Top Dresser In The North East

Top Dresser In The North East: Beaumont Grounds Maintenance took delivery of a GKB top dresser at the start of the season to help fulfil the needs of their many contracted sites.  Covering an area across the North East, Cumbria, Yorkshire and Humber, the family-run commercial and sports grounds maintenance business looks after a diversity of clients from schools, academies, sports clubs, councils and factories through to hotels and property management companies. In recent years the company has pushed the boundaries with expansion in the sports turf market, contracting directly for sports clubs and golf courses, providing specialist services and working with the clients’ own teams. One such venue is Gateshead International Stadium and it was to there the GKB SP230 Sandspreader was delivered.

“The GKB machine was recommended by our local dealers, Lloyd Ltd of Bishop Auckland, and we were very impressed with the service,” says Beaumont’s Managing Director, Alex Lineton, “it took less than a week from order to delivery and Tom Shinkins, GKB’s own Operations Manager, brought the top dresser to us and set it up at the stadium.” The Sandspreader can be used to distribute a variety of materials and the version ordered, the SP230 with a bunker capacity 2.3 m³ / 81 ft³ flat filled, is one of four different designs ranging from 1 m3 to 4 m3. There are several options.

Top Dresser In The North East

With the standard design, you can set the speed of the conveyer belt and the disc spreaders by means of a control unit attached to the Sandspreader. The shape and design of the sand bunker ensures an efficient operation and ensures a clear view along the machine. The sand is transported by means of a conveyer belt to a metering valve, which, optionally, is also available in a hydraulically adjustable version. The double, hydraulically powered, spreading discs are adjustable on multiple points and in this way the Sandspreader enables you to create perfect sand distribution. A touchscreen operated from the tractor cab gives complete control.  The towed version can be delivered with four pivoting balloon tyres and there is a model suitable for assembling on a turf truck.

The Beaumont machine has been fully employed throughout the season across a large number of sports venues including Northumberland University, the renowned sports university with its two sites and several pitches. “We’re very pleased with the results,” says Alex, “the GKB machine is simplicity itself, well built, easy to maintain and it does a good job. I highly recommend it.”

For more details on GKB machines visit www.gkbmachines.com  or call Tom Shinkins on 07495 883617.

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Celebrating 20 Years Of The Polaris RANGER

Celebrating 20 Years Of The Polaris RANGER: As the curtain closes on the Polaris RANGER 20th birthday celebrations in 2018, two lucky winners celebrated the milestone in true style after winning the ‘Ultimate Ranger Experience’ competition, going on an unforgettable trip to Naxos in Greece, courtesy of Polaris.

Crowned winners of the competition that celebrated a double decade of the iconic side-by-side utility machine, UK-based Peter Goble and Elizabeth Toft, won the trip of a lifetime after submitting images showing how they use a Polaris Ranger as part of their work for the NHS North West Ambulance Service.

Celebrating 20 Years Of The Polaris RANGER

Hosted by Auto Moto Falcon, a rental company utilising Polaris machines in Naxos, the winners spent two days exploring off-road routes in a RANGER® XP 900 EPS, experiencing famous tourist spots, beautiful scenery and some of the island’s hidden treasures.

The competition asked owners across the world to send in a photo of their own personal RANGER® experience. Peter and Elizabeth won one of the EMEA experiences up for grabs with their photo submission of a RANGER® being used for emergency transport services. They both work for the NHS North West Ambulance Service and use the specially-modified RANGER® to access difficult terrains, such as moorland, where a standard ambulance wouldn’t be able to go.

Elizabeth said: “We were both really shocked when we heard that we had won the ‘Ultimate RANGER Experience’ competition, but equally delighted. We already thought the RANGER was a very capable and hardworking vehicle but experiencing this on the off-road trails in Naxos was completely different than what we’re used to!”

The pair flew out to Athens on 28th September, followed by a ferry transporting them to the island of Naxos. For the duration of their trip, Peter and Elizabeth stayed in the luxury modern Galaxy Hotel; a typically Greek hotel just a few steps away from Saint George beach. After some initial downtime in the hotel, Polaris arranged two sightseeing-packed days for the winners to enjoy their time in Naxos alongside the RANGER®.

On Saturday 29th September, the group departed for an off-road guided tour to the north of the island following a morning briefing with the RANGER®. They first travelled to the fishermen village of Apollonas for lunch, stopping on the way at the cliffs for a panoramic view of the island. The group then took dirt tracks across the island, passing famous local marble quarries, and finally reached Naxos town where they had time to shop, eat and see the local landmarks.

