Vandals Hit Real Fife FC

Vandals Hit Real Fife FC: Reckless vandals who have been tearing up a Fife football pitch by using it as a race track are placing young lives at risk and could force a local club to relocate altogether.

The stark message has been delivered by volunteers with Real Fife FC, which has been resident at East Wemyss’ McDuff Park since 2012, after their surface was ripped up again over the weekend.

Vandals Hit Real Fife FC

Five teams had been playing on McDuff Park at the beginning of last year but the club had to move four of them to other facilities in Kirkcaldy to ensure the availability of a pitch each week.

With the mindless quad bike and mini-moto users continuing to abuse the area, even at times when the youngsters have been playing on the grass, club volunteers are considering moving away from the village permanently.

Wayne Carroll, Real Fife FC club secretary and the club’s child welfare and protection officer, said the actions of a minority were causing problems for scores of young people and their families.

He said: “Real Fife FC are currently paying out £15,000 each year to the local authorities for training facilities and pitch hires, which is definitely not an insignificant amount of money for a non-profit grassroots football club.

“We currently have approximately 220 boys and girls at the club, with around 40 non-paid volunteers trying to ensure we can provide our local kids with an opportunity to play football, develop their interpersonal skills and have safe fun.

“We are in current talks with the local authorities trying to secure facilities large enough to house all of our kids but as you can imagine, there are limited options for us.

“We don’t want to pull out of the park at East Wemyss as it’s an important part of the club’s history but there is only so much a club like us can take.”

Real Fife FC’s forced move to alternative pitches in Kirkcaldy is having a knock-on effect in the Lang Toun due to the limited number of pitches available there.

“The kids and youths doing this damage are from the surrounding area,” Mr Carroll added.

“It’s hard to believe the community don’t know who is doing this regular damage, and we would ask that they come forward and help us.

“We have had, at times, the youths driving the motorised vehicles around the pitch during actual games and, as the club’s child welfare and protection officer, this gives me great concern for the safety of our kids.”

The news is the latest instance of illegal bikers blighting neighbourhoods in the Levenmouth and Wemyss village areas, with local councillors receiving regular complaints about unlicensed bikers.

Police Scotland has a dedicated action plan, called Operation Reflector, to address the anti-social issues, and anyone who witnesses such activity involving motorcycles should contact 101 or report it anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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Woodland Work At Fife Golf Trust

Woodland Work At Fife Golf Trust: Thanks to Fife Golf Trust’s purchase of a GreenMech QuadTrak chipper and trailer, almost 20 years of little woodland management across a number of course in Scotland has come to an end. Fife Council owns seven golf courses and the Trust has maintenance responsibilities for all of them. Golf Courses Manager Paul Murphy and his team of 21 greenkeepers has now put the disposal of the woody waste firmly back on the agenda with their recent purchase.

“Each course is equipped with a basic fleet of machinery for routine maintenance, however we also have a bank of equipment that’s shared between the sites” explains Paul, who has been with the trust for five and a half years. Prior to Paul joining, woodland management had been on the back burner, something that changed two years ago. “We’re now a couple of years into a long overdue tree thinning programme, for which we use an external contractor. However, following the work they mainly conduct with tree harvesters, we found there was a lot of material that required clearing.”

Woodland Work At Fife Golf Trust

When hiring a chipper was ruled out for being too costly, Paul lead the search for a chipper that would fulfil the requirements of the various courses. “We looked at a few alternatives, but I was keen on the GreenMech product from previous experience. We had a demonstration of the QuadTrak from local dealer Henderson Grass Machinery and were impressed with how it performed. That, together with the back up support from them as a dealer and the no quibble warranty from GreenMech, sealed the deal.” Paul took delivery of the QuadTrak, together with a bespoke road-towable trailer in February 2018.

“Having the tracked chipper complete with a trailer gives us the best of both worlds. The self-levelling tracks are fantastic for work on uneven ground while the trailer makes it easy to transport the chipper around the course or between sites.” While it’ll earn its keep mainly between November and February, should anything come down during the season, the team are now equipped to deal with it. “The machine is simple to operate, build quality is fantastic and all of these elements combined will help us ensure our courses are tidy for the start of the season, for many years to come.”

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