An Update From Scott MacCallum

I must start this month by passing on the thoughts of all at Turf Matters to those groundsmen and their fellow staff at Bury Football Club. The euphoria of promotion last season had not long died down when the doors closed for the last time with expulsion from the league structure.

 

It is absolutely devastating for all the staff and supporters who had taken huge pride in supporting a club which had been part of the Bury community since 1885 and it shows just how precarious the situation for a great many clubs within the football league structure.

Bolton Wanderers were given a reprieve well into Fergie time and we all hope that their struggles are now behind them, but it does not require a huge leap in imagination to see similar Bury and Bolton scenarios occurring in other clubs.

Reputation and history counts for nothing. Just look at Rangers north of the border. After going into liquidation in 2012 the blue half of the Old Firm returned, but only in the bottom tier and it took a number of years to return to the Scottish Premiership, filling the ground of ever hosting club along the way.. It is good to see them back, but Steven Gerrard is operating on a fraction of the budget of Neil Lennon at Celtic, albeit still much more that the rest of the other rival clubs.

I’m sure Bury will not die entirely and will no doubt return in reduced form well down the football structure but that will be of no solace to those who relied on salaries to pay the bills.

To change sports and offer a comment on a brighter note – wasn’t Ben Stokes something else? Sporting moments like that at Headingley can galvanise a country. So well done, Ben, for achieving something no-one else has accomplished for quite some time.

Cobra’s Breast Cancer Mower

Cobra’s Breast Cancer Mower: Cobra garden machinery are proud to have teamed up with the Breast Cancer Now charity to produce a limited edition pink Cobra GTRM38P electric lawnmower with the aim to help fund the future of breast cancer research.

“We have colleagues, family and friends who have been effected by this life changing illness and so we decided that this would be a great idea to raise money for this excellent charity. Breast Cancer Now is the UK’s largest breast cancer research charity and are dedicated to funding research into this devastating disease,” explained Peter Chaloner managing director of Cobra.

Cobra's Breast Cancer Mower

The company donates £25 from every sale to the charity and the entire stock will be sold, making a total donation of £5000. The electric machine has a 38cm/15” cutting width and its rear roller will deliver those much sought after stripes.

Grass cuttings are either collected in the 40 litre bag or can be discharged as a mulch to help fertilise the lawn.  It has seven different heights of cut and comes with 10 metres of electric cable.  The machine has a two year guarantee and sells for £99.99 in specialist Cobra garden machinery dealers. See cobragarden.co.uk for further details.

“We have been delighted with the customer support for our pink mower and plan to offer it for sale again in 2020,” says Peter,  “We hope to make even more money for Breast Cancer Now.”

Cobra products are available to buy online at the Cobra store or via a network of expert dealers across the UK.

For more information visit www.cobragarden.co.uk

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GSK Couldn’t Be Without ELMO

GSK couldn’t be without ELMO: British multinational pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), has explained the benefits of having adopted Husqvarna Automower® technology to maintain the green spaces around its Global head office in Brentford over the past three years.

GSK house in Brentford has relied on ELMO, a robotic lawnmower manufactured by Husqvarna and named by GSK staff, to work unassisted and maintain a large lawn area surrounding its headquarters.

GSK couldn’t be without ELMO

ELMO stands for Electronic Lawn Mowing Operative and is a Husqvarna Automower® – a robotic lawnmower which is able to maintain green spaces up to 5000mper machine. Installed in 2017 by Sodexo, GSK’s grounds maintenance provider, the robotic mower has quietly gone about its business and without disturbing office staff, cutting little and often through its random mowing pattern, ensuring that grass of GSK house remains a lush, healthy green.

The Husqvarna Automower® has freed up time, allowing the grounds staff to spend more hours on maintaining other, more labour intensive areas of the GSK site. Husqvarna Automower® is an environmentally friendly machine and means that the team now does not need to use as many petrol machines in order to keep the grounds looking pristine.

