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On your side for 50 issues, and counting…

On your side for 50 issues, and counting…: When we launched Turf Matters back at the beginning of 2014, we had high, but realistic, hopes. We hoped that our readership would appreciate what we had to offer and that, perhaps, we might grow over the years to be a well-respected title.

With this, our 50th issue, we can look back with pride at having achieved that goal. We are definitely a respected title. We have won awards for our writing and our design and we are thrilled that more and more companies within the industry are deciding to share some of their marketing and advertising budgets with us. That is not something we ever take for granted, particularly in these tough times.

On your side for 50 issues, and counting…

On your side for 50 issues, and counting…

We are also pleased that so many have opened their doors to enable us to produce interesting features and over the last eight years these open doors have allowed us to showcase extraordinary work at virtually every major sporting venue in the country – not to mention the odd overseas assignment, which included a preview to the Ryder Cup matches at Golf National, in Paris.

We have also seen our digital presence grow and we now have over 22,000 on-line followers.

I would like to thank everyone who has helped to make Turf Matters what it is today and the promise that I make to you is that we will continue to work hard to produce the magazine you want to read and the digital platforms you want to visit.

Scott MacCallum, Editor/Publisher

On your side for 50 issues, and counting…

On your side for 50 issues, and counting…

MM seed ensures great start for Wycliffe

MM seed ensures great start for Wycliffe: With a new season just around the corner, the green at Wycliffe Bowls Club has never been in such good condition, and greenkeeper Keith Freakley believes that is thanks to MM Sports Seed.

Formed in 1956 and located on the outskirts of Lutterworth in Leicestershire, Wycliffe Bowls Club is very much a friendly members club. It has something to offer players of all ages and abilities and the excellent club house often brings together the local community.

MM seed ensures great start for Wycliffe

MM seed ensures great start for Wycliffe

Wycliffe is managed and run solely by volunteer members, who deeply care about the club. One look at the green will underline the dedication of the members.

For an incredible 12 years, Keith Freakley has been looking after the greens in his spare time. He, along with two other members, carry out regular maintenance throughout the year but have relied on outside contractors for the end of season renovation. Last year Keith made a bold decision to put a stop to that.

“Rather than use a contractor we thought we would have a go ourselves,” he said. “It was expensive, and I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the work. Personally, I don’t think enough seed was used, or it was not of a great quality because it didn’t cover the green – there were lots of patches.”

While Keith began to put plans in place for the club’s first in-house renovation, he didn’t have to look far to find a solution to his seed dilemma. In association with Dennis and SISIS, Wycliffe Bowls Club hosted a bowling green maintenance seminar, and it was at this event that he met Matt Gresty, MM and Designer Sales and Brand Manager for DLF UK.

“We had a really good chat and discussed what the best seed to use would be,” said Keith.

“Matt had a close look at the green, identified what was growing naturally on the green and then matched a mix which he thought would be most suitable.”

The mix Matt recommended was MM10 grass seed – which is perfect for construction, overseeding, renovating and repairing high quality greens. Part of the renowned MM range of seed mixtures, MM10 produces a fine, dense sward, is tolerant to close mowing and as well as providing all year-round colour it is also disease resistant and hard wearing.

MM seed ensures great start for Wycliffe

MM seed ensures great start for Wycliffe

Keith incorporated the MM10 mixture into the renovation work in September last year and believes he has never seen the green in such good condition.

“It germinated very quickly, even in fairly dry weather,” said Keith. “The comments have been unbelievable. It has never been so green in colour, not just in places but all over. It gave us a very uniformed germination, and I think it will bowl incredibly well.

“It’s great to have Matt on board and we will continue to use the MM seed. We’re in a strong position and I’m looking forward to the season ahead.”

Commenting on the success of the seed, Matt said: “The green at Wycliffe has an excellent population of fescues and bents, and the amount of annual meadow-grass as a percentage is low. There is a very happy sward of desirable grasses – it is healthy, it is green, and it is growing well, which will ultimately provide a great surface for when the season starts.

“Keith and his team’s hard work and dedication is paying off.”

For further information, please contact MM Sports Seed on 01386 791102 or visit the company’s new website www.mm-seeds.co.uk. You can also follow the company on Twitter: @MM_Seed

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New irrigation manager for Panks

New irrigation manager for Panks: Panks has appointed Cevan Edwards as Irrigation Manager to lead the company’s Irrigation department as it continues to grow and develop.

