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Terrain deep penetration aeration for trees

Terrain deep penetration aeration for trees: We tend to take trees for granted, in our parks, estates and gardens, as a natural part of the landscape.

All too often they are subjected to stress as a result of a number of factors such as nutrient shortages in the soil, surface compaction due to foot traffic and waterlogging where water drains off hard surface pathways. Armed with a number of solutions, Terrain Aeration have been treating trees in all types of situation for over twenty-five years, from back gardens to large estates right through to Royal Parks.

Terrain deep penetration aeration for trees

Terrain deep penetration aeration for trees

The Terrain Aeration Terralift machines comprise a probe which reaches one metre depth, deeper than the roots of trees (other than the major tap roots which grow straight down).  Breaking up the soil around the roots, and beyond, means that excess water will drain away from the roots to help stop anaerobic conditions and rotting of the root system.  The probe is then used to inject dried seaweed which helps keep the fissures open and backfilling the probe holes with aggregate provides a semi permanent aeration/ventilation shaft.  Terrain Aeration aerate around the roots using two-metre spacings – on most occasions one-metre inside and one-metre outside the canopy drip line, as this is where the growing roots lie.  Decompacting around the roots and injecting air into the soil increases the percentage of uptake of oxygen into the root system.

In one particular situation it was found there was a magnesium deficiency coupled with low overall soil fertility around trees in a park. This was determined using new technology to measure light transmission through the leaves on the trees to gain a reading of chlorophyll levels. The likely cause of the problem was that leaf litter is always removed and had been for a century, taking with it the natural nutrients from decaying leaves. There was also severe compaction of the surface around the tree. A tree feed mix containing slow release general nutrients and magnesium was injected, using the Terralift’s ability to inject granular material via its seaweed carrier, forcing it upwards into the root zone of the trees. This also avoids losing the nutrients to the grass which would occur with surface treatment. Two Terralift machines were used to carry out the process.

There are some products in the market place which advertise to be of help for trees with Phytophthora. There is a product which is applied around the tree roots via a watering can.  If the tree roots have been aerated by the Terralift machine, the product has a far better chance of reaching affected roots due to the soil being decompacted.  There are machines that will go shallower, but this does not have such an effective treatment as you would still need to get excess water away from laying stagnant around the roots. Terrain Aeration also recommend that root samples from good and affected trees, as well as tip samples be sent for full analysis from the Forestry Commission or any other Arboricultural advisor.  The samples should be labelled as well as being placed in separate plastic bags.  Photos of the location of the trees would also help, just in case there is a huge wall on three sides of the tree or something which could affect its well being. It’s best to give a complete “story” surrounding the tree. For more details on deep penetration aeration treatment for trees, sports pitches, golf courses and gardens:

Terrain Aeration 01449 673783
www.terrainaeration.com

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Overseeding transformed for Kelso GC

Overseeding transformed for Kelso GC: A BLEC Multi-Seeder has improved both the speed and accuracy of overseeding at Scotland’s Kelso Golf Club.

With just Head Greenkeeper James Balmbro and an apprentice to maintain the 18-hole parkland course, the Multi-Seeder has improved the efficiency of their greens seeding programme, with a noticeable improvement in results.

Overseeding transformed for Kelso GC

Overseeding transformed for Kelso GC

Situated within the confines of Kelso racecourse in the Scottish Borders, overseeding is traditionally carried out twice a year across all of the club’s 18 greens. “Our manpower and available budget mean we focus on overseeding following both the spring and autumn renovation season” explains James, who has been at Kelso GC for five years. “Previously, we would simply broadcast seed by hand, or with a spreader, so it was important for us to find a way of making the process and end result more effective, to deliver the results we wanted to achieve.”

The BLEC Multi-Seeder features two, spiked ring rollers to saturate fine turf and amenity type areas with up to 1500 holes per square metre, ready to accept the seed. Re-engineered under the guidance of Redexim, it features a new seed ratio and seed feed system that offers the user incredibly accurate distribution for all seed types. “We’ve used some ultra-fine dwarf ryegrass in the latest operation, but have also had bent and fescue seed running through the Multi-Seeder without a problem. Within just 7-10 days, you can see the seed germinating from the dimple holes – the difference in the uptake we’ve achieved has been massive.”

