Mansfield Sand makes the difference

Mansfield Sand makes the difference: Since using products from Mansfield Sand, Stuart Vause, Head Groundsman at Castleford Tigers, claims that the pitch has resulted in a more free-draining, firmer surface.

It is safe to say that Stuart is living the dream. As a lifelong fan of Castleford Tigers, Stuart admits that he sometimes has to pinch himself to believe that he is working for the club that he loves.

Mansfield Sand makes the difference

Mansfield Sand makes the difference

“It’s my childhood team so for me this is a very special place to work,” he said. “It is a place where I’ve watched them as a child growing up stood in the stands, I’ve been a season ticket holder and now I’m working here. There is no other place I’d rather be.”

For the past five years Stuart has been the Head Groundsman and, in that time, he has done a truly remarkable job. His work on the stadium pitch and the training pitch has been widely praised by players, fans and staff and he has also been recognised by the grounds management industry – winning the Professional Rugby Football League Grounds Team of the Year, not once, but twice in three years.

The transformation in the pitch since Stuart took over has been incredible, and in particular, Stuart believes that one of the biggest improvements has been since he started using Mansfield Sand’s MM40.

“The pitch here at the stadium is very old and there is not much drainage at all. It is the same on the training pitch,” said Stuart. “When I first came here, there would be so much standing water and drainage wouldn’t go through the profile – a lot of games would be called off if we were seeing a lot of rain.

“I thought that I really needed to get some sand into the pitch, so I got in touch with Mansfield Sand and we’ve used them ever since.”

Stuart now relies on Mansfield Sand’s MM40 which is sourced directly from the Two Oaks Quarry in Mansfield where the company produces its renowned Mansil range of Silica Sands. MM40 is a medium sand which is predominantly used in the construction and maintenance of a wide range of sports surfaces – from winter sports pitches, golf courses, bowling greens and all amenity turf areas.

Four years ago, he started by applying 20 tonnes of MM40 during his renovations but after seeing the difference it made, he has increased the quantity year-on-year and is now applying between 80-100 tonnes a year across the stadium and training pitches.

“I could see the improvements straight away,” he said. “The roots were getting deeper, the surface was getting firmer, it was more stable during the winter months, and it was starting to drain more.

Mansfield Sand makes the difference

Mansfield Sand makes the difference

“Both pitches are in the best condition I have ever seen, and I think the sand plays a big part in that. The surfaces are holding up incredibly well and last year I hardly had to do any divotting and this when there could have been two or three sessions a day on them.

“This year we had the wettest February on record – no games were cancelled and no training sessions were cancelled – whereas in the past they would have been. In fact, I remember one time when it wouldn’t stop raining and a Sky TV commentator, along with everyone else, thought that one of our games would be cancelled. When the game proceeded, he asked me what I had done to get all the water off the pitch! I think this shows what a difference the sand has made.

“It’s free-draining, consistent and the service is always brilliant. Gary Cunningham from Mansfield Sand will come in have a look and I’ll trust him to advise on what I need. After the sand is applied, he will come back in and then we’ll assess the results together. It is great to be able to have that knowledge and assistance.”

For more information visit www.mansfield-sand.co.uk

You can also follow the company on Twitter – @MansfieldSand.

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EndoSan – For Silver Service Sanitization

EndoSan – For Silver Service Sanitization: With the relaxing of lockdown and the return of recreational activity and sport participation, Rigby Taylor has introduced EndoSan, the most advanced ionic silver based chemistry in a solution of Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2), for sanitizing a wide range of surfaces.

EndoSan provides control of Coronavirus as well as bacteria, fungi and algae when applied to a wide range of surfaces as a non-hazardous spray.

EndoSan - For Silver Service Sanitization

EndoSan – For Silver Service Sanitization

EndoSan’s positive environmental credentials provide a first-choice surface sanitizer for grounds managers, greenkeepers and contractors. Supplied in two formulations, the ready-to-use EndoSan 3 formulation is available in 500ml Trigger packs and 5 litre drums and for larger applications, EndoSan 50 is a dilutable concentrate packed in 10 litres. Larger sizes up to 1000 litres are available on request.

