Reesink Expands In Scotland

Reesink Expands In Scotland: Reesink Turfcare’s service branch in Livingston, Scotland is continuing to expand with the appointment of a new sales representative, Daniel Tomberry.

Daniel brings over a decade’s experience in sports turf to his sales role at Reesink’s Livingston branch, which goes from strength to strength in its second year, and working with golf clubs in Glasgow and south west Scotland.

Reesink Expands In Scotland

Daniel says of his new role: “For years, the idea of having a sales role in the industry has really appealed to me and I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity. This position at Reesink was what I was waiting for.”

Daniel has a broad range of experience in the sports turf industry: “By working my way up from apprentice greenkeeper at a prestigious Scottish golf club to head groundsman at East Dorset Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, I’ve gained a wide range of industry knowledge which I believe will serve me well in this new role.

“This practical knowledge will enable me to relate to customers, understand what they want to achieve, and know which products will best suit their needs.”

Regional manager for Scotland and north England, George MacDonald, explains why he hired Daniel: “Daniel has a great deal of experience in the industry and has worked with Toro machinery for many years. He respects the brand, is professional, articulate and enthusiastic.

“With all of this going for him, I have no doubts that Daniel is going to excel in his new position and be of great help to customers in the south west of Scotland,” George concludes.

For more information, visit: reesinkturfcare.co.uk

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Versatile TORO LT-F3000

Versatile TORO LT-F3000: Nationally respected Countrywide Grounds Maintenance serves thousands of customers from 50 regional offices and has been leading the industry for over 25 years. With the challenge of keeping a vast range of environments looking their best all year round, the organisation has invested in the versatility of a Toro LT-F3000 triple flail mower.

This is a first-time Toro purchase for Countrywide Grounds Maintenance franchise owner Andrew Gilliar. Andrew explains that it feels like the machine has been perfectly designed to match his needs: “I’ve owned and operated mowers similar to this one for over 30 years, so there’s not many models in the market I don’t know, but it’s the first time I’ve demo’d the Toro LT-F3000. During the demonstration I was amazed by the versatility of the machine, which made it stand apart from any others I’ve used.”

Versatile TORO LT-F3000

He continues: “With such a diverse client list ranging from schools and councils to commercial estates, the LT-F3000 is designed to meet our current business needs. We needed a machine versatile enough to deliver a consistently good cut to sites of all shapes and sizes, regardless of grass type, grass length or weather conditions. This is what you get from the LT-F3000.

“It can deliver a 22-25mm cut on school playing fields and sports facilities and leave a nice finish with stripes. At the same time, the height of cut can be adjusted to suit longer rough cut grass sites, like council verges, industrial estates, or nature pathways. The latter can be cut on a cycle of 16 weeks, but the LT-F3000 will still cut through this grass easily and leave a good finish.”

With the grounds of over 104 schools across Suffolk and Essex to maintain, the machines in Andrew’s fleet must be able to keep up. The LT-F3000 certainly does that: it is in operation eight hours a day, five or six days a week.

 Andrew says: “We have a team of three using the triple flail and they absolutely love it. It’s comfortable and easy to maintain thanks to accessible service points. One operator said that ever since we invested in the mower, it’s been even more of a pleasure to come to work.”

When it comes to customer experience, Andrew’s has been seamless: “We haven’t come into contact with the aftersales service team yet as we’ve had no problems. Considering how quick and easy it was to order spare parts, plus the support we’ve had from Danny Lake [Reesink sales representative], I’m sure that Reesink would be there to help us should we ever need it,” he says.

And with another LT-F3000 on order it’s safe to say Countrywide’s Toro purchase has been a first rate success, with the LT-F3000 proving itself as a versatile mower – the perfect match for a versatile company.

For more information, visit: reesinkturfcare.co.uk

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Kubota Top Of The Class

Kubota Top Of The Class: Kubota UK’s partnership with Merchant Taylors’, one of the ‘Great Nine’ schools of England, is going from strength to strength after the school recently replaced 13 of its machines for 13 new machines through George Browns, who are the UK’s largest Kubota groundcare dealer.