Sodexo’s Senior Facilities Service Manager for GSK, Michelle Chapman, commented: “ELMO has truly become part of the family at GSK house – our staff just love watching the robot work and GSK couldn’t be without ELMO now.

“For us, the Husqvarna Automower® means time saved and an environmentally way for us to manage the green spaces at our headquarters whilst improving the lawn appearance. It gives the grounds team more time to focus on other, more crucial things and the fact that it’s silent in its working means it does not disturb staff when cutting the grass.”

The little and often cutting principle of Husqvarna Automower® means the mower feeds micro-clippings back into the soil as natural fertiliser and its random mowing pattern improves lawn quality. The extremely low noise levels also ensures that the machine can work away without disturbing people.

UK Manager – Husqvarna Professional, Kevin Ashmore, commented: “Sodexo’s close relationship with Husqvarna was key in them being one of the first in the UK to trial Husqvarna Automower® in public spaces. The result was that GSK Brentwood recommended the Husqvarna Automower® to many of its main Global sites.”

Husqvarna has an impressive list of commercial installations across the UK, ranging from municipalities (Edinburgh, London & Glasgow), botanic gardens, multi-national headquarters, stately homes, sports facilities, universities & schools and zoos & animal parks.

To learn more about its technology and for more information on the Husqvarna Automower® range visit: http://www.husqvarna.com/uk/products/robotic-lawn-mowers/

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Footballer Scuffles With Groundsman

Footballer Scuffles With Groundsman: Richard Keogh was allegedly involved in a post-game altercation with a Nottingham Forest groundsman, according to reports.

Sky Sports report that the Republic of Ireland and Derby County defender was left with “noticeable scratch marks” on his neck following a “scuffle” with the Forest groundsman. It is unclear if the groundsman suffered an injury during the alleged incident.

Footballer Scuffles With Groundsman

Derby lost 3-0 to their midlands rivals in a League Cup tie on Tuesday night. After the game at the City Ground, Keogh – who was an unused substitute for the match – and his teammates were doing a warm-down on the pitch as Forest staff were clearing the surface. Keogh was reportedly involved in an argument with the groundsman. The two men were then separated by their colleagues.

The clubs have yet to release a statement on the alleged incident, but Sky Sports report that they are discussing potential disciplinary action.

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Agronomic’s Return To SALTEX

Agronomic’s Return To SALTEX: Agronomic’s will be highlighting their disease prevention packages, enabling Turf Managers to reduce their fungicide applications.

David Snowden of Agronomic Services Ltd says, “this is a win win situation for the environment and for the customer’s budgets, particularly with the restrictions on fungicides”. He continues “Floratine products have been prescribing plant nutrition and preventative health for sport’s turf for over twenty years. We are the experts in this field”. For inspiration and technology capable of reducing inputs, Floratine Foliars are the leaders in this sector, with extensive research and experience in plant health.

Agronomic's Return To SALTEX

Agronomic Services Ltd is delighted to be exhibiting once more at Saltex on Stand Number F100.

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Toro On Board At Chigwell GC

Toro On Board At Chigwell GC: Chigwell Golf Club in Essex has taken delivery of its second Toro fleet as it proves itself a winner in the eyes of its membership.

For a golf club managed by its membership, investment in the course is central to achieving a happy collective says course manager Jeff Foulger: “We have an active membership who are very much involved in the decision-making of the club, along with the board of directors and general manager Ben Driver. When the members were presented with the five-year plan for the course, which had been put together by a special committee made up of members and included further investment in Toro machinery, the membership agreed it by a landslide. The plan highlighted the positive difference Toro machinery had made and would continue to make to the course.”

Toro On Board At Chigwell GC

And not just that, but when you consider the main points of the plan, which includes maximum course playability all year round, quality greens, tees and fairways, and bunker maintenance and improvement, alongside the usual course management and maintenance work, it’s clear to see that Toro is integral to all.

Jeff continues: “We need Toro on board to help us tackle the plan, there’s no two ways about it. There’s a lot to do but it’s all achievable with the seven-strong team we have here and a reliable fleet of equipment on board.”