“It’s a fantastic piece of kit that’s super easy to set up and adjust; so user-friendly in fact I’ve had our apprentice out there using it and he loves it! For us as a small greens team, operations all come down to time so the fact we can attach the unit straight to the tractor’s 3-point linkage and go, is great. We can get all of the greens done in one day with the Multi-Seeder and all without causing any disruption to the surface.”

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Ground-Guards strengthens support for groundscare

Ground-Guards strengthens support for groundscare: Ground-Guards Ltd, the UK’s leading supplier of high performance temporary access solutions, has launched a brand new ground protection system that can be installed in support of the Government’s social distancing policy.

Ideal for use in the groundscare industry, Ground-Guards’ FastCover PLUS is made from environmentally friendly 100% recycled PVC and can be configured with highly visible yellow markers every 2m as a constant reminder for people to maintain a safe distance from each other.

Ground-Guards strengthens support for groundscare

Ground-Guards strengthens support for groundscare


This innovative and cost-effective system is an extension of Ground-Guard’s popular FastCover range and features unique interlocking flanges for improved ease of use and a superior trip-free surface. Lighter and easier to install, FastCover PLUS is a versatile ground protection solution suitable for a wide range of applications, from surface protection for block paving and interior floors, to creating safe clean paths and walkways during site works.

Weighing just 14.5kg per mat, FastCover PLUS, can be laid directly onto grass, footpaths or stone bases, with its superior anti-slip surface delivering maximum health and safety benefits. Furthermore, the mats have built-in hand holes, providing ultimate ease-of-use for the handler. Built with durability and longevity in mind, FastCover PLUS features an innovative honeycomb underside, providing strong structural support and ultimately increasing the useable life of the product.

Marcus Oliver, Product Development Manager at Ground-Guards, commented: “As Britain’s groundscare sector continues to play a vital role in the nationwide effort against Coronavirus, we’re committed to supporting the sector do its work as quickly – and safely – as possible.

“That’s one of the key reasons we’ve launched our FastCover PLUS social distancing walkways.  The solution is cost-effective and sustainable, with the versatile matting system not only delivering a superior trip-free surface, for maximum safety, but it’s also quick and easy-to-install for visible two metre social distancing implementation – a key consideration for a sector reliant on safe and seamless operations.”

Backing up the launch of FastCover Plus is Ground-Guards commitment to provide its customers with a first class service offering, which includes product warranties and access to training at the company’s state-of-the-art facilities in Yorkshire.

To find out more about Ground-Guards’ FastCover Plus visit https://www.ground-guards.co.uk/products/fastcover-plus/ or 0113 267 6000.

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JCB finale for Terence

JCB finale for Terence: JCB’s Terence Smith has put the fun into furlough with a madcap fancy dress fundraising idea which has netted almost £3,000 for charity.

For the whole of April he donned a different fancy dress outfit every day, filmed a funny sketch and uploaded the footage to his social media pages – all to raise cash for worthy causes.

JCB finale for Terence

JCB finale for Terence

Now he has signed off from his wacky month of fundraising by donning fancy dress outfit number 30 – a JCB digger he made from scratch out of cardboard in his garage.

Terence, 35, who works in sales at JCB Power Products in Hixon, Stafford, says building his mini 3CX backhoe was one of the most difficult challenges of the month.

He said: “We’ve got a fancy dress box at home with outfits worn at parties over the years, but the JCB backhoe loader was one of the harder ones to devise! You have got two choices when you are furloughed; either sit at home doing nothing or make the best use of your time by staying active. I chose the latter, not only to raise money for charity, but for my own sanity too.”

Terence, of Littleover, near Derby, is now just a few pounds away from raising £3,000 in aid of the Derby and Burton Hospitals charity, Community Action Derby and Rainbows Hospice in Leicester.

Over the past month he has dressed as a Transformer, Harry Potter, sports star Tom Daly, Baywatch characters and even Britney Spears – trying hard not to disturb his fiancée Nicola as she worked from home.

