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Foley combination at St Andrews

Foley combination at St Andrews: One hundred and sixty-two years after the first Open at Prestwick, St Andrews hosted the historic 150th edition of golf’s most famous championship.

In early July 2022, the anticipated record-breaking crowds lined the Old Course to witness golf’s best players compete for the Claret Jug. Every blade of grass from the pristine greens, immaculate fairways and challenging roughs which have been cut with blades sharpened by a Foley grinder, and that is how Director of Greenkeeping Sandy Reid wanted it.

Foley combination at St Andrews

Foley combination at St Andrews

Sandy is no stranger to hosting an Open, with three under his belt during his time at Carnoustie. But, this historic milestone in the championship’s history may have been the best yet for the Open veteran.

“It’s the highlight of your career because it doesn’t get any bigger than hosting The Open, and you try to absorb all of that and cherish it,” Sandy explains. “It’s the 150th Open, so it’s a big celebration. There are big crowds, and that means the infrastructure requirements are bigger, and there is a more significant impact on the rest of the estate.

“We never stop planning for it, but from 18 months out, that’s when you’re doing more winter preparations. The infrastructure build starts at the beginning of April, so away from the playing surface, there is a lot of attention required.

“As for the turf, you work back from the day The Open starts and build up to it, so at this point in June, we’re fine-tuning things.”

Preparation is everything at the home of golf, and for three years, the 653 Accu-Master Reel Grinder and 673 Automatic Bedknife Grinder have aided preparation. Recently joined by the 622 Accu-Spin Reel grinder, these machines’ ease of use and quality output have impressed Sandy and his team of five technicians.

Presentation and playing consistency take centre stage during The Open, and with the three Foley’s in place, the Old Course team have achieved that in the build-up to the main event.

“We really couldn’t ask for a better combination of grinders to keep our cutting units sharp for this year’s Open and beyond,” Sandy begins.

“It’s critical that all of our mowers are as sharp as they can be. What we’re able to get from the Foley’s is extreme accuracy and the ease of use for the technicians. The speed at which they can grind means we’re saving on person-hours and are never without machines for long, so it makes life a lot easier.

“The quality of the grind gives us longevity in terms of performance from the mowers, and because they are staying on cut for so long, we can be more productive.”

At St Andrews, four greenkeeping teams maintain seven courses. Each team has its own machinery fleet but relies on a central workshop. In the build-up to The Open, it was business as usual on the other courses, making the efficiency and reliability of the Foley grinders paramount.

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ClearWater Prize Draw At BTME 2022

ClearWater Prize Draw At BTME 2022: ClearWater was a hit at a very successful BTME for Acumen Waste Services Ltd. with a good number of enquiries taken.

ClearWater’s General Manager, Matthew Mears, who was most impressed with show, now establishing the stand in its more renewed location commented: “it was great to be back after Covid and welcome so many great customers and new customers back to the stand”

ClearWater Prize Draw At BTME 2022

ClearWater Prize Draw At BTME 2022

The stand was certainly busy and footfall up on last year with continued overseas interest too. The latest ClearWater display unit was on hand and proved useful to explain the virtues of the system (as our photo shows). There were many visits from Greenkeepers, machinery dealerships and others with specific interest in wash pad compliance and had seen pre-show publicity for ClearWater.

Towards the end of the last day the big event was the Prize Draw. Jim Croxton CEO of BIGGA, was happy to make the draw. The system was won by Centurion Park Golf Club, based in the North East and soon to undergo some exciting expansion and renovation plans to really but the course on the map! . John Grey (Course Manager) was delighted to learn of the win and said: “This is great news as will fit in perfectly with the plans for the new. ClearWater has been wanted by the us here at Centurion Park for some time now!”. A new ClearWater system will be on its way to Centurion park very soon!

A great show for ClearWater and Acumen with impressive organisation and support from the BIGGA team as always!

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Sustainability issues at the heart of Learning LIVE

Sustainability issues at the heart of Learning LIVE: In the month that saw the UK climate reach unprecedented levels of 40°C for the first time on record, the Grounds Management Association (GMA) is highlighting the need to place sustainability and environmental issues at the heart of the grounds maintenance sector’s thinking – and at the heart of SALTEX’s Learning LIVE sessions. 