Cevan brings a wealth of technical and practical industry experience to the Irrigation Manager role, with a background in irrigation equipment manufacturing and service, with particular expertise in the sports and leisure sector.

New irrigation manager for Panks

New irrigation manager for Panks

Panks provides irrigation services for agriculture, commercial horticulture, nurseries and garden centres, equestrian facilities, many sports and leisure providers, landscapers and home owners.

Managing Director Chris Pank explains how Cevan’s appointment to this new role helps secure the company’s next steps in the market: “It’s been 12 years since Panks entered the irrigation market in a meaningful way, and we’ve seen a lot of success. With Cevan’s extensive engineering skills and experience in the irrigation industry, he is well placed to take our expansion to the next level in the sports industry, supported by Tom Selby in the commercial horticulture market and Mike Ward on installations.”

Cevan Edwards says: “Panks has a great reputation for providing high quality solutions with technical support that’s second to none. This is a really exciting time to join as we build on the success of the irrigation department. I’m looking forward to developing sports turf further as well as getting to grips with all other aspects of the irrigation market.”

Norwich-based Panks operates primarily across East Anglia. Its irrigation services are an important part of its wider operations as water engineers, covering all aspects of moving, pumping and using fluids, across many sectors, with a core focus on delivering efficiency savings.

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KAR UK gives peace of mind for Lincoln City

KAR UK gives peace of mind for Lincoln City: A new Hunter Irrigation system, supplied by KAR UK, has given Lincoln City FC Head Groundsman Craig Housley a certain peace of mind.

Craig, who has been at Lincoln City since September 2020, revealed how his previous irrigation system caused many sleepless nights.

KAR UK gives peace of mind for Lincoln City

KAR UK gives peace of mind for Lincoln City

“Our old system had been in for about 20 years, and it was so difficult to work with,” he said. “The sprinklers were constantly breaking down; we just couldn’t trust the system to work overnight and there were parts of the pitch that were getting heavily watered and some parts that were not getting any water. Even on matchdays we would be back and forth manually changing the irrigation from the control point. It was a total nightmare.”

At the end of last season, a renovation and new pitch construction, proved the ideal opportunity to explore the possibility of installing a new irrigation system.

“It seemed like the perfect time and after being highly recommended, we got in touch with KAR UK. Mike McDonnell (UK Sales Manager) came to visit us at the training ground, and we had a great chat. He talked me through all the different Hunter products, the installation process, the various programmes and how we could control the system on a mobile phone. Based on that meeting we decided to go with KAR UK.”

KAR is the largest UK wholesaler of irrigation equipment and has long-term relationships with every irrigation product manufacturer of note. The company is also an integral distributor of Hunter Industries irrigation equipment, and this is the route that Craig decided to take.

After Craig’s meeting with Mike, KAR UK supplied a variety of Hunter I-80 and TTS-885 rotary sprinklers and the innovative ACC2 controller, with Centralus Software.

Engineered for sports turf, the I-80 is built with a robust, dirt-tolerant gear drive that offers the highest torque output of any rotor in the commercial sphere, and extends a radius range from 11.3 to 29.6 meters. The I-80 features a wide range of highly efficient, dual-trajectory, wind-fighting nozzles for highly efficient performance in a range of applications. It also provides total top serviceability (TTS) via its integrated, surface-mounted snap-ring for no-dig easy maintenance.

Craig had eight I-80 sprinklers installed through the centre of the pitch and sixteen TTS-885’s on the pitch surrounds.

KAR UK gives peace of mind for Lincoln City

KAR UK gives peace of mind for Lincoln City

The renovation, pitch construction and installation of the irrigation system was all undertaken by leading contractor Fineturf.

“There is not one blade of grass that doesn’t get watered now which is exactly what we were looking for,” he said. “We wanted the pitch watered evenly because the manager is trying to play quick, one-touch football. The Hunter sprinklers have enabled us to achieve this now. Not only are we covering a much bigger area, but we have definitely saved water because we can manage it a lot better.”

Craig also lavished praised on his new Hunter ACC2 controller. This allows users, through the Cloud Based Centralus Software, to change settings, view forecasts, and receive instant notifications of important system alarms — all without costly and time-consuming travel and site visits.