On Sunday 30th September, the group travelled to the southwest coast for the best beaches of the island, stopping at Agia Anna, a sandy beach with clear blue waters, and ending in Alyko to see the well-known Wild Drawings art on an abandoned hotel. The group then continued to reach the highest peak in the Cyclades at the top of Zeus mountain, to visit Naxos’ oldest monastery, Photodotis. They then went to Apiranthos Village to have lunch at the world-famous Rotonda Restaurant, surrounded by some of the most impressive views of Naxos.

“We were shown parts of the island that we wouldn’t have known existed, and the places we travelled to in the RANGER were beautiful. The tours of the island were truly unforgettable, and our guide was extremely accommodating and very knowledgeable about the RANGER. We didn’t quite appreciate just how popular the RANGER is abroad, so the experience has really opened our eyes to how versatile the Polaris vehicles are in a different environment. A massive thank you to Polaris for the opportunity, we will definitely be going back to visit the island again soon!”

Forming a key part of the Polaris product line as their best-selling utility vehicle, the RANGER® is used globally for a variety of tasks. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the iconic model, just a few months after the brand celebrated the one millionth RANGER® unit rolling off the production line.

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GreenFields Pitch Scoops Award

GreenFields Pitch Scoops Award: The GreenFields pitch at Scotstoun Stadium, home to top rugby union side, Glasgow Warriors has been crowned ‘Best Managed Artificial Surface’ at this year’s prestigious Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) Awards.

Celebrating their 10th anniversary, the industry awards recognise the expertise, dedication, passion and innovation of the grounds profession and surface standards. Glasgow Warriors’ Senior Groundsman, Patrick Ferrie was presented with the accolade at last month’s awards ceremony for his expert maintenance of the woven GreenFields surface at Scotstoun.

GreenFields Pitch Scoops Award

Colin Young, Director of R & D at the TenCate Grass Group commented on the maintenance benefits of a woven artificial system: “Due to the unique woven technology and matrix yarn composition of GreenFields MX, the yarn fibres remain upright and the infill stays mobile making maintenance quicker and easier than with traditional tufted systems.”

The high-tech product, GreenFields MX, is manufactured using patented woven technology resulting in an extremely high tuft bind. This allows the fibres to retain their vertical memory providing a more natural playing experience and aesthetic appearance. The elite woven surface is also in situ at a number of other professional Scottish clubs including Hamilton Academical FC, Falkirk FC, Celtic FC Academy and the National Performance Centre for Sport and excelled recently in an independent survey on pitches, PitchRater, commissioned by the Scottish FA and the Professional Footballer’s Association (PFA). The R & D department at Sports Labs led the project to acquire player feedback on 42 grounds in Scotland. With 3,593 responses, the only artificial surface ranked in the top ten was GreenFields MX which was also placed in three out of the top four positions in the artificial pitch specific rankings.

During the 2015/16 rugby season Glasgow Warriors were unable to play three matches at Scotstoun and a fourth game was postponed which brought on the need for a high-spec artificial surface. Following the installation of the woven 3G pitch with World Rugby professional certification, Jonathan Humphreys, Forwards Coach at Glasgow Warriors spoke recently to Scottish Rugby: “Without a quick, firm surface we would not have been able to play the brand of rugby we wanted to last term which ultimately led us to the semi-finals of the Guinness PRO14.” Beaversbrook Sports Facility, Swindon was named as runner up of the award at this year’s sell-out event attended by more than 650 of the UK’s and Europe’s leading groundscare experts along with dignitaries from the governing bodies of sport.

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Reesink Grow Training Programme

Reesink Grow Training Programme: Two new hands-on machinery mechanics courses have been added to Reesink Turfcare’s industry-leading training offering for 2019.

The two new courses, Air-cooled Engines and Basic Electrics and Hydraulics, have, says head of turfcare training at Reesink Neil Adams, been added according to demand: “With these two courses we’re going back to basics. There’s so much technology used in machinery maintenance now with diagnostics tools and the like and while that is incredibly helpful, our customers are telling us they want to learn the foundation of these subjects such as how to do a complete engine strip down. Both courses offer a solid start for those new to the industry and a fantastic refresher course for those with a few more years under their belt.”

Reesink Grow Training Programme

The one-day Air-cooled Engines course covers understanding the operation and function of a four-stroke engine, learning how to identify components and operate in-line diesel injection and petrol fuel systems, and diagnosing and repairing common faults associated with modern engines.

