Terrain score points in Shropshire

Terrain score points in Shropshire: The market town of Church Stretton lies in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Nicknamed ‘Little Switzerland’ in the late Victorian period for its landscape, the local geology has some of the oldest rocks in England.

Among the many amenities the town has to offer, Church Stretton Town Council provides facilities such as crazy golf, hard tennis courts, a bowling green and croquet pitches. The two croquet lawns at Sandford Avenue had been placed on a hard surface and over time, becoming so compacted, they developed severe waterlogging problems. Good management proving very difficult, the Council looked around for a solution and after a number of consultations brought in Terrain Aeration.

Terrain score points in Shropshire

“We chose to go with Terrain because we needed to open up the ground for better drainage,” says Michael Turner, the Council’s Amenities and Services Officer, “and with the ground being so hard it needed breaking up very much deeper than normal aeration.” The lawns are available to the croquet club and members of the public and the other reason for improving the facilities was the fact the town team won the West Midlands League and needed the lawns to match their prowess.

Terrain Aeration carried out the work over one and a half days, with their Terralift machine’s JCB hammer slicing through the compaction to allow the hollow probe to reach up to a metre under the lawns. Working on a staggered grid pattern, once the probe reaches the optimum depth, compressed air is released up to a maximum of 20Bar (280psi). The blast effect fractures the compacted soil to allow drainage and deep aeration, with the grid ensuring each shot interconnects the fissures and fractures. As the probe withdraws, dried seaweed is injected which expands and contracts with the moisture content in the soil to keep the fissures open. The probe holes are then back-filled with Lytag, an inert product which allows air and water to percolate through but is mower friendly.

Michael adds: “The whole process was very clean and professional and Terrain Aeration were nice people to work with. We’ve done a further piece of work with scarification and the combination of the two is bringing the results we wanted. We’re very happy with the work done.”

Terrain Aeration 01449 673783

For more information visit: www.terrainaeration.co.uk

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Foley exceed 2019 expectations

Foley exceed 2019 expectations: Foley Company has exceeded UK market expectations heading into BTME 2020 after impressing greenkeepers with the speed and versatility of the Foley range of spin and relief grinders.

Through ProSport UK Ltd, a number of turf professionals have invested in the benefits that Foley grinders offer. The most popular model in 2019 has been the 633 Accu-Pro with Accu-Touch 3 Control, which has been installed at Hankley Common Golf Club, The Wisley Golf Club, The Richmond Golf Club, Garstang Golf Club, Farol, Chris Gibson Garden Machinery and RD Mechanical Services to name just a few.

Foley exceed 2019 expectations

A common factor behind investing in this machine was the desire for a quick high-quality automatic grind.

  1. The 633 Accu-Pro is an industry leader in versatility and can complete quick touch-up spin grinds or return the reel to manufacturers specifications through relief grinding.
  2. The operation is fast and straightforward with the Accu-Reel Selector, and cylinder height stop automatically locating the reel for spin and relief grinding in one set-up.
  3. Pre-set relief angles are easily identified on the relief angle adjuster, which makes it effortless to grind the correct angles and achieve proper clearances for each reel type.

Using the optional Accu-Touch 3 Control makes this even easier. You tell the machine what you’re working on and it does the rest using pre-programmed spin speeds, relief torque and in-feeds. With or without the Accu-Touch 3, once the grinder has started, operators are free to continue with other tasks while grinding is completed.

Les Howkins, course manager at The Richmond Golf Club, has benefitted from the speed of the 633 Accu-Pro and has also experienced the machines quiet operation and units that stay on cut for longer.

Les explained: “For us, one of the main advantages of choosing the Foley Accu-Pro 633 is that it delivers relief and spin grinding in the one machine and the changeover is very quick – approximately 20 seconds.

“Another reason is that the Foley grinder removes what is known as coning. This is where the reel wears more at one end than the other. This occurs through general use or on some occasions over adjustment. With the built-in electronic gauging system, we can set the units up true and grind them back to parallel.

“Our mechanic, Ian Clarke, is delighted with the quality of cut delivered by the Foley. Now that we can relief grind quickly and efficiently and the cutting units stay on cut longer, he will be able to manage our grinding programme much more effectively. As the machines are also very easy to use, we are also planning to improve this further with more of our staff using the grinders.”

