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phs Greenleaf sweeps the board

phs Greenleaf sweeps the board: phs Greenleaf has won five industry-leading awards, including a special ‘Good Will Leaf Award’ for its unique rainbow Christmas tree which was created during the pandemic to bring hope and raise money for a mental health charity.

The Plants at Work Awards, run by the association representing interior landscapers, also awarded phs Greenleaf with gold awards for its maintenance work at the Trafford Centre in Manchester and its Christmas designs at Studley Castle Hotel in Warwickshire. It awarded silver awards for its design and installation work at Barton Square in Manchester and its contract work with Sodexo across the UK.

phs Greenleaf sweeps the board

phs Greenleaf sweeps the board

The coveted Good Will Leaf 2020 award was presented to companies whose work had a positive impact during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ahead of Christmas 2020, despite a difficult trading time, phs Greenleaf tasked its staff with designing a Christmas tree that could act as a symbol of hope during the lockdown festive season. The Rainbow Tree was created from the winning design and was quickly commissioned by Nationwide Building Society, which put one in each of its offices across the UK, raising over £1000 for MIND in the process.

phs Greenleaf was also awarded gold in the Christmas category for its elaborate festive designs at Studley Castle Hotel in Warwickshire. The Greenleaf team created over 20 different exterior and interior Christmas trees, as well as countless Christmas displays, each designed to match the existing themes of the hotel’s rooms.

They ranged from traditional red and golds, to an Alice in Wonderland theme and even a pink feather tree for the hotel’s unique flamingo-themed room. The trees, which ranged from 20ft to 7ft and were both live and artificial, were carefully sourced, designed and decorated by phs Greenleaf’s dedicated Christmas designers and operators, who curated items from around the world to ensure guests experienced that special ‘wow’ factor from every room.

The third gold award was for maintenance services at the Trafford Centre in Manchester where the team care for over 250 different plants and trees over 207,000 square feet in one of the UK’s busiest shopping centres.

Emily Vernon, Managing Director at phs Greenleaf, said: “We are incredibly proud of our team. They work very hard to provide our customers with the best possible designs, installs and servicing and it’s wonderful to see that recognised with these fantastic award wins. 2020 was a difficult year for everyone so it’s great to see the positives being celebrated.”

phs Greenleaf took silver awards in the design and installation category for its work with Sodexo, planting in three large government buildings in difficult circumstances, and for its work at Barton Square, an extension to the Trafford Centre, ensuring the design carefully matched and complimented the original shopping centre, including 36 large interior palm trees.

phs Greenleaf has been providing planting and landscaping services to businesses for over 25 years, including indoor and outdoor plants, artificial and live planting, living walls, grounds maintenance and Christmas trees and decorations.

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Clive Betts MP joins Fields in Trust Board of Trustees

Clive Betts MP joins Fields in Trust Board of Trustees: Senior Parliamentarian, Clive Betts MP, has joined green space charity Fields in Trust as a new Trustee and will take on the volunteer role with immediate effect.

Clive Betts MP has served his home-town of Sheffield as an elected representative since 1976, first as a City Councillor and, since 1993, as a Member of Parliament.  His longstanding Chairmanship of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, in particular the oversight of the 2016 Parliamentary Inquiry into public parks, puts him in a unique position to advance the work of Fields in Trust, protecting parks and green spaces for future generations. Clive Betts MP was one of the first MPs to sign up to Fields in Trust’s Parks Protector Pledge during the 2019 election campaign.

Clive Betts MP joins Fields in Trust Board of Trustees

Clive Betts MP joins Fields in Trust Board of Trustees

Following the landmark decision of Liverpool City Council to legally protect their whole portfolio of parks and green space with Fields in Trust, Clive Betts will support the charity’s work to encourage other local authorities across the country to replicate Liverpool’s civic leadership, ensuring the benefits of green space access can be extended to more communities.

Fields in Trust Chair of Trustees Jo Barnett says “Parks were one of the unsung heroes of the pandemic and they should be an important part of the green recovery plans. We believe this is a pivotal moment for the UK’s parks and green spaces and Clive Betts joining the team will help us achieve a better outcome for our communities, now and for generations to come “.

As he joins as a Trustee, Clive Betts MP said:” I’m really looking forward to working with Fields in Trust. Over the past year our parks have been valued more than ever, particularly by those people without access to private gardens, and yet the future funding and long-term access to these spaces is at risk. I look forward to working with Fields in Trust to champion, support and protect green spaces and secure the health and wellbeing benefits they provide.”

Over many years Clive has made use of public parks and green spaces personally as a keen cricketer, a former captain of the Parliamentary Football Team and training runs for his participation in the Sheffield Marathon.

