LJN Blog Posts

PRO Supplier

SISIS success at Shrewsbury School

Andy Richards, grounds manager at Shrewsbury School, has reported excellent results from using a range of SISIS equipment to maintain the School’s widely praised sports pitches.

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. It is one of the original seven public schools as defined by the Public Schools Act 1868, and its impressive list of previous pupils boasts a certain Mr Charles Darwin. In line with the work of its most famous "Old Salopian", the school continues to evolve in a dynamic way, achieving both outstanding academic and sporting results.

“We have a good blend of academics and sports at Shrewsbury School,” says Andy. “Sport is a massive part of the School and there is a very strong house sport system – in fact the students are willing to run through a brick wall for their school and their house in sporting competitions!”

It is for this reason that Andy and his team leave absolutely no stone un-turned when it comes to preparing and maintaining sports pitches of the highest standard. In fact, cricket-writer Sir Neville Cardus once famously described them as "the most beautiful playing fields in the world, spreading and imperceptibly mingling with the pasture land of Shropshire". However, these truly wonderful facilities don’t come easily.

Andy and his team work tirelessly throughout the year to provide sports pitches of the highest quality, and when it comes to his cricket wickets he puts his faith in the SISIS Auto Rotorake MK5

“We use the Auto Rotorake specifically for cricket because it does such a good job,” says Andy. “The amount of material you can take out of a wicket with the brush reel and the verticutting reel sometimes needs to be seen to be believed. We use it all the way through the cricket season. In summer we do 30 match wickets a week and it will be part of the preparation for every one of those. From the middle of April through to the last cricket match in August we play host to approximately 250 matches and the Auto Rotorake is used on every one of those.”

The SISIS Auto Rotorake MK5 is a powerful self-propelled heavy duty scarifier designed for the removal and control of thatch on fine turf. It features a contra-rotating reel with specially designed tipped blades for clean, consistent cut and maximum thatch removal. As Andy says, a variety of maintenance tasks can be carried out due to a selection of seven different interchangeable reels.

In further discussing his maintenance procedures, Andy pin-pointed aeration as one of the most vital.

“We have one of the highest pitch usages in the country. On each pitch we average 10-15 hours per week and we’ve got limited drainage. Therefore, one of the most important things we do is aeration and we aerate pitches all of the time. Grass lives and needs air like anyone else,” he says.

Breathing life into Andy’s grass is his newly purchased SISIS Javelin Aer-Aid tractor mounted aerator, and he had no problem in running it past the School’s bursars – as he explains.

“It was the machine I wanted because I had previously trialled it and had good results. For example I Clegg hammered the pitches before and after using the Aer-Aid and had noticed a massive reduction in hardness. I know that the Aer-Aid had recently undergone extensive Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) trials and it came out with excellent results – which always gives you confidence and makes it easier to explain to the bursars why you want to purchase it.”

The Javelin Aer-Aid recently gained rave reviews from the STRI following a three month period in which extensive trials led by Dr Christian Spring were carried out. Described by Christian as “a very useful tool in a greenkeeper’s or groundsman’s arsenal,” the Javelin Aer-Aid is indeed becoming the number one choice for many turf managers looking for the best aeration results. 

With 10mm diameter ‘tipped’ tines working at 75mm (3ins) spacing, air is introduced from the Aer-Aid at a rate of 88 litres (3cu.ft.) per minute. These air injection tines are specially designed to use the maximum air available from the compressor and produces clean, fresh air, while also ensuring that surface disturbance is kept to a minimum. The cam trigger mechanism ensures that the air is always expelled at the bottom of the tine penetration, enabling treatment to be targeted precisely and consistently.

“It’s a really good machine,” says Andy. “It’s easy to use and we can see significant improvements since using the Aer-Aid.

“For me, SISIS signals simplicity and reliability. It may be a cliché but the equipment does what it says on the tin and that’s what I expect. The machines are built to last and I’ve never had any problems with SISIS equipment.”