With 285 acres of pitches, lakes and woodland to maintain, and a campus that boasts first class facilities, it is vital that Merchant Taylors’ ground maintenance team have the most reliable, hard working and best performing equipment on the market.

Kubota Top Of The Class

The responsibility of the maintenance and upkeep of this vast rural estate is led by grounds manager Richard Ayling, who has been working at the school for almost 23 years. To support the continuous maintenance of the grounds, Richard required a range of new groundcare machinery to update the schools existing Kubota inventory.

Richard said: “This school has developed an outstanding reputation as one of the best boys schools in the UK, both academically and through sporting achievements.  In order for our students to perform to the best of their ability, ensuring the sports surfaces are in perfect condition all year round is critical.

“We also host a number of top-tier sporting teams Including Middlesex County Cricket Club, Saracens rugby academy and a regional centre for England hockey. With such a vast range of pitches, this is by no means an easy task, so having the right machines that can help you do your job productively is key.

“The purchasing of the machines was straightforward after taking different factors into consideration. We need machines that can perform to the highest standards. Reliability is also important to avoid any costly downtime and the machines we use need to be comfy and simple to operate so my team can carry out their work efficiently.  That’s exactly why we chose Kubota.

“We have had a relationship with George Browns and Kubota for decades now and have never been let down.  This new machinery will significantly assist our team of ten groundcare staff, helping to increase productivity of our operations even further across a wide range of applications.”

As a testament to the reliability of Kubota machinery, the school has only just parted ways with their very first Kubota machine. The L225 had been used at the school for over 35 years, being one of the first compact tractors ever to be introduced by Kubota into the UK market by in the early 80s.

Fast forward to today, the school’s recent order includes two of Kubota’s market-leading diesel-powered RTV-X900 utility vehicles, three petrol-powered RTV-500s and two commercial mowers, the Kubota G21 ride-on and out front F3090.  Richard also purchased a number of Kubota’s popular L Series mid-sized tractors, including two L5040s and an L5740. The STW34, B2050 and M60 Series tractors completed Richard’s fleet replacement programme.

Due to the expanse and diversity of the estate at Merchant Taylors’ School, the addition of five new Kubota RTVs enables the efficient transportation of both personnel and equipment around the vast site. For example, the two RTV-X900’s are specifically used to tackle some of the more difficult terrain located outside the school site, such as the woodland and lake areas that cannot be accessed easily by foot or other vehicles.

The STW34 compact tractor is primarily used to undertake the majority of cricket renovations, ensuring pitches are kept in optimum condition. The ability to use a wide range of implements on this tractor allows for significant adaptability and flexibility across a multitude of tasks.

The powerful L5040 tractors are being used by the team to cater for heavier workloads as their extra lifting capacity of up to 1750KG makes them much more versatile. The range is an ideal choice for carrying out such tasks as scarifying, fertiliser spreading and seeding, plus verti-draining the land.

Richard continued: “It’s testament to the quality of the pitches we produce and maintain here at Merchant Taylors’ that other top sports teams use our facilities.  I am extremely proud of the work we do and the professionalism of my groundcare team.  We take real pride in making sure we can work towards and keep the school facilities to the high standard that independent schools demand. The very high standards of facilities in this sector are being set across the country by Grounds Managers and it is my responsibility to make sure Taylors’ is the same.

“There’s no doubt that partnerships like the one with have with George Browns and Kubota also play a substantial role in enabling us to carry out our work to the highest standards.  We are using high performance and quality machines from a trusted brand and have the first class back-up and support from George Browns when required.  We look forward to continuing this relationship in the future.”

For more information on Kubota and its extensive range of solutions for the groundcare sectors, or to find your local dealer, visit www.kubota.co.uk or call 01844 268000.

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Madrid Demand Best Of Groundsman

Madrid Demand Best Of Groundsman: “The expectations of Real Madrid are to have the best,” they could easily be the words from a famous player or coach, but it is instead the club’s groundsman Paul Burgess who is reflecting on the demanding culture at the Spanish club.

Burgess’s work will be seen by an estimated television audience of 650 million people when newly crowned world champions Madrid host Barcelona in El Clasico on Saturday (1200GMT, 1500EAT).