GMA Chief Executive, Geoff Webb said: “Those managing and maintaining sports turf and green spaces are already having to deal with the impact of climate change and industry suppliers are doing their best to innovate and help grounds people to minimise the impact of droughts and floods.

Sustainability issues at the heart of Learning LIVE

Sustainability issues at the heart of Learning LIVE

“Extreme weather conditions are becoming more frequent, and we need to continue to educate grounds staff and plan now to ensure that as a sector, we are equipped to deal with what lies ahead.”

Announcing speakers for Europe’s leading sports turf, amenities, and landscaping trade exhibition, SALTEX, which is free to attend and organised by the GMA, Geoff Webb explains the value of attending the show’s Learning LIVE sessions.

“Learning LIVE has been designed to provide support, insight, and real solutions to key industry issues, including those relating to sustainability and the environment and we are delighted to be confirming a growing line-up of impressive expert speakers.”

A presentation not to missed will be one from Tony Hanson managing director, Environmental Solutions International and Robin Price, director of quality and environment at Anglian Water. Geoff says: “Their paper on ‘Reducing the impact of future water restrictions on golf and sports turf’ is a timely subject as we deal with the results of climate change and approach drought restrictions in this country. Tony and Robin will look at the implications of temporary use bans and changes in water abstraction rulings, and how this will prevent turf irrigation in 2023 and the ways to implement water resilience practices.”

Tony Hanson explains the importance of this subject to the industry: “Due to climate change, population growth, and historically high personal consumption, there is simply not enough water available in the UK without action – the water sector will have to use demand management to ensure public supply. Turf irrigation must simply become less dependent on mains or direct irrigation abstraction.

“The Water Resilience Plan has been designed to guide users on what they

need to do and keep them informed of water industry funded seminars and workshops. If you irrigate turf you will need to review alternative water sources for irrigation, create water storage on site – water you control and can use in a drought to cover at least 21 days and review and assess your irrigation management and system.  I look forward to discussing all these elements at SALTEX.”

The SALTEX 2022 Learning LIVE schedule this year has been extended to over 30 sessions, with additional papers attacking the key issues for the grounds care industry of pay, career development, how to negotiate in the workplace and how to find out about the millions of pounds of grant funding available from sports clubs.

More information about the SALTEX 2022 Learning LIVE programme can be found on the event’s website at www.saltex.org.uk/learning-live. Free visitor registration is now open. Visit saltex.org.uk or register here.

Alongside the Learning LIVE programme visitors to SALTEX 2022 will be able to see over 400 industry brands in one place – all lining up the best products on offer for today’s growing needs. It also provides visitors with a great opportunity to network with industry colleagues and build new business relationships.

The show takes place at the conveniently central Birmingham NEC on 2-3 November.

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Driving change at Les 3 Dindes

Driving change at Les 3 Dindes: Polaris Off Road continues its Ranger Stories video series in a new light with the introduction of the ‘Ranger Stories: Driving Change’ initiative.

Polaris is a firm believer that a product comes to life through its applications, partnerships but most importantly, via the people who use it; which is why once again, Polaris has embarked on a journey across Europe, the Middle East and Africa to discover and capture how its customers are driving change alongside the Polaris RANGER. Dedicated to the good that Polaris customers do, Ranger Stories: Driving Change is inspired by the many Polaris customers that are working hard to make a positive impact on the world.

Driving change at Les 3 Dindes

Driving change at Les 3 Dindes

Episode 1 – Les 3 Dindes, Animal Refuge in Southern France

Les 3 Dindes is built on the firm foundation that every animal – from the noble horse to the overlooked turkey –  should be treated with love, care and respect, making no distinction between species.

Welcoming animals that have been abandoned, mistreated or rescued from cases of neglect, factory farming and laboratories, Les 3 Dindes is a non-profit association dedicated to the animal cause, currently home to 145 animals that can now experience life to its fullest. The refuge has been built to give the animals a forever home that mimics their natural environment as closely as possible, with the room to enjoy the beautiful french countryside. The impact is visible; every animal has an obvious bond with the team at Les 3 Dindes, regaining their trust in humans, rediscovering their instincts amongst other animal friends, and learning that they no longer need to live in fear.