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

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

Join Landscape Juice Network

Highlighted blog posts

Open forum activity

Max Wiesner replied to Max Wiesner's discussion Mesh sides for ifor williams tt105g tipper
"This may be my best option. 
If anyone can link me to a diagram would be greatly appreciated. I may email ifor and see if they'll give me schematics - i get the impression they probably would rather not do the work themselves..
Thanks for the sugges…"
2 hours ago
Max Wiesner replied to Max Wiesner's discussion Mesh sides for ifor williams tt105g tipper
"Thanks for replying. I've have tried your suggestions - other than Facebook! I'll give it a go. 
In fact I've rung around all over the country and so far no luck from any of the dealers! "
2 hours ago
Chris sledge replied to Max Wiesner's discussion Mesh sides for ifor williams tt105g tipper
"Do you know the dimensions of the mesh kit? Could you have them made by a local fabrication company? Might be quicker and cheaper than buying the I for kit "
12 hours ago
Tony @SM replied to briggsandscrapem's discussion Easy lift harness
"Interesting Vic. I have to say, as I get older, my heart sinks at the thought of a long, high hedge. I'd love to try one."
13 hours ago
Steve Wisbey replied to Max Wiesner's discussion Mesh sides for ifor williams tt105g tipper
"You could try phoning around, Devizes trailers are not a million miles from you and carry more parts than most, I used to work for an Ifor dealer and can tell you that lead time is probably accurate but you can never guarantee anything with Ifors mo…"
15 hours ago
Dave Colton replied to Dave F's discussion Scarifying - tines or blades
"If very heavy thatch I would use blades if just light I would use times.
 "
18 hours ago
Vic 575 replied to briggsandscrapem's discussion Easy lift harness
"Yes. Shortly after my post above from three years ago, I bought the Easy Lift Harness. They are the best thing since sliced bread. Using one Vs not using one is like night and day. 
Let me be very clear, there is no weight in the hedgecutter, at all…"
19 hours ago
Dave F posted a discussion
Hoping for a bit of advice regarding the above - is there a rule of thumb around which is better in different circumstances? I have a couple of lawns with a very heavy thatch build up and wondered which is going to be best to tackle it
19 hours ago
Andrew Betteridge replied to Colin Anson's discussion Briggs engine - no oil change.
"The oil filler/ dip stick is on the top on the opposite side to the petrol cap, so presumably you will have to flip the machine right over to stand a chance of draining the oil out of it. You can however stand the machine on end to store it, so that…"
20 hours ago
michael mccabe and Robert Davids joined Landscape Juice Network
22 hours ago
Seth Burgess replied to Colin Anson's discussion Briggs engine - no oil change.
"How do you top the oil up on any other mower? I can't think of any mower I've ever owned that had a filler cap like a car just a dipstick. I've mostly only had honda engines though
 "
yesterday
David Benson replied to Colin Anson's discussion Briggs engine - no oil change.
"if you need to top it up there must be a filler cap as you will not top it up down the dip stick pipe 
how it works i have no idea "
yesterday
Neal replied to Neal's discussion Rotavator choice
"Do you have something you could reccomend ?"
yesterday
Adam Pilgrim replied to Neal's discussion Rotavator choice
"Depend on the job - to rotovate an allotment yes - to make a seed bed for a lawn, now...."
yesterday
Neal posted a discussion
Anyone tell me if this is a good buy ? £90 Alko 5000
yesterday
Robbie replied to briggsandscrapem's discussion Easy lift harness
"I'm thinking about buy one, anyone have one, what's your thoughts?"
yesterday
More…

Scarifying - tines or blades

Hoping for a bit of advice regarding the above - is there a rule of thumb around which is better in different circumstances? I have a couple of lawns with a very heavy thatch build up and wondered which is going to be best to tackle it

Read more…
1 Reply · Reply by Dave Colton 18 hours ago