Madrid Demand Best Of Groundsman

However, he is used to dealing with that pressure having been lured to Real in Galatico style in 2009 after winning Premier League groundsman of the year three times in 12 years at Arsenal.

“Real Madrid and Spain is like the dream move for anybody whether it be the groundsman, the footballer or the press officer,” Burgess told AFP on a cold and grey Madrid morning with preparations for the Clasico in full swing.

“That’ll be the sunniest place in Madrid today,” he added pointing to the rows of high-powered lights beaming down on one side of a pitch that has to cope with plus 40 degree heat in summer and freezing temperatures in winter.

“For El Clasico there is obviously more build-up, more cameras on the side of the pitch, everyone is talking about it so there is more pressure from the outside.”

A two-week layoff since Real’s last home game, though, has ensured Burgess’s best work will be on show for the big day.

“The pitch for El Clasico will be better than say a Champions League game because for a Champions League game you have the opposition training the night before,” he said.

“Going into El Clasico we’ve got a two-week build up, the conditions look pretty good so the pitch will be in great condition not only for Real Madrid but also for Barcelona. It will be a nice pitch and the best team will win.”

The best team in recent times has tended to be Madrid, who have won five trophies in a calendar year in 2017 for the first time in the club’s storied history.

“100 percent,” joked the affable 39-year-old when quizzed as to how much success is down to him. “I think the pitch certainly adds value, but the bottom line is the pitch is the same for both teams and it is down to the team to perform on the day. We do our best to give them what they want.”

‘SERIOUS MONEY’ AT STAKE

Unlike Real’s star names and faces, though, Burgess tends to only get the criticism when things go wrong rather than acclaim as the trophies roll in.

“The only time I get feedback is if there is a problem. That is the correct way. I don’t go round looking for compliments, I don’t say to Cristiano (Ronaldo) ‘nice goal’. That’s his job and my job is to produce a good surface.”

He recalls a “tough” conversation with Jose Mourinho on the eve of the Portuguese’s first match in charge in 2010 due to a summer “outbreak of disease”.

However, the importance of a perfect pitch isn’t just reflected in how good it looks on TV, but can be vital in keeping multi-million euro players fit.

“They are paying serious money for these guys and they want them playing football, not injured. Something like 80 percent of injuries are non-contact with another player, so the only contact is with the grass.

“That doesn’t mean 80 percent of injuries are the fault of the grass, it could be bad diet, fatigue, but certainly a percentage is down to the pitch so it is very important we have dialogue between the medical department and my department to try and create consistent, comfortable surfaces for them to play on.”

That desire to stop avoidable injuries has seen Burgess travel the world looking at the latest technologies to bring back to the Bernabeu and Madrid’s vast Valdebebas training complex.

“I’m always trying to be a bit of a pioneer in my industry. By doing that you do make mistakes as well, but you try to be at the forefront of any new technology and Real Madrid reap the rewards of that.

“They invest in that, they should be applauded for what they are doing. They want to be the best and want to do everything they can to be the best.”
Just like for players and coaches, that investment brings increased pressure.

“When you are working for a big club it is more extreme. If we win it is the best thing in the world, if we lose it’s a disaster.

“I’m just part of that, but we have more good days than bad days and that’s the important thing.”

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Don’t Let Frost Stop Play This Year

Don’t let frost stop play this year – proven frost protection + germination with Total Growth Cover…

When investing in a new frost protection system, why settle for one that only protects the surface? Designed specifically to allow the pitch to breathe, the Climate Cover Total Growth Cover (TGC) actively enhances seed germination whilst it protects from frost. 

The result – not only will you have a surface that’s ready for play in frosty conditions, but a well grown pitch that’s better able to withstand the rigours of the game and finish the season in good shape.

Developed to be easy to handle in the coldest conditions and with multi-layer configurations offering play-ready surfaces down to -6°c, TGC is in use by clients that include Premier League football grounds, Premiership Rugby Union Grounds, the IRFU (Irish Rugby Football Union), National Hunt race courses and the Lawn Tennis Association.

Orders are now being taken for various size covers from goal mouth to full pitch, with hire options also available.  Call 01604 864575, email info@total-play.co.uk or visit www.total-play.co.uk to find out more.