The two-day Basic Electrics and Hydraulics course includes understanding and reading electric and hydraulic symbols and schematics, how to use and demonstrate safe practices with electrical instruments and test equipment and how to diagnose and repair electric and hydraulic systems failures effectively. In addition, battery operation and construction, basic electric theory including Ohm’s Law, electrics and hydraulics safety and hydraulic oils and contamination procedures will also be covered.

Further information such as dates, which start in February for Air-cooled Engines and April for Basic Electrics and Hydraulics, can be found at www.reesinkturfcare.co.uk. There, turfcare professionals and employers keen to offer staff the opportunity to learn and expand their areas of interest and need, will also find all the details on Reesink’s biggest range of vocational training for land-based disciplines delivered with Lantra, the national awarding organisation. Alongside that is City & Guilds training and Toro and TYM manufacturer-backed turfcare machinery training.

Neil concludes: “These two new courses bring the total number of courses offered by Reesink to eleven, that’s one of the biggest selections from a distributor and is something we’re incredibly proud of. There’s something to suit everybody, at every level, whether you work in the golf and fine turf sector, sports or grounds sectors.

“Our range of training courses demonstrates our belief in continuously improving standards in the industry. We aim to make training convenient with some courses delivered at the trainees’ working premises, too, using familiar equipment in a familiar environment. This set-up means it could not be easier for customers to develop and invest in their employees.”

Visit www.reesinkturfcare.co.uk and select the Training tab to view this year’s training courses in full, plus find details such as dates and how to book.

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Amenity Forum – Adapt And Survive

Amenity Forum – Adapt And Survive: In a recent presentation, our Chairman quoted the words of Charles Darwin as ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change’. There is certainly a high degree of uncertainty currently facing many organisations including those in amenity management. Our news is filled with stories of such uncertainty. However as our chairman said ‘’In such changing times, it is important to focus on opportunity – whatever the circumstances, it can exist to those prepared to embrace the change and seek to make it work for them.

I recently attended an Innovation Showcase event held at Jealott’s Hill. It provided a fascinating insight into current research and in particular new innovative approaches to weed, pest and disease management. Whilst the focus was on food crops, application to amenity was easily identified. Individual presentations included the future of biocontrols with an insight into how RNA based techniques could maximise the potential of this new paradigm in pest management. There were also presentations on technology foresight and innovation, including the power of robotics and drone technology and precision approaches. As our politicians look to promote more sustainable approaches, such innovation can offer solutions whilst still allowing operators to undertake their work effectively and efficiently’’

Amenity Forum - Adapt And Survive

In the period, February to April, the Amenity Forum will be running a total of 13 free Updating events across the UK. As half day events, they are open to everyone involved in or with an interest in amenity management. They will provide updates on topical issues and recent developments with contributions from policy makers and practitioners. With the review of the UK’s National Action Plan underway, these also provide real opportunity to hear your views and concerns.

The Events this year are entitled ‘Adapt and Survive’ with headline sponsorship from JSD Rail and with each event hosted by a member organisation. The full programme will be announced soon but you can register your interest now by emailing Admin@amenityforum.net As soon as the fullprogramme is available, it will then be forwarded for you to book a place at the location of your choice.

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Award For Rotherham Grounds Team

Award For Rotherham Grounds Team: More than any footballer could ever hope to Rotherham United head groundsman Dave Fellowes covers every blade of grass, suggesting he can clock up 100 miles a week on the pitch at AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Up and down, across and back, up and down, across and back.

Award For Rotherham Grounds Team

Dave Fellowes reckons he can clock up 100 miles a week on the pitch at AESSEAL New York Stadium as head groundsman of Rotherham United.

“There’s no such thing as an average week,” he says. “Everything changes depending on what’s going on at the stadium or up at the training ground. In the summer we can be cutting the grass anything up to eight times a week.”

Such dedication has earned him and his team yet another prestigious honour. Fellowes, New York assistant Mykel Parkin and Roundwood man with the mower Dave Burton have been named the Institute of Groundsmanship’s Grounds Team of the Year.

“It’s down to hard work. It’s a great joint effort,” Fellowes says. “I wouldn’t ask any of the lads to do a job I wouldn’t do. It’s not one individual.

“It’s just old-fashioned hard work, looking at the elements and reacting in the right way to that with the tools that you have.”

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Reece Watson To Leave Arsenal

Reece Watson To Leave Arsenal: Arsenal’s head groundsman Reece Watson has announced that he will be leaving the club in February 2019.

Watson has been an integral part of the club for 13 years, progressing from assistant groundsman to head groundsman.

Reece Watson To Leave Arsenal

Arsenal have been committed to providing one of the best playing surfaces in world football ever since moving to the Emirates Stadium and Watson has been one of the main men behind their brilliant surface.

