seminars.

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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A tank mixture from Sherriff Amenity is helping Richard Quelch, groundsman at Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club, to improve the health of the eleven fantastic lawns at the club in East Devon.

Founded in the late 1860s, Budleigh Salterton is one of the premier croquet clubs in Europe and is situated in a beautiful location with wonderful views looking over the town of Budleigh Salterton.

Richard maintains the lawns to a very high standard, so much so that the club is regularly chosen to host major British and International Tournaments, including the European Golf Croquet Championships.

Although the venue is considered by many to be the ‘Wembley of Croquet’, that doesn’t stop Richard from continuing to make improvements and finding new ways to take the lawns to another level.

“I’m trying to boost the overall health of the lawns and I would like to get more roots into the ground,” he said. “The more roots I have, then the better the lawns can withstand a dry season and stresses. Plus, we are recently starting to have a few issues with leatherjackets and there are not many chemicals available on the market to solve this.

“Ultimately it is a case of trying to make the grass as strong as possible to combat the hot summers and any disease.”

Richard felt that he needed a nice ‘cocktail’ of nutrients which he could apply to the lawns on a regular basis and after speaking to Sherriff Amenity’s David Chammings, he found the ideal solution.

He now applies a monthly tank mix consisting of E2Pro Liquid 12.0.12 (at 60 l/ha), E2Pro PhosRite (at 10 l/ha) and SeaVolution seaweed liquid (at 20 l/ha) and noticed an immediate improvement.  

“I trialled a few different products to see which would be the best for this site,” said Richard. “I felt that these products from Sherriff Amenity were the best for me and I was particularly keen to include the PhosRite, because it encourages a deeper, healthier root and relieves stress.”

As Richard says, Sherriff Amenity’s E2 Pro PhosRite can bring dramatic improvements to turf. Results from trials have shown improved turf quality and enhanced rooting. The benefits come from the plant’s improved ability to withstand stress conditions, allowing stronger, healthier grass to develop.

It is rapidly absorbed into the plant leaves where it translocates as phosphite within the plant cells. This stimulates strong, healthy growth and plants with a better root structure that are more able to withstand stress. The phosphite in E2 Pro PhosRite is rapidly distributed throughout the plant using both upward and downward transport systems (xylem and phloem) ensuring that all parts of the plant are quickly affected.

The addition of E2Pro Liquid in the tank-mix works to provide rapid leaf penetration and quickly relieves nutrient deficiency symptoms while Seavolution encourages disease infected areas to recover, optimising turf quality.

“It appears to be the perfect tank mix for me and it has already created a good thickness of grass,” said Richard. “Very soon, we are set to host the European Championships and I’m confident that the lawns will be of a good enough standard to cater for some of the very best players in this sport.”

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

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Head greenkeeper Michael Burgin has reported hugely successful results from using the SISIS TM1000 tractor mounted heavy duty scarifier to combat high levels of thatch on the greens at Normanby Hall Golf Club.

This delightful golf course in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, adjoins the picturesque Normanby Hall country park and is set in 117 stunning acres of mature woodland and parkland. The 18 hole, par 72 course is widely considered to be one of the toughest courses to play in the area, providing a challenge for players of all abilities.

Michael, who has been in the greenkeeping industry throughout his entire career, has been at Normanby Hall for eleven years. Two years ago, he was promoted to the position of head greenkeeper and one of his first tasks in charge was to tackle an abundance of thatch which had occurred on the greens.

“We established that we had a large layer of thatch on the top of our greens; it was on all of them throughout the whole course. This resulted in some drainage problems and I knew that we desperately needed a new piece of equipment which could help us solve the problem.

“I did a lot of research and came across a number of videos online of greenkeepers using the TM1000. I then read an article about the course manager at Greetham Valley Golf Club using it and what he said about the machine pretty much persuaded me to buy it.”

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. The TM1000 also features interchangeable blades and a quick, simple depth setting without tools.

The fact that the TM1000 collects debris was a key factor in his decision and also something which was incredibly important to the greenkeeping team according to Michael.

“There were other machines on the market but the ones we looked at didn’t collect. This would mean that you would require two or three guys going behind the machine clearing up.

The hydraulics on the back of the TM1000 means that the operator doesn’t have to keep jumping in and out to empty the grass box – which would be very time consuming. For a small team, if you can get one man to do this job then it is a massive benefit.

“I also like the fact that the TM1000 can go down to 50mm deep. The SISIS TM1000 runs straight through the turf – like a knife through butter.

“We have found that the time of year doesn’t really matter when it comes to using it. The first time we used the TM1000 was mid-February in winter conditions and we found that it did not phase the machine whatsoever.

“No matter what the weather you can’t even tell that the TM1000 has been across the greens and that has really impressed me. It’s a reliable machine with very little maintenance required.

“Overall it is just a fantastic piece of kit. There has been a big improvement in the greens and our soil samples have proved that the thatch levels have dropped dramatically since using the 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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