PRO Supplier

The aptly named Storm Dennis certainly didn’t prevent the annual Dennis and SISIS groundcare seminar from going ahead, and by all accounts it once again inspired, educated and offered real solutions. 

Hosted at the Durham County Cricket Club’s Emirates Riverside Stadium on 18th February, over 150 volunteers and professionals representing schools, sports clubs, local authorities and contractors from all over the UK experienced a truly memorable day.

Marcus North, Durham Director of Cricket and former Australian batsman, kick-started the event much to the delight of the attendees. The left-handed batsman, who played 21 Tests for his country and played for five counties in England, proceeded to offer a unique insight into all the various pitches he has played on throughout the world. Not only did his talk offer a glimpse into an international cricket player’s perspective but it also offered an interesting insight into a club’s relationship with the groundstaff.

Iain James from TGMS Ltd followed with a plethora of advice on the construction and maintenance of a cricket pitch. No stone was left unturned as Iain went through every stage of a construction process offering some valuable tips to those who carry out the work in-house but also presented the questions one should be asking of a contractor. Lots of notes were taken as Iain covered the six key stages of construction – planning, design, build, grow-in, preparation and play.

3885278690?profile=RESIZE_710xSeminar delegates were then pleased to hear from the Institute of Groundsmanship’s Ian Powell who provided a number of helpful tips in his presentation entitled ‘Principles of decision making for pre-season preparations’. Ian discussed the utmost important aspects of pre-season preparations including seeding, rolling, scarification and nutrition. 

Rounding off the morning in style, delegates had a rare opportunity to listen to and question an incredible line-up of some of the industry’s finest groundsmen. Hosted by Vic Demain (Durham CCC), this new feature entitled Groundsmans Corner, saw a panel of experts including Keith Kent (Head Pitch Advisor for Rugby Groundsmen Connected), Jim Dawson (Head Groundsman at BT Murrayfield), Karl McDermott (Head Groundsman at MCC Lord’s), Sean Williams (Head Groundsman at Gloucestershire CCC) and Gordon Gill (Former Head Groundsman at Bath CC). An interesting range of topics were explored and, in particular, the use of social media in the industry sparked an informative debate.  

A complimentary lunch signalled the halfway point, and attendees got the chance to network with one another and gain even more groundcare advice from event sponsors - Limagrain UK, Boughton Loam, Thomas Sherriff, Stuart Canvas, Fleet Line Markers, Cricket World, SIS Pitches, Poweroll, Facility and Sports Club Development and Headland Amenity.

Upon settling down after lunch, Barry Glynn hilariously reflected on his career in ‘Frustrations of a Groundsman: Part 2’ before the legendary Keith Kent proceeded with a presentation entitled ‘Winter Sports Pitches to Cricket Outfields – what do we need to do?’ Delegates were thrilled when Keith drew on his wealth of experience as a groundsman to explore the transformation of winter sports pitches into cricket outfields.

In his presentation, Keith described the groundcare industry as a brotherhood; a family in which everyone should be supporting their colleagues and the general consensus in the room at the end of the day was that this event was an exemplary demonstration of camaraderie – no matter what your title or position.

3885281786?profile=RESIZE_710xOne delegate, Derek Traill of Cricket Scotland, said: “The key message coming out of today’s event is that it is all about communication and to strive to learn off one another - we learn from one another’s experiences, failures and successes and from these we can build on them and improve as one.”

For Ben Weatherall, a young Assistant Groundsman at Yorkshire County Cricket Club, the event was inspirational which will serve him well in his career path: “It was great to get the opportunity to listen to guys like Vic, Keith and Jim. Listening to their stories, their experiences and where they came from was hugely inspiring. In my up and coming career, events like this will help me get to where I want to be.”

One such groundsman who has found exactly where he wants to be is Karl McDermott and he was encouraged to see so many young people in attendance. “Sometimes you go to these kinds of events and it is mostly retired groundsmen that are helping out their local clubs – which is fantastic because they benefit a lot from the advice they receive. However, there has been a real good mix today and we need to look to the future and keep on trying to get the younger generation into this industry.

“Events like this Dennis and SISIS seminar will only help,” he continued. “This is a great chance to network and to chat to people and actually discover that no matter what level you are at, club or recreational to test match level – we all have the same problems.”

Robbie Thackray, Groundsman at the University of Leeds, certainly felt relieved to find out that he is not alone when it comes to certain issues: “I have found it extremely reassuring that everyone is in the same boat,” he said. “We all have the same struggles no matter where we work or what our job title is. Today has been brilliant and offered so many solutions.”

Further information about the range of maintenance products available can be found by visiting /

Votes: 0
E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of Landscape Juice Network to add comments!