He worked very well with former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who liked the pitch to always be in top condition to match his passing style of football.

Watson announced on LinkedIn:

After 13 years at the club, I have decided to move on to the next chapter. I will leave my position in February to start a new and innovative company which will approach things differently and I’m confident will have a great impact on our industry.

I would like to thank Arsenal FC for the amazing opportunities they have provided me, for which I will be forever grateful.

I leave behind a fantastic team and indeed some of my closest friends, all of whom have had such a positive influence on my life. I’m very excited for what the future holds, watch this space…

Even during the winter season, where there is heavy rain and snow, Watson ensured that Arsenal’s pitch was always in a playable condition and always worked with professionalism.

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IOG’s Training & Education Guide

IOG’s Training & Education Guide: The new IOG Prospectus is the definitive guide to the Institute of Groundsmanship’s  Training and Education, detailing the many training courses and qualifications available from the institute. The 44-page booklet outlines the qualifications, training courses and advisory services available to help support individual career development and future opportunities.

Also included is an ‘at-a-glance’ career roadmap showing how all the different options dovetail to create progression pathways.

IOG's Training & Education Guide

In addition, there is an explanation of the IOG’s Pitch Grading Framework – guidelines that match pitch quality standards with the skills required to maintain them, at every level from volunteer grassroots playing surfaces needing introductory certification through to foundation degrees for professionals at elite stadia.

The Prospectus offers something for everyone; a blended learning system that allows access to IOG courses in the workplace, the classroom or online, to enable everyone to enhance their skillset and knowledge.

A host of IOG training courses are outlined, for winter pitches, cricket, bowls, racecourses, warm season grasses, reinforced pitches and artificial surfaces, as well as ‘general’ and bespoke courses. The qualifications offered by the IOG include:

  • Technical Awards, Certificates and Diplomas in turf surface maintenance;
  • Certificate in sustainable turf management;
  • Professional Certificate and Diploma in turf surface management;
  • Professional Certificate in turf surface consulting; and
  • Supervisor Management Level 3.

Commenting on the launch of the IOG Prospectus, chief executive Geoff Webb said: “The IOG is committed to encouraging continual skills development and is passionate about supporting those wanting to learn how to improve playing surfaces at every level of the sporting spectrum.

“Thousands of grounds people train with us each year, as well as the many who undertake IOG qualifications, and the IOG Prospectus now provides an easy-reference guide for everyone involved.”

A PDF copy of the IOG Prospectus can viewed in the Learning area of the IOG website (www.iog.org/learning) or via the link https://www.iog.org/sites/default/files/documents/pages/iog_learning_prospectus_2018_1.pdf and printed copies are available from the IOG by calling 01908 312511 or via email: Learning@iog.org

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Germinal To Showcase ForeFront At BTME

Germinal To Showcase ForeFront At BTME: Germinal will be heading to the BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME) in Harrogate from 22nd to 24th January 2019, where it will be showcasing its ForeFront Greens grass seed mixture.

Containing a unique blend of three top-ranking bentgrass varieties, ForeFront Greens delivers the highest levels of disease and stress resistance.  It is rated for cutting heights down to 3mm and, with excellent shoot density, fineness of leaf and unrivalled summer and winter greenness, is the mixture for better golf greens.

Germinal To Showcase ForeFront At BTME

ForeFront Greens contains 35% Aber®Regal (browntop bent), 35% Aber®Royal (browntop bent) and 30% 007 DSB (creeping bent).

AberRegal and AberRoyal were both bred at IBERS (the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences in Aberystwyth) from parent material originally sourced in the UK.  As well as superb disease resistance they also offer excellent shoot density, good fineness of leaf and unrivalled winter and summer greenness.

007 DSB was bred in the US using 24 parent plants to produce a single cultivar with a prostrate growth habit, high shoot density and good wear tolerance in a wide range of climatic conditions.  007 DSB has won plaudits wherever it has been used including at Ryder Cup and US Open courses and at the PGA Masters at Wentworth.  Unlike older creeping bent varieties, 007 DSB has a lower requirement for water and nutrients thereby making it ideal for inclusion in a low input seed mixture.

The recommended sowing rate for Forefront Greens is 8 to 12g/m2 (80 to 120kgs/ha).  The recommended overseeding rate is 5 to 8g/m2 (50 to 80kgs/ha).

To discuss how ForeFront Greens could benefit your course visit Germinal on Stand 257 in  the Red Zone at BTME.  Alternatively go to www.germinalamenity.com

For more information visit www.germinalamenity.com

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