Terence added: “The response from friends, family and JCB colleagues has been amazing. I originally set out to raise £2,000 for charities, which are assisting with the response to COVID-19. I’ve had fun, it’s helped my my mental health and it’s great to know that I’ve put a smile on people’s faces for the past month.”

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GEA 2021 open for business

GEA 2021 open for business: Golf clubs and greenkeepers around Europe are invited to apply for the Golf Environment Awards 2021.

The GEAs recognise those in the golf industry that are breaking the mould and highlighting the wide-ranging environmental benefits of golf.

GEA 2021 open for business

GEA 2021 open for business

Entrants may apply for awards in four categories – Environmental Golf Course of the Year, Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year, Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year and Operation Pollinator.

This year we are excited to announce that, for the first time, a panel of judges, selected from across the golf industry, will choose the winners from this year’s entrants.

We are also pleased to introduce a new prize. A £750 grant will be awarded to each winner to invest into environmental and ecological projects at the club.

We encourage all clubs, however big or small, to enter. Entry is free and each entrant will be assessed upon their own merits. A shortlist of finalists will be chosen from categories’ entrants and each will receive a visit from an STRI consultant who will perform an onsite ecological and environmental assessment, using current social distancing advice from the government in relation to Covid-19.

Applications are being accepted up to midnight on 7 August 2020 to give entrants additional time to put together an application during the current pandemic.

Senior environment consultant, Sophie Olejnik, said: “We are so excited to be launching the 2021 Golf Environment Awards and, despite current circumstances, we want to remain positive and celebrate all that is good in golf. We hope that the addition of our new judging panel and prizes will entice more of you to enter and be part of the Golf Environment Awards family.”

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Help for housebuilders

Help for housebuilders: The majority of the housebuilding industry has downed tools during the government’s ‘lockdown’ including the UK’s biggest builders, Barratt, Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey.

These giants of the industry remain active however in lobbying government to bring in measures post Covid-19 to help the industry recover as quickly as possible.

Help for housebuilders

Help for housebuilders

Prior to lockdown, Terrain Aeration was playing its own small part in supporting the leading housebuilders with its unique deep aeration treatment of gardens in new build developments. Picture a piece of flat land being prepared for the erection of dozens of houses and you’ll see diggers and dumper trucks, deliveries of raw materials, concrete mixers, bulldozers and brick lorries crisscrossing the site. All of which does a very good job of compacting the ground which may already have a sub-soil layer of rubble, old bricks and general landfill waste. Fine for building on so long as it provides a stable base but not so fine when it comes to setting out the gardens for each property.

Providing drainage systems for back gardens in new build properties is usually a prohibitively costly and unnecessary expense for the builder. The problem is, in a relatively short period and particularly when heavy rains occur, it becomes evident there’s nowhere for the standing water to go, the ground being so compacted. Normal aeration of a newly-laid lawn will have little or no effect, penetrating only a few inches into the heavily compacted area under the topsoil. Terrain Aeration has worked with the builders for many years resolving the problem with their deep penetration aeration system. The company’s range of machines is designed for use from open spaces to tight-entranced, enclosed gardens.

The Terrain Aeration machine hammers a hollow probe one metre into the soil using a JCB road breaker gun (this is needed because the ground is so compact at depth that it needs this hammer to break through).  Once the probe has reached one-metre depth, compressed air is released up to a maximum of 20Bar (280psi). The Terrain Aeration machines are the only ones using such high air pressure, which is needed to fracture and fissure the soil. The probe is withdrawn and the process repeated using spacings on a staggered grid pattern – this means that each shot interconnects with the previous ones. On the tail end of the air blast, dried seaweed is injected which sticks to the walls of the fractures and fissures and, over time, expands and contracts with the moisture content in the soil – similar to “breathing” underground.   The 1½” probe holes created by the Terrain Aeration machine are backfilled with aggregate to provide a semi-permanent aeration/ventilation shaft, helping to keep the whole aeration process working. Terrain Aeration is already set to work with the housebuilders once again, as soon as the current restrictions are lifted, and to contribute to getting the housing market back on track.

