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PNE’s pitches boosted by Mansfield Sand

PNE’s pitches boosted by Mansfield Sand: Pete Ashworth, Head Groundsman at Preston North End FC, has revealed how products from Mansfield Sand play a role in achieving consistently good playing surfaces.

Pete, a graduate of the highly regarded Myerscough College, originally began his career at Blackburn Rovers FC before moving to Preston North End FC in 2005. The award-winning groundsman now oversees 7 members of staff over three sites.

PNE’s pitches boosted by Mansfield Sand

PNE’s pitches boosted by Mansfield Sand

Across those three sites, which includes Deepdale Stadium, the youth academy and the new first-team training centre, Pete has six Fibresand constructed pitches – and this is where Mansfield Sand come in.

“Mansfield Sand were used during my time at Blackburn FC, and I have personally dealt with them the whole time I have been here at Preston North End – the customer service has always been first-class,” said Pete.

“There are two products in particular that we use across the Fibresand pitches we have, and they are incredibly important to the playability of them.”

Pete uses Mansfield’s Fibresand, which is a pure sand and polypropylene fibre reinforcement product that is particularly advantageous when grass cover has been reduced due to heavy usage and wear during the winter period. It is incorporated into an upper sand soil rootzone and consolidated to provide a stable divot-free environment.

“We’ll use the Fibresand during renovations and how much we apply really depends on how much we need,” he said. “Mansfield Sand will usually come and take samples in December to see what our levels are and when we find out what the fibre content is, we will then know how much fibre we need to add. You need to have a certain percentage of fibre to keep that stability in your surface and have the best pitch you can.”

Historically, Deepdale Stadium was the only Fibresand pitch under Pete’s remit, but 2019 signalled the start of more and he has not looked back since.

“We used to have drainage issues on the pitches at the youth academy centre, but that has all changed now.

“I’m a big fan of Fibresand pitches and I like to think I am fairly good at dealing with them in whatever conditions are thrown at us. In the North of England, we get a huge amount of rainfall and the pitches let the water through with no problems at all – that is thanks to the great products from Mansfield Sand.”

Furthermore, Pete revealed that while he relies on Mansfield’s Fibresand for renovations, he will also use the company’s MM40 product.

“We’ll use the MM40 for a straight sand top dressing, especially for the pitches that aren’t having a full cultivation,” he said. “It is a brilliant medium sand and I always try and keep a couple of tonnes left over for goal mouths or any other areas.”

From winter sports pitches, golf courses, bowling greens and all amenity turf areas – Mansfield Sand has a solution for all.

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

You can also follow the company on Twitter – @MansfieldSand and Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MansfieldSandSportSurfaces/

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Students Boosted By EGO

Students Boosted By EGO: EGO, the cordless outdoor power tool specialist, has helped horticulture students put theory into practice at Bridgwater and Taunton College in Somerset.

Sixty students from the college’s horticulture, green keeping, sports turf, countryside management and arboriculture courses attended. Apprentices and employers, who are undertaking the exciting new Apprenticeship Standard, were also invited in to take part in this special training day.

Students Boosted By EGO

Designed to raise awareness of battery-powered cordless technology, the day included a theory session in the morning, followed by a practical session in the afternoon. Attendees were able to test the tools at the Cannington Golf Centre where they performed a variety of gardening work. This included trimming hedges down during opening hours, which would otherwise be limited due to the noise of petrol tools.

“Air pollution, noise pollution and sustainability are all clearly huge issues in today’s society. More and more, we can see how petrol-based equipment does not combat these problems, and in fact adds to them,” said Peter Melrose, President (EMEA) at EGO.

“That’s why initiatives like this where we can educate young people entering the trade is so important. With the cordless technology from EGO, we deliver the same power as an equivalent petrol tool, but with less fumes, that’s much quieter and much more sustainable for the planet.”

Cary Rawlings, Assessor/Trainer at Bridgwater & Taunton College, said “I initially met the EGO team at Saltex 2017. We were thrilled to develop this relationship so that our students get to hear about the latest innovations and technology.”

The training day proved a hit with all parties. Jacob Camplin, a Level 2 Greenkeeping Apprentice, said “Today was very enjoyable. I learnt about the benefits of battery-operated equipment over petrol.”

Attendees were all provided with EGO’s new FAQ document, giving detailed insight on battery technology and how it compares to petrol. The opportunity to understand how servicing and maintenance works with these tools was also a key part of the module, which included EGO’s mowers, hedge trimmers, chainsaws, leaf blowers and line trimmers.

Melrose concludes: “It was great to partner with the Bridgwater and Taunton College and the day was a great success. It’s fantastic to see students gain exposure to a credible alternative to petrol, and we hope to hold another similar event again soon.”

To find out more about studying land based courses or undertaking an apprenticeship with Bridgwater & Taunton College, please call 01278 441234. Or for more about EGO, please visit https://egopowerplus.co.uk

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