“It’s great for the pitch but perhaps not so good for my personal life,” joked Craig. “We have cameras set-up at the stadium so when I’m at home I’m aways keeping an eye on the weather. To have this kind of control over the irrigation no matter where I am is brilliant. At any time, I can see how much water is going on; I can look at the moisture settings and turn sprinklers on and off whenever needed.

“For me the biggest bonus is never having to worry about irrigation again – this new Hunter system has given me a peace of mind for sure.”

For more information, please visit www.karuk.com

You can also follow KAR UK on Twitter @KARUK_LTD for much more news, reviews and insightful views.

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New Turf Rewards for UK and Ireland

New Turf Rewards for UK and Ireland: ICL and Syngenta have launched Turf Rewards for 2022 which now features separate schemes for the UK and Ireland.

Turf Rewards provides the opportunity for customers to earn points from purchases that can then be exchanged against a fantastic selection of agronomic or turf related items and learning opportunities.

New Turf Rewards for UK and Ireland

New Turf Rewards for UK and Ireland

New for 2022, Turf Rewards products will have lower thresholds to earn points. Here’s an example:

In 2021, Turf Rewards customers would need to purchase 25 bags of SierraformGT or ProTurf to get 5 points. However, this year customers would only need to purchase 12 bags of either to earn 3 points.

With an extensive range of items already on offer, new rewards for 2022 have also been announced.

New UK Turf Rewards

  • An SGL TurfPod with 1 year’s subscription.
  • Join or renew your British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) membership.

These great new rewards join popular rewards such as Machine Mart vouchers and agronomy tools including the TDR150 moisture meter and the Davis Vantage Pro2 Weather Station.

New Turf Rewards in Ireland

  • Join or renew your Association of Turfgrass Professionals Ireland (ATPI) membership.

This new reward has been added to popular rewards for the Irish market such as Caulfield Industrial vouchers and the TDR350 moisture meter.

If you would like to find out more about Turf Rewards in the UK visit www.turfrewards.com or for Ireland www.Turfrewards.ie.

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

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GMA pushes for guidance change

GMA pushes for guidance change: The Grounds Management Association (GMA) has written to the Government to request a change to the recently published Guidance on Changes to rebated fuels entitlement, which fails to be inclusive of all sports when citing exemptions to the new red diesel legislation.

In a letter to HMRC and HM Treasury, GMA Chief Executive, Geoff Webb reminds policymakers of the commitment made in the Reform of red diesel and other rebated fuels entitlement Policy paper published in November 2021, which made clear that there would not be a withdrawal of an entitlement to use red diesel in areas such as heating and sports.

GMA pushes for guidance change

GMA pushes for guidance change

“We are calling for wording within the guidance to be changed to replace the multiple references to “golf courses and driving ranges” with a more inclusive term that reflects the HMRC’s original intention to maintain the rebate entitlement across the wider sporting community, says Geoff Webb.

“It is not acceptable to exempt only one sport when there are many other sports facilities with turf surfaces that rely on red diesel to fuel essential machinery and specialist vehicles to maintain grounds to a safe, accessible, and satisfactory standard.

“Grassroots, community, and professional clubs, as well as educational establishments will be hit hard with increased costs if this guidance does not get amended.

“The GMA remains fully supportive of the Government’s net zero ambitions and understands the rationale behind pulling fiscal levers to deliver environmental goals. It is, however, crucial that policymakers are fair and avoid inadvertently imposing punitive taxes that will have an adverse effect on individuals, organisations, and communities.”

The GMA will continue to engage with the Government on this matter and encourages others to write to local MPs to reiterate the points made in the association’s letter.

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SAGE named the home event for GRASS

SAGE named the home event for GRASS: SAGE are proud to announce that they have become the home event for GRASS, a newly launched forum built by a Group of Groundcare Industry Specialists. Taking place 6th and 7th July SAGE will provide a platform for GRASS to introduce it’s objectives to the industry this summer.

GRASS stands for, Groundcare Resources & Sustainability Suppliers, and is the innovative idea of Mark Tomlinson head of environmental and sustainability stadia projects at Bio-Circle, one of the leading companies paving the way in sustainable solutions for the industry.The NEW Networking & Support Forum is a FREE to join group that supports all Groundcare and other sporting industry sustainability projects, providing free advice and knowledge of sustainable pitch care.