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Look for the Standard

Look for the Standard: Following its launch, the Amenity Standard is receiving widespread and enthusiastic support from all sides of the amenity sector and is already being incorporated into tender documents and specifications going forward.

The Amenity Standard, when held and displayed, demonstrates that all operational activities undertaken are at the highest professional standards and fully comply with all regulations, code of practice and good practice guidance.

Look for the Standard

Look for the Standard

The key reason for introducing this UK wide standard is to provide assurance to the public and all users of an amenity space. Displaying and holding the Standard means that the organisation and individuals undertaking the operations are members of an approved assurance scheme. The assurance scheme is audited fully before being recognised by the Amenity Standard. Holding the Standard demonstrates that all the work undertaken is of the highest professional level and meets all legislative requirements and fully follows the code of practice and good practice guidance.

Currently not all aspects of amenity management have assurance schemes recognised but work is on going to ensure this will be the case very soon. Seeking out the Standard provides reassurance on quality standards and confidence that the essential work being done is at a professional level with safety as a key objective.

Professor John Moverley, Independent Chairman of the Amenity Forum said ‘’Our aim is to ensure that all involved in amenity management operations meets the requirements of the Standard and we wish for all involved to look for The Standard and its logo to provide full assurance of the quality of operations and commitment to best practice. As I often say, what happens in amenity management impacts upon every UK citizen every day and the introduction of the Standard provides assurance to the public of adherence to requirements to provide safe, healthy amenity areas fit for purpose.

We are delighted with the way those involved have welcomed the Standard and it has strong support from all national governments in the UK. Integrated approaches are core to this, making use of all methods available to achieve optimum results’’

Alan Abel from Complete Weed Control, said ‘’We are proud to hold the Amenity Standard and show our commitment to best practice, integrated approaches and meeting all requirements. We urge all seeking to employ operators to ensure the organisation involved meets the Standard requirements and is a full supporter of the Amenity Forum.  The Amenity Standard is designed to give assurance to all who use such facilities that operations are carried out to the highest professional levels of best practice giving assurances equivalent to seeing the Red Tractor when buying food’’

For further information about the Standard, visit the website, www.theamenitystandard.co.uk . Public facing information on what happens in amenity management and how it is done can be found at www.getbritainmoving.uk

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Andy Fogarty pitching in for Yorkshire

Andy Fogarty pitching in for Yorkshire: Yorkshire may not have been consistently successful on the pitch in recent times but they have been consistently successful in producing good pitches.

The groundstaff led by head groundsman Andy Fogarty deliver day-in, day-out and have the accolades to prove it.

Andy Fogarty pitching in for Yorkshire

Andy Fogarty pitching in for Yorkshire

Indeed, the biggest thing in Fogarty’s house is probably his mantelpiece, not that the modest 57-year-old would ever blow his own trumpet.

ECB ‘Groundsman of the Year’ four times; runner-up four times; runner-up six times for his one-day pitches, plus numerous commendations.

In short, this is a guy who knows his stuff.

“It’s great for me and my team to get recognition,” says Fogarty, the current ECB ‘Groundsman of the Year’. “The lads all work really hard, and it’s a fabulous boost, a real shot-in-the-arm.”

Such recognition is no doubt sustaining Fogarty through his latest challenge – that of maintaining the Headingley ground with no cricket taking place or, indeed, any prospect of it doing so in the foreseeable future.

Fogarty is used to rain stopping play, bad light, hailstorms and even the dreaded ‘Beast from the East’ storm.

But Covid-19 is a different beast from the east altogether.

“Our brief is just to keep on top of the ground really,” he says. “Obviously, the grass still grows and needs cutting, and we don’t want to leave it any length of time because it just makes the job ten times more difficult.

“We’re doing a lot of watering and irrigation in the warm weather, and we’d already done a lot of pre-season work anyway, pre-season rolling, and so on.

“But this situation is certainly alien to us. We’ve never encountered anything like it before. No-one has.”

Fogarty is one of four members of Yorkshire’s groundstaff still working along with Gareth Milthorpe at Headingley, Richard Robinson at Weetwood and Nasa Hussain at Bradford Park Avenue.