The growth of Foley in the UK has also included sales of the 673 Automatic Bedknife Grinder, the 672 Semi-Automatic Bedknife Grinder the new Accu-Pro 661 AT/MT Bedknife Grinder and the top of the range 653 Reel grinder.

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Tributes for Burton groundsman

Tributes for Burton groundsman: Tributes have been paid to a green-fingered South Derbyshire man who tended to Burton Albion’s hallowed turf more than 30 years.

Alan Roberts has sadly died at home, aged 88.

Tributes for Burton groundsman

Mr Roberts worked most of his life as a coal sampler at Rawdon Pit, but in his spare time enjoyed looking after the bowling greens in and around Swadlincote.

He always had a love of football and was delighted to become the Brewers’ groundsman, first at Eton Park and later at The Pirelli Stadium.

Alan first started tending the pitch in the early 1980s, when Neil Warnock was manager, and continued until after the club moved to the Pirelli, which holds nearly 7,000 fans, in 2005.

His son, Paul, said: “He only really stopped because at his age when they moved to full-time at the new ground. That was too much for him.

“He was always there most mornings with different volunteers helping him at different times, quite often supporters who would come in if there was snow or waterlogged pitches.

“The football was his first priority, but he also looked after the bowls green at Newhall Social and quite a few other people asked him to help their groundsman. People used to pick his brains when things went wrong.

“He was a farm labourer in his early life and that is where he picked up the skills and his real love was always working outside.

“I was lucky enough to referee at a decent level and went to grounds all over the country and my dad was always keen to go with me when he could and if we turned up at a waterlogged pitch and I thought the game would be off he would say ‘ask the groundsman, he knows better than anybody’.

“He could walk on any pitch, bend down and tell you what type of grass it was. He absolutely loved it.”

Alan who was 88, passed away at home on Monday, November 4.

Burton Albion Chairman Ben Robinson, said: “It was very sad to hear that such a great servant to the football club had passed away.

“Alan will be fondly remembered by the many people he worked with over the years after battling with all the elements to make sure our games went ahead.

“Groundsmen are the unsung heroes without whom we could not enjoy football matches on a Saturday afternoon.

“Our thoughts are with his wife, Joyce, and all his family and friends at this time.”

Alan is remembered by Joyce, Paul – and Paul’s cousin, David, who Alan and Joyce brought up from an early age.

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Deputy Head Greenkeeper

Horsley Lodge Golf Club is an 18-hole golf course with USGA spec greens situated on the outskirts of Derby and one of the leading golf courses in the East Midlands since 1990.

Deputy Head Greenkeeper

Horsley Lodge Golf Club and Hotel is a family run business, which is committed to ensuring it provides the highest quality to both members and visitors all year round.

Applications are invited with the following minimum attributes:

  • Highly driven & ambitious
  • Minimum NVQ level 3 or equivalent
  • PA1,2,6a spraying certificates
  • USGA greens experience would be an advantage
  • Experience of organising & planning day to day work rotas
  • Have a critical eye for detail & for both presentation and playability
  • Good understanding of disease management
  • Experience of irrigation & water management
  • Chainsaw CS32/33 certificate would be an advantage

This is an exciting opportunity for a passionate, motivated individual looking to work at a fantastic facility with a great team.

Please send a covering letter, CV and salary expectations to:

Simon Hardman
Head Greenkeeper
Horsley Lodge golf club
Smalley Mill Road
Horsley
Derbyshire
DE21 5BL

Email:
Simon.hardman@horsleylodge.co.uk  

Closing date:
24th December 2019

Alaves groundsman nets award

Alaves groundsman nets award: John Stewart, from Laurieston, has been named the best groundsman in Spanish football in the year 2019 for his work on Deportivo Alaves’ Mendizorrotza Stadium pitch.

The 49-year-old was presented with his award and trophy at the annual La Liga greenkeeper’s dinner in Madrid last week, becoming the latest local sport and horticulture award winner after Falkirk’s Jim.