And joining the club in this latest fleet deal, delivered by Reesink Turfcare, is a Toro TriFlex 3420, Groundsmaster 3500-D, three Greensmaster Flex 2120 pedestrian mowers, two Greensmaster pedestrian mowers, a Workman MDX-D utility vehicle and a Pro Force debris blower.

With a CV including top international clubs it’s a role Jeff, who joined the club three years ago, is taking in his stride. “This role at Chigwell Golf Club sees me return home and come full circle career-wise. Not only is it my home club, but it’s where I started my career.”

And it’s a career which has taken him all over the world to the likes of Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, USA and K Club in County Kildare, Ireland, and Jeff continues: “I’m really excited to be back where it all began, I can’t wait to bring some of the different aspects and ideas I’ve learnt from some of the best clubs in the world to my home club.”

Chigwell Golf Club has also undertaken a major course review with the original course designers who have made recommendations for improvements, while retaining the fundamental character of the course.

Jeff concludes: “The board of club directors has prioritised available revenue for the continued development of our course, which is regarded as our prized asset. That’s an exciting position to be in and one of great responsibility, but with all the right partners on board such as Toro and Reesink, it’s entirely achievable.”

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Cricket Club Slams Vandals

Cricket Club Slams Vandals: The chairman of a cricket club has voiced his anger after their pitch was vandalised ahead of an all-important title decider.

Players and officials at Bradenham Cricket Club were left devastated last week after groundsman Brett Gates arrived to find the outfield desecrated with tyre marks.

Cricket Club Slams Vandals

Mr Gates subsequently took to social media to call out the “mindless damage”, branding the offenders “muppets”.

And now Tim Evans, chairman of the club, has blasted those responsible for spoiling a highly-valued community asset.

“It is just so disappointing to see,” said Mr Evans. “Whoever’s done this has just mindlessly driven round the pitch and even on the square as well. You can still see the circles where they have gone round.

“We’re fortunate that the ground itself was not that wet at the time. It was a bit damp but, had it been wet, the damage would’ve been much worse.

“We’ve had a really good year and Brett and others have put in untold work on the outfield to keep it looking nice – not just for the club, but for the whole village.

“It is just so frustrating – after all the hard work that’s been put in – to see the pitch ruined by some idiots who think they are clever. They’ve achieved nothing by doing this, other than making a complete mess of something in their own village.”

As Bradenham First XI prepares for its final game of the season at home to table-toppers Great Melton on Saturday (August 31), the club feels the pitch could barely have been damaged at a worse time.

A win will see second-placed Bradenham leapfrog their rivals into top spot, handing them the Norfolk Cricket Alliance division three title.

“Having this match against Great Melton on Saturday is all the more reason to be disappointed about the damage,” added Mr Evans.

“We’ve cut the grass and been round the pitch with a roller which has flattened out the marks as best we can ready for the weekend.

“Bradenham’s promotion has not been confirmed yet as there are all sorts of other factors that come into it, but as far as we know and as far as we’ve been told, it looks 99pc sure that we’re going up.”

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Bobcat Expand Attachment Range

Bobcat Expand Attachment Range: Bobcat is a major player worldwide in the attachment market. For the company’s market-leading range of compact loaders, the attachment range has just been expanded with the launch of the new Bobcat Remote Control System.

All Bobcat compact loaders are equipped with the quick-change Bob-Tach attachment mounting system, facilitating the quick and safe interchange of over 100 different types of Bobcat attachment. The new Remote Control System has been designed in the same way – it is a plug and play system comprising an easily portable and industrial radio remote control solution that can be mounted and dismounted on machines very quickly, leaving behind the standard machine in its original form.

Bobcat Expand Attachment Range

A new video demonstrates how simple it is to set up and use the Remote Control System. Here is the link to the video: https://youtu.be/nNUI9Ve0Prc

In the Remote Control video, a Bobcat T450 compact track loader and an S100 skid-steer loader are shown working with Grapple, Pallet Fork and Combination Bucket attachments, but of course there are many more, including Vibratory Roller, Soil Conditioner, Auger, Trencher, Landplane, 2D/3D Laser Grader and Dozer Blade attachments from Bobcat.