“Between the four of us, we’re looking after the three sites,” says Fogarty. “God forbid, if anything happens to any of us, we can call in the other four lads who are off at the moment on the furlough scheme.”

In addition to furloughing their playing staff and all coaches apart from director of cricket Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire have furloughed most of their non-playing staff, too.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which pays 80 per cent of an employee’s salary up to £2,500 per month, has been a lifeline for many businesses, and Yorkshire estimate it will save £60,000-£70,000 a month on players’ salaries.

As yet, it is unclear when cricket will resume, under what conditions (behind closed doors or otherwise) and in what form (ie, what competitions will be played).

Who knows, Fogarty might even find himself preparing pitches for games in October, with talk of the season possibly being extended beyond September.

Not that this would be a problem for a consummate professional; indeed, were prizes awarded for dedication as well as ability, Fogarty would need an even bigger mantelpiece.

Groundstaff work crazy hours at times and are first to the ground in the morning, last to leave at night.

“The hours can be tough,” says Fogarty. “It’s why it can be difficult to recruit new staff into the industry; a lot of younger people are put off by the pay at the start and also by the hours that they have to put in.

“We generally start at 6.30am for a Championship game, and the play can finish at 6.30/7pm in the evening.

“Then we’ve got to cover up everything after that, do any watering and repair work, and we also cut the outfield as we’d rather do that in the evening than early morning when there’s dew or dampness around.”

Fogarty lives not far from Headingley and gets up at around 5.45am for his 6.30am start. Some members of his team live as far out as Huddersfield and Ilkley, though, meaning that they have to get up at around the same time as any self-respecting journalist is just getting in from a night on the town (pre lockdown era, of course).

Floodlit fixtures and the various demands posed by cricket’s different competitions make the groundstaff’s job ever tougher these days and the hours even longer. Such demands are heightened, of course, when a Test match is on.

“That’s your biggest game of the season, obviously, and you want everything to be right,” says Fogarty. “We can be here at 3am sometimes, checking things over.

“If it’s blowing a gale and it’s absolutely torrential rain, I can’t just lay in bed at home and listen to it all going off outside.

“I just have to nip down to the ground and make sure that everything’s fine, make sure the covers are still in place, make sure the drainage is working okay, and so on.

“The last thing I want is to nip into the office on the day of a Test match against the Australians and say to (chief executive) Mark Arthur, ‘Mark, we’ve got a problem. The covers blew off in the middle of the night.’ Can you imagine that? I can’t do that. I’d rather put my mind at ease and pop down to the ground.

“But that’s not unusual; I’m not the only one who does that. Every groundsman who looks after a county ground in the country would do the same.

“That’s why, years ago, a lot of groundsmen used to live on the grounds. We want everything to be right, and it’s just that peace of mind.”

There was no prouder man than Fogarty – and no more appreciative one than Arthur – when everything went like clockwork at last year’s Headingley Test.

After Fogarty worked his magic with the pitch, Ben Stokes worked his magic on it, and the rest was history as England recorded a one-wicket victory for the ages.

“You’re not going to see a finish to a Test match like that for a long time,” says Fogarty. “It was unbelievable, and I was so proud for everyone involved with the club.

“It was a tremendous year, what with the Ashes, four World Cup matches and a one-day international against Pakistan. We were lucky with the weather, and everything seemed to go smoothly; we didn’t have any problems.”

Ah yes, the weather…

The perennial bugbear of groundsmen everywhere.

“It can be really frustrating,” says Fogarty. “You’ve done all the hard work getting what you hope is a wonderful pitch ready, the outfield looks pristine and everything’s in place, and, blow me, half-an-hour before the start, the heavens open. It just frustrates the groundstaff, the players, the spectators, everyone.

“Thankfully, the radar systems that we have now are superb and can pick up the slightest shower that’s heading our way. We know what to expect, when to expect it, how long it’s going to last for and practically how much rain is going to drop, too.

“In the past, it was just play-it-by-ear really and look up at the sky.”

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Praise for JCB food initiative

Praise for JCB food initiative: The leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council today paid tribute to JCB for helping make a “real difference” to the lives of vulnerable people with its special food aid initiative.