Kicking off the ‘Driving Change’ spin-off series, Polaris joins Les 3 Dindes owner and president Lisa Fernandez to see what a huge difference care, love and attention can make to the animals’ lives. A longstanding friend of the Polaris brand and an avid driver herself, Lisa uses the Polaris Ranger XP 1000 to help manage the 30-hectare farm – not only with the day-to-day feeding, medicine administration and grounds maintenance for the animals already in the refuge, but also with expansion and building for new rescues in the future.

Much like Lisa and her team, the Ranger XP 1000 is ready to work hard, every day. With its dependable Prostar® DOHC engine, the Ranger XP 1000 is not only Polaris’ most capable and comfortable Ranger yet, but it also delivers excellent reliability and versatility. Set in the rolling hills of Southern France’s countryside, Les 3 Dindes needs a capable off-road vehicle to reach all corners of the refuge. From steep inclines and narrow trails to forest areas and wide-open fields, the Ranger takes the team all over with its 33cm ground clearance, 27.9cm suspension travel and huge 27-inch Maxxis tyres. Not only that, the 1134kg towing capacity is put to use with trailers to carry large bales of hay, and the many, heavy buckets of feed and the large, 454kg-capacity cargo bed not only gives the team enough space for maintenance and fencing supplies but comes in handy to take along the many rescue dogs that like to ride alongside Lisa too.

Les 3 Dindes relies upon its volunteers, sponsors and contributors to continue its care, treatment and rescue missions. Please visit www.les3dindes.org, or follow them on Facebook and Instagram to find out more.

Catch the first episode of Ranger Stories: Driving Change here:  https://youtu.be/lo_Guyda4fo

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New Verti-Drain at Rotherham GC

New Verti-Drain at Rotherham GC: After delivering more than 25 years of reliable service, a Redexim Verti-Drain has been replaced by… another Redexim Verti-Drain at Rotherham Golf Club!

With ever-increasing restrictions on chemical usage impacting on plant growth and root development, Course Manager Andy Unwin cites an increase in the amount of aeration work taking place as the stimulus for the purchase of their new Verti-Drain 7316, delivered in March 2022.

New Verti-Drain at Rotherham GC

New Verti-Drain at Rotherham GC

Rotherham offers a true test for golfer and greenkeepers alike, as Andy and his team of five deal with thousands of mature trees and historic push-up greens across the 18-hole parkland course. “A lot of work has gone into the greens over the years, lots of aeration and topdressing which now means we’re in a good position with sandy, free-draining greens” explains Andy, who took over as Course Manager last year. “However, things are always changing and one of the biggest issues we now face is the changes in chemical legislation, making aeration more important than ever for retaining root strength and plant health.”

“With our Verti-Drain® 105-145 we would traditionally have two main ‘aeration weeks’ – one in March and one in August, with spot treatments as and where required. This machine was purchased in 1994 and gave us years of trouble-free and effective aeration, but with more work on the cards, the time was right for an upgrade. Redexim’s Andy O’Neill and Tony Dodson of Cheshire Turf Machinery brought in a 7316 and it ticked every box.”

With a 1.6m working width, the 7316 is one of the most versatile models in the Redexim Verti-Drain® range. Small enough to suit smaller chassis tractors, but weighty enough to handle compacted ground, it is available with a range of tine options to suit all sports turf applications and maintenance tasks throughout the calendar.

“Of course we’re all noticing the differences between the two machines. This one is smoother, with much less vibration during operation, and it’s all really user-friendly – adjustments to speed and depth are nice and straight forward.” Andy adds, “With the Verti-Drain® you know what you’re going to get and that’s reliability, which is going to be critical as we continue to undertake more aeration work around the course over the next few years.”

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Fantastic 2 days at SAGE 2022

Fantastic 2 days at SAGE 2022: The UK’s largest outdoor sports and grounds maintenance tradeshow took place on 6th & 7th July at The Three Counties Showground, and it was stunning turnout. Over 55 exhibitors from across the industry headed to the expo to provide live demos to visitors in attendance over the two-day event.

One of the highlights of the event was the first sustainability summit in partnership with Bio-Circle. With sustainability becoming a hot priority, SAGE has provided a vital launchpad for collaboration across the groundcare and similar industries on sustainability projects.