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Wick GC Brings Toro On Board

Wick GC Brings Toro On Board: After receiving two grants alongside fundraising efforts from its members, Wick Golf Club in Scotland has purchased a new Toro Greensmaster TriFlex Hybrid 3420 to help improve its course and the environment.

And not only did the GR3420 impress head greenkeeper Dougie Thorburn, but its sustainability credentials were key in securing grants to make the purchase of the machine possible. The club received grants from the Caithness and North Sunderland Fund and Beatrice Caithness Windfarm Fund, both of which support projects that develop or maintain community assets and achieve environmental improvements.

Wick GC Brings Toro On Board

Dougie explains: “Wick Golf Club is a traditional links course and the oldest in the highlands with our 150th anniversary next year. It’s a beautiful course, but the machines we’d been using weren’t keeping the course up to the standard we wanted.

“Our last greensmower was suffering from hydraulic leaks. Not only was this causing damage to the turf, but we have a lot of ditches on the course that lead to the ocean, so it’s possible for oil leaked on the course to run off into the sea. We needed something that would be more reliable and stop the damage to the course and runoff into the ocean.”

And it was the Toro Greensmaster TriFlex Hybrid 3420, with its advanced technology meaning hydraulic leaks are almost eliminated, that was able to provide high-quality turf maintenance and peace of mind for Dougie.

“It’s just a brilliant machine, simply put,” he says. “It’s reliable and provides us with an excellent quality of cut. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about it.”

And it’s not just Dougie who’s been singing Toro’s praises. In fact, Dougie didn’t opt for a demonstration of the GR3420 because its reputation preceded it so well.

“I asked around at other courses that had been using the machine and was told they’d had zero problems with it, and then I saw it in action at another course and that was it for me, I was sold,” says Dougie. “Although this is the first Toro machine at Wick, I’ve been around Toro since I started my career, and it’s always been number one for me. I knew that as soon as I got the chance to get some new machines, they were going to be Toro.”

And credit where credit is due, says club secretary Catherine McLeod to the grants and fundraising from the members for their support to the club: “Both of these funds should receive credit for the wonderful help they provide the area. And, of course, thanks must go to the tireless fundraising efforts of our members. As a small club with only 200 members, we wouldn’t have been able to make this kind of investment to improve the course without their help.”

With the GR3420 and the service from Toro UK distributor Reesink Turfcare impressing Dougie, another Toro machine is now on the cards. “We have some big plans for the next five years, particularly with our 150th anniversary coming up, and getting the right machinery in place is a big priority,” says Dougie.

As the most northerly course on the east coast of Scotland, Wick Golf Club is surrounded by natural beauty and captivating historical sights. With views over Sinclair Bay to Noss Head and its lighthouse and castles, maintaining the course to be in keeping with its stunning surroundings is a challenge, but Dougie sees this as a process made a lot easier with Toro on board.

He concludes: “The team love Toro and our members have all seen the difference it’s made to the course, so everyone is behind the move to get another. We’re looking at a Toro mower for the fairways and I’m confident that with more Toro, Wick Golf Club will only continue to improve in its environmental sustainability.”

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BASIS Seek Chair For Board Of Trustees

BASIS Seek Chair For Board Of Trustees: National charity BASIS is seeking to recruit a Chair for the Board of Trustees, starting in April 2020.

BASIS CEO, Stephen Jacob, explains the Chair will play a vital role in the running of the charity, that looks to support and develop the agricultural and associated industries with training and professional development.

BASIS Seek Chair For Board Of Trustees

“We’re looking for an experienced manager who can demonstrate being a team player, and potentially has experience of land-based or related industries, but this isn’t vital. It’s essential the candidate is independent and not involved in those industries which BASIS serves,” says Stephen.

“In total, the role requires a commitment of 20 to 40 days a year, including three Board meetings per annum.

“In addition, the Chair will be expected to attend the finance and remuneration committee and meet regularly with myself and other senior staff members,” he says.

The role may be fulfilled from any location in Great Britain, and as with all trustees of BASIS, the Chair will be appointed for an initial three-year term and may then, subject to annual Board approval serve up to four more years.

An honorarium will be paid along with reasonable out of pocket expenses for travel and accommodation.

BASIS current Chair, Chris Clarke will have successfully completed the maximum seven year term when he retires in 2020.

“Being Chair of the BASIS Board has been a very enjoyable role,” says Chris.

“As Chair, you get to work across various sectors and organisations who are represented on the Board of BASIS, across agriculture, horticulture, crop protection, crop nutrition and covering amenity and pest control.”

For an informal and confidential discussion to learn more about the position, please email Stephen Jacob on stephen@basis-reg.co.uk to arrange a mutually convenient time.