Areas of use include, turf and artificial playing surfaces, ‘touch-points’

in changing rooms, gyms, playgrounds and on equipment, golf course ‘furniture’. trolley’s and buggies, seating, railings, gates, flags, nets and much more

EndoSan has no odour or colour, is 100% chlorine and alcohol free and non-corrosive. Applied through a pressure sprayer, or for small areas from a ready-to- use Trigger pack, the product simply degrades into harmless, naturally occurring water and oxygen substances following application and is one of the safest forms of disinfection.

Application can be made through a pressure sprayer such as one selected from the Rigby Taylor Evolution knapsack range with two back pack model (one electric) with tank capacities of 15 litres and a lightweight 7 litre option.

EndoSan is a ‘safe biocide’ and has been approved for continuous addition to drinking water. In addition to the number of environmental benefits, the

manufacturing process also complies with ISO 14001 and environmental standards, ISO 9001 and ISO 13485

Available now from your Rigby Taylor area manager or online at www.rigbytaylor.com

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MM seed first-class at Oxford University

MM seed first-class at Oxford University: Jon Buddington, Grounds Manager at the world-famous Oxford University, has reported excellent results from using a range of Limagrain’s MM grass seed.

Oxford University – the world-leading centre of learning, teaching and research is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. Gifted men and women have studied or taught at the University throughout its great history. Among them are 28 British Prime Ministers, at least 30 international leaders and 55 Nobel Prize winners.

MM seed first-class at Oxford University

MM seed first-class at Oxford University

Academic success aside, the University has also produced 120 Olympic medal winners and is currently ranked among the top British universities for sport thanks to coaching and student commitment.

Oxford University Sport manages the University sports facilities at Iffley Road Sports Centre and the sports pitches within University Parks and on Marston Road. The man tasked with maintaining these wonderful facilities, which consists of 24 hectares of grass surfaces, is Jon Buddington, who has been the University’s Grounds Manager for two years.

As a frequent user of Limagrain seed throughout his 30-year career history, Jon was not surprised to see Limagrain’s MM50 seed performing well on a newly constructed cricket square upon the start of his tenure at the University.

“The new cricket square was overseeded with MM50 and because of the great results we continued to use it,” he said. “Now we overseed with MM50 at the end of the cricket season and put a bit on pre-season just before we start rolling.

“We find that we get incredible results by overseeding with MM50 in the early spring when the surface is still damp, just before we start any heavy maintenance. It has been a very good seed for us especially for cricket – the MM50 has very good wear tolerance and we hardly ever get any debris.”

As Jon says, MM50, a blend of fine-leaved ryegrasses, is ideal for cricket squares and outfields. This hard-wearing mix has rapid germination, very fine leaved appearance, high shoot density and is tolerant to very close mowing, along with high disease resistance. All these attributes together produce a fantastic sward that has great colour all year round. It is also widely praised for its rapid recovery.

In the early stages of his new position at Oxford, Jon’s attentions soon turned towards the winter pitches. After consultation with trusted supplier, MW Turfcare, he was advised to try Limagrain’s MM60 seed on the rugby and football pitches.

This 100% ryegrass formula is renowned for producing an excellent playing surface. It is perfect for renovation and divot repair, has a high disease resistance, fantastic aesthetic qualities and offers extremely fast germination – which is boosted by the inclusion of Headstart GOLD®.

“We renovate and overseed with MM60 at the end of the rugby and football seasons – which all depends on fixtures which can be often drawn out depending on the weather and internal college games. Generally, we tend to apply MM60 to these pitches at the end of May and we get very good germination. The initial colour, from the infant plant is great, and we have a strong colour all year round – it never looks drawn out or yellow and tired so I’m incredibly happy with it.”

MM seed first-class at Oxford University

MM seed first-class at Oxford University

In terms of applying MM seed, Jon admits to veering away from recommended rates.