Councillor Abi Brown’s comments came as JCB increases its production of meals for the community and works with more local organisations to extend its delivery of the food to the most disadvantaged adults and children.

Praise for JCB food initiative

Praise for JCB food initiative

The company’s catering staff in the UK and India are preparing more than 37,500 meals a week for distribution around towns and villages located close to its plants. The initiative is the idea of Lady Bamford, wife of JCB Chairman Lord Bamford. In the UK, staff started producing 2,000 cottage pies a week for distribution in the North Staffordshire area – and have now boosted production to 2,600.

The first meals have now been delivered to the city council with around 1,000 JCB meals a week expected for distribution to vulnerable adults and children across the city, who have asked for help during the Coronavirus pandemic through the #StokeonTrent Together initiative.

Today Councillor Abi Brown, Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “People, businesses and individuals across the city have stood up and been counted in these testing times. JCB is one such organisation that we are proud to have as a business supporting Stoke-on-Trent. We are grateful to have a business of such calibre supporting the city where hundreds of its employees live and know it will make a huge difference to our most vulnerable residents that we are supporting through our #StokeonTrentTogether initiative. Our heartfelt thanks go to JCB.”
JCB’s kitchens in Staffordshire are being supported with the provision of food from organic farms at Daylesford in Gloucestershire. So far, Daylesford – founded by Lady Bamford – has supplied more than half a tonne of organic beef mince to the project, with staff working seven days a week to support the food aid initiative.

The meals being prepared by JCB arrive in specially prepared containers with a message, which reads: “Lovingly prepared by JCB’s chefs for our local community.”
The scale of the operation in India is even bigger, where the Coronavirus has caused huge disruption to people’s lives. Forty-five JCB staff have been mobilised to cook more than 35,000 meals a week in the company canteens for communities around JCB’s factory locations in Delhi, Pune and Jaipur.

In the UK, JCB is also working with the The Hubb Foundation in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, to distribute food to children and families in need of support across the city and the first of the cottage pies were delivered last week.

Staffordshire Civil Contingencies Unit puts measures in place to support the people of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent in an emergency. One of the partners in this, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, has been helping JCB co-ordinate the distribution of the food, ensuring meals reach front line theatre staff at the Royal Stoke Hospital and providing the link to the city council to extend distribution to more parts of Stoke-on-Trent.

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New Verti-Drain for Selby Golf Club

New Verti-Drain for Selby Golf Club: Course Manager at Selby Golf Club, Chris Goodall, says the arrival of their new Charterhouse Verti-Drain® 7416 in November 2019 couldn’t have come at a better time!

The heathland course is very sandy meaning it is playable all year round and, in turn, makes it one of the busiest clubs in Yorkshire. This level of traffic has seen the Verti-Drain® in high demand over the winter period, tackling compaction on some of the high footfall areas.

New Verti-Drain for Selby Golf Club

New Verti-Drain for Selby Golf Club

“We previously had two separate aerators – one of which was proving too heavy for our ageing tractors, and the other was smaller so only really suitable for work on the greens” explains Chris, who has been at the club for five years. “When the time came to replace them, we wanted a good all-rounder – capable of site wide aeration.” Having been impressed with the Verti-Drain® at a previous club, Chris was keen to go down the Charterhouse road this time and spoke with local dealer F G Adamson and Sons.

“The size of the 7416 model was a perfect fit for our requirements and fleet of tractors. It’s super easy to set up, quiet in operation and covers the ground at good speed. The timing of its delivery meant it was out straight away and every couple of weeks after that, relieving compaction on pathways, walkways and fairways which kept us free of any waterlogging over the very wet winter months.”

Chris purchased his Verti-Drain® with solid tines, and additional hollow tines for year-round flexibility. “In a regular year, we would equip the Verti-Drain® with pencil tines to aerate the greens through the summer then as we head towards the back end of the year we’d then look at hollow coring and using bigger tines on the fairways and other areas.”

The Verti-Drain® 7416 has a 1.6m working width and offers a 14″ maximum working depth. The range of solid and hollow tine options, together with its weight, makes it a popular choice for golf courses; but it’s robust nature also makes it ideal for penetration of hard and compacted soils on a range of sports surfaces.

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