Fantastic 2 days at SAGE 2022

Fantastic 2 days at SAGE 2022

The new forum GRASS (Groundcare, Resources and Sustainable Suppliers) has been formed with industry experts and manufacturing personnel joining force to provide free advice and guidance on sustainable practices across the industry.

Head of Environmental and Sustainability Stadia Projects at Bio-Circle, Mark Tomlinson led discussions to give valuable insights regarding the future of sustainability solutions and products. GRASS now provides a point of contact for everyone in the industry to ask questions and get support for their sustainability projects, and we are excited to see it grow over the next year.

A networking event to remember

On Wednesday afternoon everyone made a beeline for the networking event, where drinks were flowing from the open bar. Entertained by some amazingly talented music artists, people had the chance to let their hair down and meet their industry colleagues in a fun atmosphere, within the luxury facilities of The Three Counties Showground.

Perks and prizes

The free event was so beneficial for everyone in attendance, with free training courses taking place, as well as competitions and free perks and product discounts.

Following the success of the event, planning has already started for SAGE 2023 and next year’s event should be even bigger and better with support growing annually the future for SAGE is massive.

This year’s exhibitors have benefitted greatly from being able to meet prospective customers face-to-face and build relationships with people in an outdoor environment. Two days of live demos, has enabled exhibitors to boost their marketing strategies, we look forward to welcoming them back in 2023, as well as many more.

Businesses that are interested in exhibiting at SAGE 2023 can sign up for the early bird offer which will be released shortly, Click here to register your interest today.

Make sure you are following us for all upcoming news there is exciting plans to be released.

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ISEKI mower collects the leaves at Wellingborough

ISEKI mower collects the leaves at Wellingborough: After demonstrating a variety of different ride-on mowers, Steve Mackey, Head Greenkeeper at Wellingborough Golf Club, found the one he was looking for in the ISEKI SXG323+. 

“We don’t have ties to any company, and we never will,” said the straight-talking Steve. “We simply buy what does the job and the ISEKI mower does the job for us.”

ISEKI mower collects the leaves at Wellingborough

ISEKI mower collects the leaves at Wellingborough

Steve is the man in charge of the 18-hole, par 72 rolling parkland course situated at the 18th century Harrowden Hall in the heart of Northamptonshire. The course, which hosts several premier PGA & county golf events, is positioned amongst five acres of beautifully maintained gardens and woodlands. It is partly for this reason that Steve was looking for a new ride-on mower.

“With it being a parkland course and with a vast number of trees, we get a lot of fallen leaves on the formal gardens and on the course,” he said. “Therefore, we needed a mower that could collect them quickly and efficiently through the season. In addition, we needed it for other work on the course such as collecting debris from scarifying tees, approaches, and general other tasks.”

“We demonstrated several different machines and found that the ISEKI ride-on mower was the best operator-wise for everybody that works here. It did a better job than its competitors and quite simply it was the best out of the lot.”

The ISEKI SXG Range is the ultimate in cut and collection mowers and the newly designed SXG323 + offers power, performance, and unsurpassed productivity. A 48” (1.22M) mower deck with wider overlapping provides a superior quality of cut while the large capacity, high torque 1123cc diesel engine is powerful and fuel efficient.

The new ergonomic design, increased leg room and dial-in height of cut adjustment all provide excellent operator comfort and the automotive-style instrument panel gives clear information, including a fuel gauge. Furthermore, the SXG323+ performs exceptionally even in the wet conditions, allowing you to work without the weather restricting you.

“Whether it be dry or wet, it does a good job every single time,” said Steve. “It is so comfortable, straight-forward to use and it is easy to change the height of cut with the dial rather than messing about with pins. This machine has no gimmicks and I like that.

“The high tip is very handy because we can collect leaves or debris and then put them straight into a trailer. It saves a lot of transport and time.

“We’ve not had one single issue with it, and never had any blockages,” he continued. “We do all our own maintenance and servicing, and it is easy with this machine – every component it very much accessible.

“Ultimately this ISEKI ride-on mower is well-built, bullet proof and it performs – and that is what I look for in machinery.”

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ICL integral to rebuild at Wychwood

ICL integral to rebuild at Wychwood: Ashley Oakes, Course Manager at Wychwood Golf Club, has explained how an integrated turf management programme from ICL helped him to rebuild the course after an extreme summer drought.

