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Thornbury Golf Centre gets green light

Thornbury Golf Centre gets green light: Located near Bristol, Thornbury Golf Centre is set to embark on an exciting £600,000 irrigation investment project which is designed to amplify the look and playability of both golf courses, while also dramatically improving maintenance efficiency.

The project – funded by club owner and operator, Burhill Group Limited (BGL) – represents the group’s unwavering dedication to facility improvement and enhanced member and customer experience, while also reflecting a surge in membership numbers at all 10 clubs in recent years.

Thornbury Golf Centre gets green light

Thornbury Golf Centre gets green light

The first phase of the project will cost around £275,000 and will see the foundations laid across both golf courses for the installation of a new high-tech irrigation system that will include tee boxes, fairways, approaches and greens. Crucially, the new system will allow the club to better manage the amount of moisture in the ground, making the courses more playable, all year round.

Once completed, the new irrigation system will be controlled via mobile device or computer, allowing maintenance teams to control the conditioning of the golf courses, 24-hours a day. This will make a huge difference to staff efficiency and will also help to deliver an exceptional golf experience that can be enjoyed by club members, guests, and visitors.

Tim Good, General Manager of Thornbury Golf Centre, said: “We are delighted to have been afforded this opportunity by BGL, to make further enhancements to our facility. We are committed to delivering the very best golfing experience for our members and guests, and this is the next step along our road of continuous improvement.”

Guy Riggott, Operations Director at BGL Golf, commented: “We are constantly monitoring the progress of our facilities and looking for new and innovative ways to improve our offering. With this upgrade to the irrigation system across both courses, the team at Thornbury will be able to offer a first-class golfing facility, 12 months of the year.”

This news comes immediately following the club’s announcement that it has been officially awarded with the SafeGolf Accreditation and has been recognised as a GEO Certified venue. These awards reflect the club’s commitment to health and safety, the local environment, social responsibility, and sustainability.

Good added: “We are constantly looking at ways to develop and improve our working practices, so we are extremely pleased that both England Golf and GEO have recognised our efforts, both in health and safety and environmental sectors.”

To find out more about Thornbury Golf Centre and to book your visit, head online to www.thornburygc.co.uk, or call 01454 281144.

For more information on Burhill Golf and Leisure Ltd visit www.bglcompany.co.uk or follow @BGLGolf on LinkedIn.

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Future proof the UK’s green spaces

Future proof the UK’s green spaces: There is an urgent need to recruit young volunteers to care for and maintain UK parks if they are to meet the needs of current and future generations, according to Future Proof Parks – a partnership between Groundwork, Fields in Trust and National Youth Agency.

They say it is vital that we act now to recruit the next generation of volunteers, representative of the communities that enjoy and benefit from the UK’s parks and green spaces. A new series of free How-To guides have been published supporting friends of parks groups to recruit more young volunteers.

Future proof the UK’s green spaces

Future proof the UK’s green spaces

Our parks are amazing places. Across the country, volunteers work tirelessly to care for and protect their local green spaces, improving our towns and cities. They have been crucial as places to exercise, meet friends and relax during the Coronavirus pandemic. As council funding becomes further stretched, more work maintaining and improving our precious parks is being picked-up by friends of parks groups. However, these volunteers are not always representative of the whole local community that use the park – and they could benefit from a wider range of volunteers to support their growing workload.

Future Proof Parks is a National Lottery Heritage Fund programme – part of the £10m ‘Kick the Dust’ initiative –which aims to get more young people involved in preserving their local park and green space heritage. Throughout the programme young people have learned about their local historic parks and have been encouraged to join their local ‘friends of’ groups, volunteering to preserve the local spaces that matter to the communities they live in.

The project is also working with friends’ groups to give them the tools, encouragement, and support to get more local young people involved in their work and benefit from cross-generational working. To support volunteers inexperienced at involving young people, a series of How-To guides has been published introducing Friends of Parks working with young people in green spaces. The in-depth How-To-Guides which look at key areas including Recruiting young volunteers, safeguarding young people and how to fundraise with young people.