SAGE named the home event for GRASS

SAGE named the home event for GRASS

Top Grounds Personnel, Leading Industry Manufacturers and Senior Experts have come together to form a “Go To Group” that allows grounds staff to begin their own sustainability projects with support and advise.

Through the expert sustainable and environmental forum, GRASS will provide the latest information available all under one roof, whether it’s technical pitchcare maintenance, through to recycling washdown, white line marking paint, recycling containers, battery powered equipment, seed, lighting, our information bank is endless.

“A First for the Groundcare & Sporting Industry, and a much-needed Support Forum Group. By coming together and sharing knowledge GRASS can help and support Groundcare personnel with their sustainability projects. We want to help and protect our environment and make a difference.”

Mark Tomlinson

Focus on sustainability

This year, sustainability has become an even more prominent priority across all industries and SAGE is proud to be hosting the first sustainability summit, which will take place on Wednesday 6th July at SAGE 2022, in partnership with Bio-Circle.

The summit will be led by experts across the industry and will provide guidance and support on how sustainable solutions can be achieved by businesses across the sports and grounds maintenance industry. The panel and their colleagues will be on hand to deliver tailored options for those looking to adopt processes that are more environmentally friendly.

Everyone is welcome to attend SAGE 2022. Visitors from last year included educational institutions, local authorities and councils, contractors, construction managers and private estates.

The team at SAGE invites all visitors to stay for the networking event on the Wednesday evening, 4pm – 6pm, sponsored by Fleet Line Markers, where everyone will get the opportunity to meet fellow industry professionals at the stunning showground, with a few added bonus’ as well.

To register for SAGE 2022. Please visit; www.sportsandgrounds.events.

If you would like to exhibit at SAGE 2022, there is still time to reserve your stand, contact us today; team@sportsandgrounds.co.uk

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Cobra launches Mow For Your Mind campaign

Cobra launches Mow For Your Mind campaign: Leading lawnmower manufacturer, Cobra, has launched its Mow For Your Mind campaign, in support of mental health charity, Mind.

As part of this and the brand’s commitment to helping mental health causes, Cobra is donating 10% of the total sales of one of its most popular models between 4th and 15th May to mental charity, Mind. The award-winning MX3440V cordless lawnmower has been chosen as the ‘Mow For Your Mind’ mower, to help gardeners enhance mindfulness while mowing the lawn.

Cobra launches Mow For Your Mind campaign

Cobra launches Mow For Your Mind campaign

Managing director of Cobra said: “One in four people will experience mental health problems, which really is quite shocking. However, it’s been proven that gardening and spending time outdoors can significantly help boost mental health and aid wellbeing. As one of the biggest names in garden machinery in the UK, we feel it is our duty to help and to support Mind with the amazing work that it does. As well as the financial support we’re pledging from the sales of our Mow For Your Mind mower throughout Mental Health Awareness Week in May, we’re also actively encouraging gardeners to take time to enjoy the wider benefits of gardening and mowing the lawn, such as how it gives you chance to take time out from the busyness of modern life, reduces stress levels, improves mood and even gives a better night’s sleep!”

Cobra dealers are encouraged to help promote the campaign to boost donations to the charity, and are being supported by Cobra with showroom POS, swing tickets and totem poles being provided to aid promotion to customers.

The MX3440V cordless 40V lawnmower, which has been selected as the “Mow For Your Mind” mower for 2022, retails at £232.99. It offers five cutting heights ranging between 25mm and 75mm, easily allowing adjustment throughout the year to provide for healthy grass during every season. With a 34cm/13” cutting width, it is ideal for small to medium gardens, and offers compact storage too.

The MX34440V is part of the extensive battery powered garden machinery range from Cobra, which includes not only lawnmowers but also hedgetrimmers, leaf blowers and grass strimmers that are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that are interchangeable throughout the range. The battery can be fully charged from flat in 85 minutes, giving the MX3440V a run time of up to 30 mins – the perfect amount of time to take in nature and boost mental health.

For further information about Cobra, please visit www.cobragarden.co.uk and to find out more about Mind and the work the charity does, visit www.mind.org.uk.