In the summer of 2018 golf clubs faced an unprecedented two-plus months of extremely hot and dry weather. Many courses were left brown, damaged, and susceptible to disease – Wychwood Golf Course, in Weston, Crewe, was no exception.

ICL integral to rebuild at Wychwood

ICL integral to rebuild at Wychwood

“We had so many weeks without any rain, and it is safe to say we got fried,” said Ashley.

“We lost a substantial amount of grass, and it gave us a chance to reassess everything. It was time to hit the default button and restart.”

It was at this point that Ashley got in touch with ICL and he admitted to being instantly impressed by the company’s ‘work ethic and policies.’

Phil Collinson, Technical Area Sales Manager for ICL, visited Ashley shortly after the drought and it wasn’t long before a plan was devised.

“I listened to the challenges that Ashley faced and then put together a bespoke plan to solve those issues,” said Phil. “We identified the correct products and together we sat down to look at all the trial data behind them. When the stakes are so high, Course Managers haven’t got time to gamble. That was certainly the case at Wychwood.”

Ashley claims that it would be difficult to highlight every product in the integrated turf management programme but provided an overview on how some of them have made a difference.

As a wetting agent, he relies on ICL’s H2Pro TriSmart, which he aims to apply at a rate of 10 L/ha once a month from March onwards. It is formulated with three water management surfactant technologies to provide great water penetration, even water spread through the rootzone and to improve the water holding capacity of sandy rootzones.

“We’ve got USGA sand-based greens here and we needed something that would deal with that level of construction,” he said. “TriSmart gives us that consistency throughout the rootzone, it gets rid of that dry patch, and it gives us the required effect for what we want both visually and for the grass. It has also meant that we have irrigated less.

“With such big undulating greens, to get consistency across such large areas I think speaks volumes for the TriSmart technology.”

Once Ashley knew there was a wetting agent in place that would perform, his next focus was to ensure there was a product in the programme that would help to negate any stresses. For this reason, Phil recommended Vitalnova Links – a unique formulation consisting of Vitalnova Blade and Vitalnova SMX.

“We brought Vitalnova Links in to improve the heavily stressed situation on the greens and it helped them to recover,” said Ashley. “We needed the plant to be healthier but not receive the kick that a conventional fertiliser would do. Instead, it helps to reduce stress on the plant and get that health in a natural way. It has worked so well, and we even incorporate this product into our Primo Maxx II growth regulator programme on the greens.”

In terms of a granular fertiliser, Ashley knew exactly what he was looking for during the cooler months of the year.

“I wanted health, vitality, and presentation through the whole year including winter, and this is why we use Greenmaster Pro-Lite Invigorator 4-0-8,” he said.

“Using this product has improved turf quality and performance through the challenging autumn months and helps to drive that recovery growth before we switch to liquids in the summer.

“One thing I have noticed is that in challenging conditions, ICL’s granular fertilisers still work whereas other brands will scorch and cause discolouration. You will never get that with an ICL product.

“Modern greenkeeping puts us in a position where we need to rely on quality products and that is why we continue to use ICL.”

Please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie if you are in Ireland.

For more news and insightful views, you can follow ICL on Twitter @ICL_Turf

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Get ahead of the game at SALTEX

Get ahead of the game at SALTEX: Visitor registration is now open, the new website is live and Europe’s largest free sports turf show, SALTEX, is introducing a brand-new look for 2022.

Registering for a free ticket has never been easier thanks to the event’s new website ­– saltex.org.uk. Now in its 76th year, Europe’s largest sports turf, amenities and landscaping trade exhibition will host all sectors of the grounds care industry, with over 400 industry brands standing ready to showcase their latest products and innovations.

Get ahead of the game at SALTEX

Get ahead of the game at SALTEX

Sarah Cunningham, GMA director of commercial and events, SALTEX event organisers, says: “As the biggest event covering the supply and management of products and services that help to create high quality leisure, recreation, and sports surfaces, it’s important that the new website is easy to navigate for visitors and exhibitors. I’m confident that the new site will deliver for both.”

Speaking about the rebrand, Andrea McMahon, GMA director of communications says:

“SALTEX represents innovation and progression. Its where the industry comes together to build networks, knowledge and learn about new innovations. It’s forward-looking and the brand needs to reflect this and we hope the new look strikes the balance of being modern and progressive, whilst retaining an element of simplicity connecting it to the previous look.”