“For me, it’s all about feel and visual,” he said. “We don’t go by religious sowing rates or anything like that. In my opinion it is about getting as much grass in there as you can especially when you are taking it out and raking it and preparing cricket pitches.”

One look at the University’s immaculate and stunning sports pitches will tell you that Jon certainly knows his craft – he has after all been in the turf industry since the age of 16. However, he still modestly reserved praise for Limagrain UK and MW Turfcare.

“They are both great companies to work with. I get a fantastic product from Limagrain and Mark (from MW Turfcare) is an exceptionally good supplier. He is very technically knowledgeable – there is not much that I have to run past him but when I do, he has all the answers.”

For further information, please contact Limagrain UK on 01472 371471 or visit the company’s website www.lgseeds.co.uk/mm – you can also follow the company on Twitter: @MM_Seed

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Reesink finance provides peace of mind

Reesink finance provides peace of mind: Thanks to the flexibility of Toro’s UK distributor Reesink Turfcare’s finance options, Dean Wood Golf Club signed its second Toro fleet lease agreement despite being in the midst of the lockdown.

With golf clubs across the country temporarily closing their doors earlier this year, you’d be forgiven for thinking that investment in their courses would stop. But for Dean Wood Golf Club this wasn’t the case, as the club has invested in more Toro.

Reesink finance provides peace of mind

Reesink finance provides peace of mind

Chris Halkerd, who has been at the club for 24 years and course manager for 15, explains: “We’d come to the end of our first lease deal with Toro in March, just as the lockdown came into force. This threw the club into a state of uncertainty, but luckily with help from Reesink and Cheshire Turf Machinery, we were able to continue our investment in the club.”

With the range of flexible finance options that Reesink provides, the club was able to reduce costs while bringing in a fleet of brand new and upgraded machinery.

“The finance offering from Reesink couldn’t be matched by anyone else,” continues Chris. “And while we’d had other brands demonstrated, it was clear to us that Toro was the way to go. The course has steep gradients in places, and other brands just couldn’t get up there. It was this combination that sealed the deal.

“The board was in immediate agreement with the plan, but we put it to the members to vote as well. It was almost unanimous. Despite the uncertainty of the market, it was clear to everyone this deal presented the best opportunity to save money and greatly improve the course.”

The deal means the club now has the bulk of its payments scheduled for next year which Chris says has given the club “real peace of mind that the financial risk for this year has been reduced, without compromising on the service for our customers.”

And the excellence the club strives to provide has certainly been noticed. With the greenkeeping team posting on social media throughout lockdown showing them hard at work with their Toro machines, interest has boomed. The club has gained around 100 new members (and counting) in the last four weeks alone, with some even joining before the course had reopened.

But whether old or new members, they’ve all noticed the quality Toro has brought to the course, says Chris: “We’ve had so much feedback from members saying that the course looks exceptional. Thanks to the new and upgraded machines, I’ve even had someone say it’s never looked better in the 40 years they’d been coming to the club!”

“The new machines are fantastic,” continues Chris. “I’ve been particularly impressed by the Reelmaster 3575-D which has reduced our fairway cutting time by 45 minutes, and the Greensmaster TriFlex Hybrid 3420 is not only great for the environment, but it takes away any worries about hydraulic leaks as well as reducing noise. I actually had to check it was cutting when we first got it on the course – it was so quiet I didn’t believe it was turned on!

“The ProCore 648 aerator is another game changer, and we’ve got a new TYM 503 tractor which is a great workhorse. My thinking is that after five years we’ll purchase them both, as it’s clear they’ll provide huge benefits as permanent investments.”

So with the member count continuing to grow, and the course the best it’s ever been, it’s safe to say that Dean Wood Golf Club is a COVID-19 era success story.

“We are really lucky and grateful to be in the position we’re in now, but we wouldn’t have been able to do it without the forward thinking board and members we have here at the club. Not to mention the excellent support from both Cheshire Turf Machinery and Reesink who’ve been instrumental in navigating us through the best possible course of action during this time.”