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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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IOG Young Board Member To Promote Careers

IOG Young Board Member To Promote Careers: Young entrepreneur Sam Cain has recently joined the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) Young Board of Directors, which is sponsored by Toro and Reesink Turfcare, to show young people the wide range of career opportunities available in the industry.

23-year-old Sam who has his own business specialising in line marking and playground design, says: “I’m really excited to begin my time on the board. Showing the range of career opportunities available within the sector will encourage young people to get more involved, at the moment I think the perceived lack of options is a barrier. Ultimately, I want to redefine what being in groundscare means, and make people realise how many different options there are and how much choice there is; there are so many more options than just working at a football club for example.”

IOG Young Board Member To Promote Careers

After having studied Graphic Design and Communication at Central Saint Martins, 23-year-old Sam recognised a gap in the market and began his own business creating innovative line marking designs for underused open spaces in schools and public areas. His business, Cain Markings, now designs, produces and maintains high-quality line markings for a host of surfaces and venues. Sam credits the experience and skills he gained at university in helping him succeed, and his Dad, who worked his way up in groundscare from an apprentice to an operations director, as his biggest inspiration.

Sam says: “I’ve grown up around groundscare, so it’s always been in my blood. It hasn’t been an easy ride starting my own business. It’s been a challenge and a huge learning curve, but I don’t regret it one bit. I really enjoy my work; it’s so rewarding to be able to see a process through from beginning to end. Helping the client by coming up with innovative ways to solve problems and seeing how happy they are with the finished result provides so much job satisfaction.

“Joining the IOG Young Board of Directors in November 2018 has opened up a lot of opportunities already. Everyone on the board brings something different which collectively we hope will improve the industry and help shape it for the future. I hope for my contribution to be helping change perceptions of exactly what being a groundsman entails.

“When you look at the board, it’s mostly made up of groundsmen at football clubs, so I’m one of the odd ones out. My involvement in the business side should go some way to show there are lots of opportunities and career paths you can take in grounds! There are also jobs and opportunities in technology and at other sports venues such as tennis and basketball courts.”

Sam also feels compelled to promote the difference the younger grounds generation can bring to the industry: “The industry is predominantly made up of an older generation and while many are really supportive of the young ones coming through, there’s always more we can do to promote their ideas and contribution within the sector, to make sure their voice is heard and taken seriously.”

David Cole, Reesink Turfcare’s managing director says: “The reason we got involved in sponsoring the board was to give people like Sam as much of a voice to help promote the benefits of a career in grounds as they feel will make a difference. It’s one of the most important things we can do as a company in a position to provide sponsorship. The young generation has so much passion for their sector and this will only help inspire others and help break down any barriers that exist.”

Geoff Webb, IOG CEO, says: “It’s great to see new faces on the IOG Young Board of Directors. The whole point of this group is to enable young aspiring people to showcase this industry and be an advocate for the profession. It’s pleasing to see so many who have gone on to key roles in the industry such as Leicester City FC’s John Ledwidge – the original chairman of the group. It’s a good network and affords great opportunity to network, learn and advance a young career.”

Sam concludes by saying: “If you’re enthusiastic and prepared to work hard, you can get really far in this industry. I would recommend volunteering or work experience to get a taste of what it’s really like. I would also advise considering educational routes where possible. University was a great experience for me and taught me how to manage my time and run projects which prepared me for the working world.”

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IOG Young Board Memeber Addresses Barriers

IOG Young Board Memeber Addresses Barriers: Martin Stephenson has been involved with the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) Young Board of Directors, which is sponsored by Toro and Reesink Turfcare, for four years helping promote an industry he loves and addressing some of the barriers he perceives to a long-term career.

Martin’s CV in groundscare, despite his young years, impresses. Clearly a career in grounds was always on the cards. He went to East Durham College to study work-based horticulture in sports turf, and kickstarted his career as a groundsman at Bentley Cricket Club, before making the move to Ashbrooke Sports Club as assistant grounds manager. And the awards followed him wherever he went – three in total including the coveted IOG Most Promising Sportsturf Student of the Year award in 2013, now sponsored by Toro and Reesink.

IOG Young Board Memeber Addresses Barriers

Alastair Rowell, national accounts manager for grounds at Reesink, says: “There’s no doubt learning from those with experience is one of the best ways to progress and equally important is listening to the realities of life from those starting out in the profession, both of which are things we can all benefit from to help to push the industry forward. Here we learn what Martin got from his involvement with the Board.”

Martin continues: “I’ve now left my role as a groundsman for a career in sales with Turfcare Specialists Ltd. It’s a move that’s been one of the best decisions of my life but there’s no doubt I miss being groundsman for a sports venue, it’s in your blood for life.