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Bexley’s Charter Oak Revived

Bexley’s Charter Oak Revived: After the Great Storm in 1987, Londoners were asked to nominate the leading landmark trees in the capital. In 1988, over 40 were officially awarded “Great Tree” status, with an additional 20 in 2008. The magnificent Charter Oak of Bexley was elected one of these landmark trees.

Situated in Danson Park, originally part of the Danson House estate, the Bexley Charter Oak is around 200 years old. The oak takes its name from Bexley’s Charter to become a Municipal Borough, which was presented by Lord Cornwallis underneath the Oak in 1937. It is the most iconic tree within the borough, situated within the formal areas in one of its three flagship parks, and features on London Borough of Bexley’s coat of Arms.

Bexley’s Charter Oak Revived

Beefsteak fungus and lazy branches

In recent months, the Charter Oak was starting to cause concern. It was showing noticeably diminished vitality and a reduced leaf area index. Its huge canopy clearance was also reducing due to ‘lazy branches’, and the destructive ‘beefsteak fungus’ (Fistulina hepatica) had started to advance.
London Borough of Bexley Tree and Woodland Officer Philip Louis called on Apex Tree Surgeons and Carbon Gold to work with the Council to prolong the life of this historic tree. Apex are the only UK distributor of Vogt GeoTech equipment, which allows them to inject granular material deeper into the ground then other equipment. Carbon Gold are leading suppliers of enriched biochar, a horticultural form of charcoal used to improve soil nutrition and growing conditions.

Previous treatments with varying success

The oak had been treated with air-spading over ten years ago, however the soil around the root system was found to be compacted when Apex Tree Surgeons commenced work in autumn 2017. An amenity grade mulch had been applied every year, which was successful in suppressing weeds but had a negligible effect on nitrogen recycling and water retention. Fencing around the root area had been erected approximately fifteen years ago which had been successful in minimising compaction by footfall, and preventing climbing and vandalism.

Getting enriched biochar into the root-zone

Enriched biochar is known for its tree revitalising properties and Bexley’s arboriculture department were keen to see if it could reverse the Charter Oak’s worrying symptoms. Apex were commissioned to use the pioneering Vogt GeoTech Injector to apply Carbon Gold’s enriched biochar Tree Soil Improver directly around the root system. This unique piece of equipment is designed to inject high pressure compressed air up to a metre into the ground – reducing compaction, improving aeration and drainage, and stimulating root growth. Using the same probe, materials such as biochar can then be injected into the cavities it has created in the soil, ensuring product is applied deep into the root zone.

Philip and the team expect to see results within as little as a few months, however the treatment will continue to develop over the next year or two. Carbon Gold’s enriched biochar is proven to improve the vitality of established trees as it is enriched with Mycorrhizae and Trichoderma fungi which, in combination with wormcasts and seaweed, create a fertile, living soil around the root systems of trees. Biochar has a microscopic honeycomb-like structure which provides the perfect habitat for beneficial soil microorganisms, such as mycorrhizal fungi and actinomycetes bacteria which make nutrients more available to plants. Biochar also decompacts and aerates soils, and stabilises soil moisture, allowing veteran trees such as the iconic Charter Oak to grow strong, healthy root systems so that it can stand tall for many more generations of Londoners.

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MJ Abbott Return To BTME

MJ Abbott Return To BTME: MJ Abbott will be returning to BTME 2018 in Harrogate, bringing with them over 25 years of experience in golf course construction, renovation maintenance and irrigation.

Over this period the company has gathered invaluable experience across all aspects of golf course construction and maintenance, but also the art of first-class customer service and delivering exactly what clients request.

MJ Abbott Return To BTME

This ethos has seen some major recent projects including Royal Norwich Golf Club’s new £10 million course and club house, with MJ Abbott undertaking the £4.5 million land redevelopment. This project is joined by works at Skipton Golf Club, Royal Wimbledon Golf Club, Sunningdale Golf Club and Queenwood Golf Club to name a few.

Being able to meet the needs of the customer is important for all jobs, but none more so than building a new course. All of MJ Abbott’s qualities as a contractor were required when it came to being awarded this contract, and Peter Todd, estates manager and director of Royal Norwich Golf Club Limited explains what contributed to the Norfolk club awarding the work.