Increased Safety and Productivity

Remote control aims to increase safety, comfort and productivity by distancing the operator from dust, noise, vibrations and other hazards encountered at the workface or on job sites that require special safety precautions. Work can be done faster with higher precision and, in some applications, with fewer personnel on the job site. For increased safety, the system also features an emergency stop button and drop and tilt detection.

It allows direct sight of the work in progress, further increasing the versatility of the loader and a comprehensive range of attachments including angle brooms, augers, breakers, buckets and snow blowers. With trenchers and wheelsaws, where the operator specifically needs to drive backwards with the loader, this solution offers perfect visibility of the project. It also allows operators to talk face-to-face with project partners and manage the surroundings (verbally or non-verbally) at the same time.

Other applications include demolition environments with poor air quality and distracting noise, where the Remote Control System gives the operator the ability to do work from a distance, free from dirt, dust and noise.

In shipyards and in vessels with limited space in the hold, distancing the operator from the loader keeps them away from other loading machinery such as grabs and the materials they are carrying, separating them from hazardous chemicals and other airborne pollutants as well as falling heavy objects such as scrap metal and other items. The job can be done more easily, with better visibility for managing tight spaces in and around containment areas.

In the waste and recycling industries, the remote control solution allows operators to handle dangerous or toxic materials from a safe distance, minimizing the risk of exposure. With the remote control solution, operators can work on hazardous applications (such as detecting and removing land mines) and also disasters like floods, forest fires, mud or rock slides and in other places where operators can be subjected to dangerous situations.

Installed in a matter of minutes as the video shows, the new Remote Control System allows operators to leave their seat in the cab and control their Bobcat loader remotely. It is compatible with Bobcat skid-steer, compact track and all wheel steer loader models equipped with the company’s Selectable Joystick Controls.

“After comprehensive testing and licensing of the new Remote Control System, Bobcat is the first company to provide an attachment product of this type as original ‘Plug&Play’ equipment, rather than offering it as an add-on development from a third party,” said Alastair Jones, Bobcat Attachments District Manager (UK, Ireland and Nordics & Baltics).

“The Remote Control System can be used in many applications with the focus on limitless visibility, the ability to communicate with the surroundings without the need to be present in the cab, comfort enhancement for applications with noise, vibration and harshness or even in dangerous areas,” Alastair Jones explained.

He continued: “Complementing the applications described above, remote control solutions have proved their qualities and abilities to save lives in the toughest environments all around the world by providing service during disasters like floods, forest fires, mud or rock slides and in other places where operators can be subjected to dangerous situations.”

Simple Plug and Play

The new plug and play system comprises an easily portable and industrial radio remote control solution that can be mounted and dismounted on machines very quickly, leaving behind the standard machine in its original form.

Every remote-control kit is protected by a dedicated password, with two-way communication providing all the important information about the loader (such as fuel and oil status, warnings, etc.) on a 3.5-inch transflective colour backlit LCD display.

The system provides most of the functions that can be performed via direct loader operation, including throttle, light, creep and float controls. There is also speed management control to ensure easier operation in certain applications (such as trenching, tilling, scarifying and so on). The system is very intuitive to use and the training for end users will be provided by Bobcat dealers.

The Remote Control System is supplied with two exchangeable batteries offering a long 20-hour battery life. The protective case ensures it is easier to transport from one job site to another. This forms part of an updated state-of-the-art ergonomic design with the system housed in a rugged and weatherproof enclosure.

World Leader in Attachments

As a market leader worldwide in attachments, Bobcat offers customers many advantages in this market. They include the company‘s One-Stop-Shop approach – providing every possible combination of machine and attachment from one source and an impressive stock of products available for immediate shipment. This is backed by the service support of the comprehensive Bobcat dealer network in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, offering Service Specialists and excellent Parts availability to reduce downtime.