To talk to someone about the finance options available and how the Toro range would suit your course, call 01480 226800.

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STRI Group appoints new directors

STRI Group appoints new directors: Following a period of strong growth, STRI Group is delighted to announce the appointment of two new company directors to its board.

Head of consultancy, Richard Stuttard, and head of business development, Andrew Brooker have been promoted as STRI directors from 3 August 2020. Both will continue to manage their existing departments.

STRI Group appoints new directors

STRI Group appoints new directors

Richard will lead the Group’s interests in delivering design, build and project management services to major sports projects across the globe.

Andrew will be instrumental in ensuring STRI continues to grow globally, inside and outside the sports sector, through developing strategic acquisition and investment opportunities.

Commenting on the appointments, STRI chief executive officer, Mark Godfrey, said: “STRI has continued to grow as a business and it was the right time to expand our board. Richard and Andrew have been important senior figures at STRI for a number of years and are helping drive change and growth across new markets.”

Richard said: “It’s an exciting time for STRI. Our consultancy department has grown quickly in the last two years and we are now delivering a premium end-to-end service to new and existing clients. Our planning, design, construction and operation model is going from strength to strength and I look forward to continuing to support its growth.”

Andrew added: “STRI is expanding its operations locally and internationally, developing strategic relationships and commercial partnerships for customer and company benefit. STRI is committed to continuous expansion of our range of innovative and sustainable solutions so that our customers receive greatest value.”

For more information contact:
STRI’s marketing and communications team on +44 (0)1274 565131 or email info@strigroup.com

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Aquatrols’ and Redox exclusive agreement

Aquatrols’ and Redox exclusive agreement: Following the announcement from Aquatrols HQ in the US earlier this year, the Exclusive Global Agreement now becomes a tangible reality as Aquatrols Europe prepares to make these proven turf products available to the UK market.

Aquatrols and Redox Turf announced a global exclusive strategic agreement in January 2020 which made Aquatrols the sole distributor of Redox’s premier turf products. This expands the Aquatrols offering, with a range of highly effective, differentiated nutritional products that are complementary to the existing wetting agent line.

Aquatrols’ and Redox exclusive agreement

Aquatrols’ and Redox exclusive agreement

Aquatrols and Redox Turf are bringing together two of the strongest brands in turf to enhance the resources focused on the Turf Rx line of products. While Aquatrols is now the exclusive distributor, the products that are currently somewhat unknown to the European market remain the same products that greenkeepers throughout the US have come to trust.

Redox CEO, Darin Moon, had this to say of the agreement, “Soil moisture management and soil nutrition are intrinsically linked, so joining forces with the most trusted brands in the wetting agent space is a move that seemed natural for our business.  We are eager to be able to offer turf customers easy access to our products through Aquatrols who will provide global support through their sales and technical team.”

Currently in his third year as Aquatrols President and CEO, Matthew Foster, says that this agreement is one that will strategically help Aquatrols continue to expand their presence in the global golf market.

 “This agreement gives us the ability to offer turf managers the nutritional components of a maintenance program from a trusted brand within the industry, in conjunction with our current water management products. By bringing our areas of expertise together, we will be able to better serve our customers in a way that is more holistic for their course.”

About Aquatrols

More than 60 years ago, Aquatrols introduced the world’s first commercially available soil wetting agent.  Since creating an entirely new product category to address water management challenges and opportunities, the company has remained a top innovator and producer of high-performance soil surfactants and related technologies. Their advanced product suite optimises soil-water-plant interactions in agricultural, professional turfgrass and horticultural industries in more than 40 countries. Headquartered in southern New Jersey, Aquatrols also has offices in the United Kingdom and conducts business on six continents.

About Redox Turf

Redox Turf is a specialty nutrient company that focuses on innovative plant growth technology that maximises efficiency, uptake & performance. Through proprietary bio-nutrient complexing, chelation, micro-encapsulation and a production process incorporating both chemistry and biotechnology, Redox offers solutions that are some of the most efficient in the industry.

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