“We looked at level of resources, how much labour was in house and how much was sub-contracted, financial stability of the company, their track record and reputation,” Peter said. “So, there was a whole host of measures in place and it was scored by a professional panel.

“A major benefit for MJ Abbott was that they could offer the irrigation along with drainage and construction, because it meant we only needed one contractor on the course and kept everything within the one team.”

Being able to offer every service allows MJ Abbott to work with clients large and small, with greenkeepers from all courses welcome to speak to our experienced staff on stand A49.

For more information, visit: www.mjabbott.co.uk

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Merry Christmas from Turf Matters!

I’m tempted to ask where these last 12 months have gone but I then step back and take a look at the strides Turf Matters has made over the last year, both digitally and with our bi-monthly hard copy. It is fair to say we have packed quite a bit in and we’ve needed every single one of the days the year gave us.  

For a start there wasn’t a monthly newsletter this time last year. We started these at the beginning of 2017 and we have been delighted at how well they have been received. So thank you for being one of our faithful readers, and thank you too, to everyone who has featured within our digital pages!

I also hope that for you the past year has been one you will be able to look back on fondly. It is fair to say there have been many hurdles to overcome for us individually, and for the country as a whole, but as a nation we are a resilient bunch, and that’s especially true in our particular sector. We seem to possess an ability to get things done no matter what is put in our way whether that be weather, budget cuts or whatever else may be on the end of the next telephone call.

I think we do all need a rest so have a peaceful festive holiday, if work commitments allow and if you are working over the next couple of weeks, I hope the weather is kind.

We are looking forward to building on the progress we made in 2017 and I hope that for you, as much as it does for us – Turf Matters.

On behalf of Loz, Tim, Sinead Marie and myself have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Scott MacCallum

Editor

FTMI Volunteers At The Ryder Cup

FTMI Volunteers At The Ryder Cup: Jacobsen and BIGGA have selected a group of Future Turf Manager Initiative (FTMI) graduates to assist the course maintenance team during the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in France.

One delegate from each FTMI in the past five years has been selected to volunteer at the event, with one more person due to be chosen from the FTMI class of 2018.

FTMI Volunteers At The Ryder Cup

The chosen BIGGA members are:

  1. Leigh Powell, Windlesham Golf Club (FTMI Class of 2013)
  2. Peter Moore, The Wentworth Club (FTMI Class of 2014)
  3. Gavin Neill, St Andrews Links Trust (FTMI Class of 2015)
  4. Richard Johnstone, Nairn Dunbar Golf Links (FTMI Class of 2016)
  5. Adrian McCullough, JCB (FTMI Class of 2017)

Jacobsen and BIGGA have worked closely with Alejandro Reyes, Golf Courses and Estates Manager at Le Golf National, to provide this potentially career-defining opportunity for BIGGA members for the very first time.

Next year’s delegates were recently announced, and the 20 BIGGA members selected to take part will attend the three-day event at Jacobsen’s HQ in Ipswich from 6-8 March 2018.

Aimed at up and coming greenkeepers who want to make the leap to Course Manager, FTMI focuses on personal and professional development. The FTMI programme utilises the expertise of leading Course Managers, dynamic trainers and industry experts to mentor and educate the next generation of industry leaders.

In 2018, The Ryder Cup will be held in Continental Europe for only the second time in its history. Le Golf National will be hosting the biennial match on its spectacular L’Albatros course. Alejandro and his team of approximately thirty greenkeepers have completed extensive renovation work in the lead up to hosting the event. Renovation work has included a brand-new drainage system capable of draining 90mm of surface water within three hours on all playable surfaces, fibre optics have been installed for on-course connectivity and many holes have been completely renovated.

During the Ryder Cup, which takes place between 28-30 September 2018, 180 members of staff, including 140 volunteers, will be manicuring the golf course to ensure that the playing surfaces are in pristine condition for the duration of the matches.

Situated around 20 miles south west of Paris, the spectacular course is one of the best in the world for spectators and is consistently ranked in Europe’s top ten courses. Le Golf National has hosted the French Open every year, except for two years, since 1991.