The warranty protection available from Bobcat allows customers to avoid the disputes that may arise from the compatibility and operating problems that are caused by the use of non-approved attachments. In contrast, all Bobcat attachments are engineering approved, ensuring that they are optimized for efficiency, performance and greater productivity. This results in lower operating and maintenance costs.

For more information about Bobcat and Bobcat products, visit the website www.bobcat.com

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Landini Tractors Back At SALTEX

Landini Tractors Back At SALTEX: Landini tractors new to the turf management and groundscare sectors will feature at this year’s Saltex event on October 30/31 at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham as manufacturer Argo Tractors raises the profile of its Italian marque.

The compact and mid-range models are well-suited to turf care, grounds maintenance and related applications, providing high levels of productivity and fuel efficiency, and a safe and comfortable working environment for operators spending long hours at the controls.

Landini Tractors Back At SALTEX

“Landini is an established range of products from one of the World’s largest agricultural tractor manufacturers,” notes Adrian Winnett, UK & Ireland managing director at the Argo Tractors group.

“They benefit from considerable resources in terms of design and development, manufacturing and distribution, and owners can rely on comprehensive parts and technical back-up from us and from our independent dealers.”

While the complete Landini range extends to highly sophisticated tractors with up to 225hp for agricultural tillage operations, the focus at Saltex will be on the smaller models in the range, mechanical drive compact tractors from 54hp to 75hp, and full-size mid-range tractors from 70hp to 113hp.

“These products are well suited to groundscare and turf management applications thanks to a choice of specifications and features that enable buyers to find the best build for their needs,” says Adrian Winnett.

“You can go for a simple unit for light grounds maintenance duties or one with heavier-duty build and more comprehensive transmissions and implement drives to handle larger implements or equipment with greater demands for power and hydraulics.”

Argo Tractors decided to return to the Saltex event as part of a campaign to raise the profile of its Landini range, show new models added to the line-up and engage face-to-face with potential customers and prospective new dealers.

“As the undisputed number one shop-window for the groundscare and turf management sectors, we felt it was the right time to showcase our latest products at Saltex,” says Mr Winnett. “We look forward to welcoming visitors to our stand to see these tractors in the metal.”

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Mark Richardson Associates Launched

Mark Richardson Associates Launched: Industry veteran, Mark Richardson of Stewart Landscape Construction announces the formation of Mark Richardson Associates, a new consulting business that will offer the landscape industry a broad range of experience and expertise including project management, feasibility studies and sourcing of products and services.

Richardson, who has worked in the UK landscape sector for 33 years, 20 of which have been spent managing his multi award winning company, Stewart Landscape Construction Ltd says, “Through my time delivering many complex projects I have often felt that my clients would benefit from the services of an independent consultant who could provide a much needed project management role or indeed act as an intermediary between the clients and the landscaper. Often clients do not understand the complexities in delivering a landscape project on time and to budget and so having someone to help them through that process would be invaluable.”

Mark Richardson Associates Launched

Richardson, who has been planning his new consultancy business over the last year launches Mark Richardson Associates in August 2019. Commenting on the launch he says, “During the planning phase of this business I spoke to many industry movers and shakers who have expressed an interest in my services. Excitingly some of that interest has been from international clients so I have decided to offer my services to a global market.”

Richardson has used a business development advisor to help him create his new consultancy practice. Neville Stein, who is an expert in business diversification believes that Richardson can offer something new to the landscape industry and says, “Mark has a real passion is to help clients turn their ideas into a tangible reality, enabling them to achieve a landscape project that exceeds their expectations.” Stein, who has a real understand of the landscape market also says, “Often landscape clients need someone to ‘sense check’ their ideas to ensure that they are implementable and then to help them deliver the project to the right specification, within the financial budget and the required timescales and this is just what Mark is so good at doing.”

Richardson will continue to operate his landscape company in the medium term, and in particular will continue to build award winning show gardens at Chelsea.

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