Alaves groundsman nets award

He told The Falkirk Herald: “It’s fantastic to receive an award from people who know what they’re talking about and what you are going through.

“The preparation to a pitch is what’s key. We can cut it six times and line it two or three before a match – but there is a lot of pressure.

“You are dealing with a living thing and aspects outwith your control like the weather can affect it.

“It was a lovely surprise to receive the award and it’s surreal too. I was interviewed about it on the pitch on Saturday standing beside Roberto Carlos. You do get up close to a lot of big names.”

John’s Spanish story began a lot further away though – on the greens and fairways of the golf course in America but he switched to football some ten years ago while in Spain. He took up the head green keeping role at Real Sociedad, later moving to Alaves, near his home in Vitoria which he shares with wife Maria and their two children.

Before moving away, John and his brothers Colin and Tom, were members of Wallacestone Pipe Band. Their father, also Tom – a retired local police officer – said the “whole family are immensely proud of what John has achieved”.

Back home John also worked six months on the Falkirk Tryst course. While in America tutoring piping and working on the greens he befriended US Open winner Payne Stewart, playing the pipes at his memorial service and also at the funeral of Seve Ballesteros.

Piping continues to be a passion and John added: “Just after the game with Real Madrid on Saturday I had to dash away and play at a whisky tasting. It was quite a contrast.”

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Osca justifies pitch investment

Osca justifies pitch investment: Once Warwick School had decided to invest in a new synthetic pitch, Grounds Manager Duncan Toon felt that the SISIS Osca 3 tractor-mounted oscillating brush was the only machine that could maintain the new surface effectively and truly justify the major investment decision.   

Sport plays a significant role for the pupils that attend Warwick School and its teams excel in a number of sports including cricket, rugby and hockey. However, while the school’s sports teams are making the headlines on the pitch, it is Duncan and his newly assembled team of six grounds staff that make it all possible.

Osca justifies pitch investment

Duncan, who has been in the role for nine months, was tasked by Warwick Independent Schools Foundation, which includes Warwick School, Warwick Junior School, King’s High School and Warwick Preparatory School, to significantly improve the sports surfaces used by all its schools.  He is now responsible for the eight hectares of grassland and all of the gardens and sports facilities.

“With the investment which has been made into the synthetic surface, I felt that we needed to have the best equipment to maintain it and for me the Osca was essential.

“I was actually looking online and I came across some videos of the SISIS Osca in action and after much research I felt that it was the one machine which massively stood out and the one which I believed would make the biggest difference to us.”

The SISIS Osca is a tractor-mounted powered oscillating brush with a 1.9 meter working width and is equally effective when used on synthetic turf with sand or rubber infill. The two oscillating brushes stand up the carpet fibres and redistributes the infill, minimising compaction on the surface and improving its performance – giving consistent playing characteristics while preventing pile damage caused by reduced infill levels.

A contributory factor to the reduction of compaction is that the Osca’s working width will use fewer passes than other more conventional drag brushes to complete a pitch. Its aggressive brushing action agitates the upper infill level of the surface from side to side as well as brushing forward, helping reduce surface compaction and encourage the fibres to stand up straight which reduces the risk of contamination, drainage problems and leaves a consistent playing surface across the whole pitch.

For a school that thrives on sport, the synthetic surfaces at Warwick incur a lot of usage which means that regular maintenance is of the utmost importance – as Duncan explains.

“Over the course of a year, the pitch averages four hours of play every day and we use the Osca on a fortnightly basis. It is a great machine and when you run your fingers through the pitch after you have used the Osca, it is clear to see that the de-compaction it offers is simply on a different level. Since we have been using it the pitch has significantly improved.

“The Osca’s oscillating brushes are the best feature and are very unique. Not only do they get rid of any compaction problems but they also provide a fantastic finish. Thousands of pupils play on this pitch so maintaining it effectively is important for player safety but you can’t forget about the presentation either. The SISIS Osca ticks both of these boxes.”

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

For more news, reviews and insightful views, you can follow SISIS on Twitter or Instagram @SISISMachinery and like the company’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/SISISMachinery. You can also view the latest SISIS videos by visiting www.youtube.com/SISISMachinery

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