Commenting on the unique volunteering opportunity, Director of International Golf Sales at Textron Golf, Andre Andrade, said: “We feel privileged to be able to offer FTMI delegates the experience of volunteering at the Ryder Cup. It is a huge event, and one I am sure they will remember for the rest of their lives. This opportunity is testament to the close working relationship that Jacobsen has with Le Golf National, and we thank the team there for allowing us to make this happen. Jacobsen is very proud to be an official supplier to the 2018 Ryder Cup, and we look forward to taking the lucky FTMI delegates with us to France next year.”

BIGGA CEO Jim Croxton said: “It may only be six years old, but FTMI has already proven to be an incredible success, with many of the programme’s graduates going on to secure management roles, and the association is extremely grateful to Textron Golf for their continued investment in BIGGA members.

“I’d also like to thank Alejandro Reyes for enabling this incredible opportunity for six FTMI graduates. The 2018 Ryder Cup is sure to once again be a passionate, hard-fought competition, and with an estimated 500 million viewers worldwide in 2016, the course will no doubt be under closer scrutiny than any other in history. I wish Alejandro the greatest success, and I hope that our guys are able to help the home team achieve their goals in whatever way they can.”

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Dennis & SISIS At STMA

Dennis & SISIS At STMA: Dennis and SISIS are heading to Fort Worth, Texas, to showcase a range of industry leading turf maintenance equipment at Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) Conference and Exhibition on 16-19 January 2018.

As the Dennis and SISIS brands continue to gain widespread recognition in the USA, the annual STMA Conference & Exhibition is fast becoming a firm date in the diary for the British manufacturers.

Dennis & SISIS At STMA

In an impressive line-up, Dennis will be showcasing its G860 dedicated cylinder mower, complete with a range of interchangeable cassettes and visitors will get the opportunity to find out more about the newly launched Spring Tine Rake cassette. Operators already have a plethora of options through the G860’s interchangeable cassette system, which includes scarifiers, verticutters, brushes, spikers, slitters and six or eight bladed cutting cylinders; and the Spring Tine Rake will provide them with even more versatility.

This new cassette contains 42 springs with 12mm spacings that can be used for the removal of dead turf matter, cleaning the surface and helping to stand grasses up. As with all of the cassettes, they can be changed easily with no tools.

Visitors to the Dennis and SISIS stand will be pleased to see the SISIS Javelin Aer-Aid 1500 tractor mounted vertical action aerator, which recently gained rave reviews from the STRI (Sports Turf Research Institute). This popular machine injects air directly into the root zone speeding up the aeration process, moving air uniformly throughout the root zone for complete aeration and not just where the tines have penetrated the surface. Those operating the Javelin Aer-Aid have the flexibility to alternate tines for other operations such as hollow coring prior to top dressing. Other benefits include a fast forward speed for excellent productivity, minimal maintenance and a smooth and quiet operation.

From natural turf to synthetic, there will be solutions for all at STMA. Take the SISIS Brush-Pro for example. This ride-on brushing system comprises of a pair of mid mounted oscillating units and three rear mounted brush units that that have been specifically designed for maintaining synthetic surfaces. The Brush-pro offers maximum manoeuvrability and operator comfort with features such as an electric start, hydrostatic drive for forward/reverse and its brush combinations – oscillating for thorough periodic work and rear mounted brushes for routine frequent work which cause less compaction than conventional drag brushes.

Also featuring prominently on the stand will be the SISIS SSS1000 – a tractor mounted sweeper which can be pulled by any machine. There are no tools required for the adjustment of the brush or the angle of the draw bar and to make storage easy the draw bar lifts to an upright position. With an aluminium hopper with stainless steel mesh, any infill that is collected when using the machine is returned back down to the surface leaving it free from contamination of debris.

For the versatility of carrying out tasks on both turf and hard porous surfaces then the Singleplay implement mounted frame may well be of interest. This single pass maintenance system accepts a variety of implements such as the 1.8m Flexicomb and the 1.8m Straight Brush – both of which will be on show at STMA.

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. For perfect results, the Straight Brush can be used to provide a nice level finish following the hard work of the Flexicomb.

A number of experienced turf experts from Dennis and SISIS will be on hand at the exhibition to speak in more detail about the products.

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

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