The opening of visitor registration coincides with the launch of the 2022 show’s social media campaign, #aheadofthegame. As attending the show guarantees you’ll be ahead of the game, the tag couldn’t be more apt. SALTEX visitors are being encouraged to use the tag, along with #SALTEX2022 on social posts to share what they learnt at the show that puts them ahead of the game. Likewise exhibitors are being encouraged to use the tag to promote what they will be bringing to the show.

At the event, visitors will hear about latest product innovations and find all the machinery and technology needed to make their jobs easier. It gives access to expertise all in one place that they wouldn’t get anywhere else. Visitors will be surrounded by a broad spectrum of exhibitors offering solutions and providing answers – and there’ll be the opportunity to meet and network with others in the same industry for new ideas and fresh insights.

Sarah continues: “With a proven track record spanning eight decades, the SALTEX 2022 show won’t disappoint. Bringing together the best in the business to tackle the trends and issues affecting those working in the industry, the event will host over 400 industry brands in one place – all lining up the best products on offer for today’s growing needs. And, as always, there will be a comprehensive schedule of speakers across three theatres sharing their knowledge and expertise – with sustainability and environmental pressure at the forefront of the 2022 agenda.”

SALTEX will make sure you #getaheadofthegame so be sure to visit saltex.org.uk and

register for your free ticket. The show takes place at the conveniently central Birmingham NEC on 2-3 November. To discuss the option of buying stand space at the 2022 show, email Sarah Cunningham at scunningham@thegma.org.uk.

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Barrus to launch new products at Glee

Barrus to launch new products at Glee: Barrus will be unveiling a range of over 60 new and exciting products under brands Town & Country, Wilkinson Sword, WOLF-Garten, and Velcro® at this year’s Glee (28-30 June, NEC Birmingham) on stand 20D40-E41.

The Barrus stand will showcase the product innovation and development that continues to take place across the brands, as it enters new areas of the industry and develops engaging customer solutions.

Barrus to launch new products at Glee

Barrus to launch new products at Glee

The unique and interactive stand will invite visitors to explore the vast range through a variety of different zones, including a greenhouse which takes centre stage on the stand, a planting and propagation area, and a Christmas section, to help promote its innovative products and displays, and support the ongoing movement towards sustainable living.

To meet this growing interest in grow your own, and following the successful launch of its Tiered Planters, Town & Country will be showcasing a new variety of products to aid growing and contemporary planting displays. These include a range of planters and troughs that are made from 100% recycled plastic and are 100% recyclable. They are available in both contemporary and beehive shapes and sizes ranging from 6L to 66L, to appeal to a wide range of audiences.

Buyers interested in propagation will be spoilt for choice, with new Grow Bag & Utility Trays, Potting Trays, a Garden Sieve and Electric Greenhouse Heaters on display – a first for the brand. Also new for Town & Country is a range of brooms, brushes, and indoor and outdoor matts. Alongside this will be a new innovative grab rake that helps to clear and collect with one tool for ease and efficiency.

Town & Country will also be showcasing an eye-catching display of the exciting Pluma range, which takes inspiration from feathers to decorate Cloggies, the Lux-Fit Gloves and the Memory Foam Kneeler and a new addition to the range, the Double-Wide Kneeler.

The stand will also be an opportunity for buyers to see first-hand the ever-popular Ultralight range from Wilkinson Sword. Its newly developed long reach pruner will be a highlight, allowing longer productivity and making pruning those awkward areas easier by using a rotating body and cutting head. Also on the stand will be a new collection of pruner gift sets.

WOLF-Garten will be showcasing its multi-change range as it celebrates its 100th year, and two new hedge shears – Box Tree Shears for shaping and Traditional Hedge Shears.

The Velcro® brand will be showing off its new range of garage and storage solutions, including ties, straps and fasteners, to keep these often cluttered areas neat, tidy and organised.

Mark Hewett, divisional sales manager, commented: ‘We’re excited to speak to visitors to Glee about these exciting innovations and developments for the Barrus brands. Following the success of our Tiered Planters, we’re looking forward to further exploring this new sector of the gardening world with Town & Country, having long been established in the footwear and gloves segment.’

Full details of all new product ranges will be available on the stand (20D40-E41).

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