“I’m really proud of my career as a groundsman and especially of my time as an IOG Young Board member. The reason I joined the Board was to raise the profile of the grounds industry for the young generation. Being involved was an absolute honour and brought many opportunities my way. I’ve networked with the greats from the industry and made some lifelong friends in the process.

“Not only that, but I’ve developed skills that will benefit my long-term career. It’s given me a professional and personal confidence and improved my organisation and communication skills. It’s given me the opportunity to travel to France to visit Stade France and Parcs de Princes and the Den Dreef in Belgium, which are memories that will stay with me forever.”

So why the career change? “I felt working in the North-East of England as a groundsman, progression was very difficult, and I would have had to consider moving down south or overseas to further my career. That was my personal reason for changing careers, but I’ve also heard that poor starting salaries and demanding working hours are putting people off joining the industry or are instrumental in a career change.

“That said, I’ve come across people whose passion for the industry is so strong those things haven’t been a deterrent. People who want it badly enough will, like me, find a way to make it work. I’m a firm believer that ‘hard work beats talent’, and any groundsperson working in the industry will see their hard work rewarded.”

So, what can young groundsmen and women do to help their development? “My advice would be to get yourself on as many courses you can with the IOG and local colleges and don’t be afraid to ask fellow peers questions, there’s a great network out there ready to help. Volunteering on match days at your local sports club to gain experience and help yourself understand what is expected at the highest level of the industry will benefit your overall development and mind set going forward.”

Although Martin’s time as a Young Board member has come to an end, he continues with his advisory role with Durham Cricket Board and maintains a great interest in how the role of a groundsman evolves and how the industry moves forward.

Commenting on the IOG Young Board, IOG CEO Geoff Webb says: “The Young IOG Board is a great way for groundsmen and women to get involved and help shape our industry. Membership unlocks doors and potential, putting young people into new situations and stretching them, but at the same time opening up limitless opportunities and experiences. The social media network now stands at over 1,000 members which shows that there is real passion and interest in our profession and we look to harness this with the Young Board programme.”

Alastair welcomed Martin’s involvement with the board and says he is a good example of the opportunities that are possible within the industry for ambitious and determined young people: “We’re hearing there’s a skills shortage in the sector and helping to address some of the barriers that might be affecting this is essential in attracting a new generation to the industry. We hope our role with the IOG developing the skills set and confidence of these young groundspeople and providing them with opportunities and experiences will go some way in addressing the situation.”

For more information, visit: reesinkturfcare.co.uk

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Star Dealership On Board With Jensen

Star Dealership On Board With Jensen: Momentum continues to grow behind the Jensen brand this year with the appointment of another brand-new dealer in the South West.

Elmstar Machinery, based in Newton Abbot, will be responsible for sales, service, parts and hire of Jensen woodchippers throughout the entire county of Devon.

Star Dealership On Board With Jensen

Elmstar has been trading for 10 years in 2019, celebrating its 10-year anniversary this January. With dedicated and well-stocked workshops, and coverage across all of Devon, Elmstar Machinery is an excellent addition to the Jensen network.

Jason Wignall, Elmstar Machinery Co-owner, is extremely pleased with the new partnership and is very excited to have the opportunity to work with the premium brand that is Jensen.

“We do sell a range of domestic and professional groundcare machinery, as well as chainsaws, but the adoption of a woodchipper brand opens up new and exciting potential for us in the arboriculture sector across Devon.”

“We are delighted to be able to add this established brand to our portfolio.”

This latest appointment comes hot on the heels of two other new dealership appointments in the UK, with Field and Forest Machinery, Scotland and P. Tuckwells in East England both joining the Jensen dealer line up in November 2018, and another in Kent coming very soon.

Now available to buy, hire, service and obtain spare parts from 19 dealer locations across the whole of the UK, Jensen is going from strength to strength. This is evident by the exceptional growth in sales and brand awareness throughout 2018, only the second year of trading as part of the T H WHITE Machinery Imports division and led by Business Manager Bill Johnston.

Naturally, Bill is excited with the continued expansion of the Jensen dealer network:
“2018 was an excellent year for Jensen, with a growing network of dealers across the country, a series of successful events in the Arb Show, APF and SALTEX, and increasing awareness across the industry of the world’s original woodchippers from Jensen.

“2019 is already looking like another exciting year, with even more high calibre dealers set to join the Jensen line up, and we are delighted to welcome Elmstar Machinery into our Jensen family. We are confident they will provide exceptional customer service and support for all things Jensen for our Devon customers.”

Contact Jason on 01803 813281 to discuss Jensen woodchippers or find out more about Elmstar Machinery at www.elmstar.co.uk

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