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SISIS orange the colour for Durham

SISIS orange the colour for Durham: When Durham County Cricket Club’s 25-year-old SISIS Auto Rotorake needed upgrading, Head Groundsman Vic Demain didn’t have to look very far for a replacement.

“If you go into any cricket shed – from village level up to professional level, you will always see an orange piece of kit in there of some description,” said Vic. “The SISIS brand is just so well-known and trusted in the cricket grounds industry.”

SISIS orange the colour for Durham

SISIS orange the colour for Durham

As one of the most experienced groundsmen in cricket, Vic Demain certainly knows the secrets behind preparing a first-class cricket pitch. He joined Durham County Cricket Club in 2015 and has been working at the Emirates Riverside Stadium ever since.

Helping him to prepare for all the games, Vic has long relied on a range of SISIS equipment over the years, but conceded that it was about time for an upgrade.

“We had a trusty SISIS Auto Rotorake but it was over 25 years old, and it needed replacing,” he said. “We didn’t even look at anything else. It is a staple piece of equipment for cricket clubs and there is nothing else on the market to challenge it in my opinion.”

A popular choice, the Auto Rotorake MK5 is a self-propelled heavy duty scarifier for the removal and control of thatch on fine and other quality turf. However, a Rolaspike Reel, which can be used for surface aeration or to create a seed bed when overseeding; and a Spiral Brush Reel can also be fitted.

“It is a multi-purpose machine that can be used for different jobs, but we mainly use it as a brush,” said Vic.

“For early preparation we will use it for standing the grass up before we mow, to make sure we get a good cut. After a game it is great for sweeping the whole length of the pitch to remove any dust or debris. This basically gives the pitch a good clean before we move on to renovating the pitch to get it back into service.

“We’ve also got artificial nets, and it is used for cleaning those and is particularly beneficial for getting rid of winter moss.

“It is used frequently, at least once every couple of days, and the whole team can use it because it is very operator friendly.”

“Ultimately, it is the proven quality of all the SISIS products that stands out and that is why I have been using them constantly throughout my career.”

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact SISIS on 01332 824 777 or visit www.sisis.com

For more news, reviews and insightful views, you can follow SISIS on Twitter or Instagram @SISISMachinery and like the company’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/SISISMachinery. You can also view the latest SISIS videos by visiting www.youtube.com/SISISMachinery

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Five stars for GreenMech CS 80

Five stars for GreenMech CS 80: “Five stars out of five!” – that’s the glowing review of a GreenMech CS 80 from Norfolk-based gardeners Garden Thyme. Since Owner Stephan Jansen took delivery of the 4” pedestrian unit in November 2021, its simplicity of use and speed of processing has transformed residential tree and hedge maintenance, with the CS 80 chipping the woody waste faster than Stephan’s team can prepare it!

The smallest machine in GreenMech’s pedestrian range, the CS 80 delivers compact with compromise – perfect for ‘on the spot’ chipping and jobs in tight spaces. Prior to his CS 80, Stephan was using another make of small chipper which was beginning to struggle with the workload. “It was a nightmare to feed and it would only process material of a certain size… and it took forever to even do that!” he explains. “We ended up having to turn some domestic work down because of the time those sorts of jobs would take up in our diaries which was obviously not ideal.”

Five stars for GreenMech CS 80

Five stars for GreenMech CS 80

“This CS 80 chips so fast and can handle timber and brash of all awkward shapes and sizes making it ideal for all garden jobs but particularly hedge work, which can sometimes be difficult to dispose of. Because of the adjustable flap on the discharge chute, we can angle and control the direction of the chip meaning a lot of customers re-use it as mulch for their flower beds, or alternatively, we can dispose of it into a bulk bag or straight into a garden waste bin.”

At only 760mm wide, the ability to transport the CS 80 to exactly where it’s required has been another major time-saving for Stephan. “We wheel the chipper down pathways and through gates to get it to the centre of the job at hand. Then when the job is complete, we wheel it back and can load it into the van single-handedly using a special winch we had fitted, to take the chipper safely to the next site.”

“Not only is the machine lovely and simple to use, the maintenance of it is also very easy” Stephan explains. “Everything is accessible with the removal of just a couple of bolts meaning we can keep the machine in tip-top condition, with the back-up support of our local dealer Thurlow Nunn Standen if we need it. We look forward to many years of reliable and trouble-free performance.”

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