Join Landscape Juice Network

PRO Supplier

A recent school grounds seminar held at Charterhouse in Surrey has been hailed a huge success by all who attended.

The event attracted over 50 delegates from all levels as several topical issues were explored and discussed. Supported by…

Read more…

Open forum activity

Fusion Media posted a blog post
After winning the 2019 SALTEX College Cup, four students from Myerscough College recently enjoyed an unforgettable experience at Real Madrid’s Bernabéu Stadium.The annual SALTEX College Cup, sponsored by Toro and Reesink Turfcare, is a student-led s…
45 minutes ago
Steven Mills replied to graeme gourlay's discussion Honda hrd 536 QXE vs Kubota W821r
"If you like the Hayter and most of your lawns are large then maybe consider one of the new 22"? That should give you the best of both worlds with them being a wider cut and also quick."
1 hour ago
Andrew Liddle replied to graeme gourlay's discussion Honda hrd 536 QXE vs Kubota W821r
"An old thread, but a question I have right now! Shows the value of LJN.
i have a Hayter Harrier Pro 48 that has been totally reliable for the past 4 years.  I would like something slightly faster and possibly a wider cut, as most of my customers hav…"
2 hours ago
Chris replied to Colin Anson's discussion Waste disposal problems
"Hi David, a 270 ltr bag is ok to move with grass in a bit heavy when it's wet, the bag's they're not as well made as they were years ago, they' can sometimes split or the handles can come off,  I have a lot of small gardens to maintain so would be f…"
3 hours ago
John F replied to GaryRK's discussion The LJN Covid-19 ‘Working’ from home thread
"Does anyone know how to download zoom to a google chrome book please ? 
Several attempts have failed . last night i even had the hosts I.T expert on the phone guiding me through the process leaving them baffled . 
clicking on the zoom invitation lin…"
4 hours ago
David Benson replied to Colin Anson's discussion Waste disposal problems
"chris if you use option 2 how do you intend moving it when full ?
i can see the disposal problem creating a lot of fly tipping right accross the country "
12 hours ago
Adam Pilgrim replied to Colin Anson's discussion Waste disposal problems
"These are the company we use - if it helps someone out. 13 locations throughout the East. Our local site is 'Decoy' and Material Change have done a lot of work on it since they bought it off 'Organic Recycling' a few years back.
All sites are open a…"
12 hours ago
Colin Anson replied to Colin Anson's discussion Waste disposal problems
"Pontefract & Castleford area."
13 hours ago
Chris replied to Colin Anson's discussion Waste disposal problems
"Same here, 
Option 1 - use green bin until full,  compact by jumping up and down several times.
Option 2 - supply at extra cost 270ltr green waste bag. A disposal fee once full to take to commercial tip when open, or option 3.
Option 3 - remove wast…"
13 hours ago
Adam Pilgrim replied to Colin Anson's discussion Waste disposal problems
"Where in the country are you Colin? "
13 hours ago
william bathgate replied to Colin Anson's discussion Waste disposal problems
"the local company who does green waste is still going for the moment . to be honest its a sideline for the farmer but its very useful:)"
13 hours ago
PAUL replied to Colin Anson's discussion Waste disposal problems
"i have the same problem (lawn mowing only) .. My first preference is a compost heap', but some are never going to agree with that ... I tried cut and drop but I can ony get away with that with a handful ... So worse case, is I fill their bin in 2 or…"
13 hours ago
Dave Colton replied to Colin Anson's discussion Waste disposal problems
"Ask on local allotments, moss makes a great mulch for soft fruit such as raspberries and round earthed up potatos as it breaks down quite quickly. "
13 hours ago
Ian Harvey replied to Colin Anson's discussion Waste disposal problems
"I have the same problem. I managed to convince quite a few customers to have me start a compost area in their garden, others are ok with cut and drop for now or putting in main waste bin, I also plan some burning of cut shrubs that I have to remove.…"
13 hours ago
Billybop replied to Colin Anson's discussion Waste disposal problems
"same here dave am going to be cracking open my heap soon as need to rotavate some of the broken down organic material into the veg growing area, as i noticed some of my crops not doing so well last year. its amazing how much a huge mountain of grass…"
13 hours ago
Glen Stillman replied to GaryRK's discussion Show us your.......
"Oohh, that's nice "
13 hours ago

Waste disposal problems

Anyone else having problems finding somewhere to take their waste at the moment? The two council areas I work under have both stopped garden bin collection and closed the tips. Commercial tips are also closed round here. I've got nowhere to store…

Read more…
15 Replies · Reply by Chris 3 hours ago