Fields in Trust Chief Executive Helen Griffiths said: “We are all thankful to the volunteers who helped maintain our parks throughout lockdown and now, coming out of the pandemic, we can all play our part to make sure local green spaces will remain a healthy part of the local environment contributing to our wellbeing, our community connections and mitigating the impact of climate change. Local parks have been vital over the last year, we must make sure they will always be there for the whole community and for future generations – helping to restore the natural world and providing safe places to meet friends and neighbours. To make that happen we have to ensure the next generation of volunteers are included and empowered to get involved now and become future leaders”

The wellbeing value associated with frequent use of parks and green spaces is worth £34.2 billion per year to the UK adult population and is estimated to save the NHS around £111 million per year through a reduction in GP visits. Parks are one of the most universal of our public services used by all members of our communities and multiple generations – so it is important that they deliver something for all the groups that use them.

Earlier this year, a report published by Groundwork drawing on contributions from 23 organisations recognising the need to reimagine parks for the 21st century, found major inequalities in people’s ability to access parks and other open spaces.

The ‘Out of Bounds’ report demonstrated the extent to which certain groups are not getting the benefit of regularly accessing ‘urban nature’ – citing evidence that girls and young women feel unsafe in public spaces, some disabled people feel uncomfortable in parks and young people from minority ethnic backgrounds have fewer opportunities to connect with green spaces.

The How-To Guides are available for free download www.fieldsintrust.org/future-proof-parks

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New Product – Diamond Green

New Product – Diamond Green: As more and more fungicides are withdrawn from sale across the UK, Europe and globally, turf managers have had to look for alternative methods to manage turf diseases.

One of the most common ways turf managers can achieve this is by using more natural or organic products, along with managing available nutrient levels in the soil profile. Ensuring that plants have enough of each of the important macro and micro nutrients as well as using natural well known plant health products like chitosan (Asset Chitosan) have led to reduced disease pressure in many circumstances.

New Product – Diamond Green

New Product – Diamond Green

Minimise Disease Pressure

To help further minimise disease pressure, Indigrow have developed Diamond Green, the latest innovation to the turf managers fight against well know turf diseases. Diamond Green is a liquid fertiliser based on potassium, calcium and magnesium which contains essential plant oils to enhance plant health and increase disease resistance.

The combination of potassium, calcium and magnesium included in the Diamond Green formulation helps increase cell wall strength within the plant and enhance root mass. The increased resistance to disease in achieved through this improvement in cell wall strength and increased root mass.

Essential Plant Oils

As well as the macro and micro nutrients, Diamond Green also contains essential plant oils which further enhance plant health and the ability of the turf grass plant to resist disease pressure. The latest research undertaken has proven that these essential plant oils have shown to slow the progress of the growth of the pathogen by increasing the plants natural resistance to the disease.

All of these benefits to the turf grass plant help to improve the plants natural resistance to many known pathogens.

Disease prevention agents, like Diamond Green, should be partnered with traditional nutritional products as part of an effective turf management strategy. Diamond Green should be applied before anticipated disease pressure to achieve optimum results.

More information on our trials work is available from our technical team – if you are interested in further information, please contact us using: growth@indigrow.com

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Green Feet Week

Green Feet Week: The Amenity Forum working with partners is promoting a week of celebration commencing September 20th.

Too often the work of those in managing amenity and sports spaces goes unnoticed and this week gives opportunity for all to learn more about what they do, really keeping Britain moving. Never has this been more highlighted than in the past year, keeping transport networks working, parks open for exercise and enjoyment and more.

Green Feet Week

Green Feet Week

In Green Feet Week, organisations and individuals working in the sector will get involved in charitable activities, large and small, and tell their stories of what they do and why what they do matters to everyone. So what is planned will be fun, raise valuable funds for charity and highlight the importance of amenity management to the lives of everyone.

John Moverley, Chairman of the Amenity Forum, said ‘’I often say it but it is so true that what happens in amenity management impacts upon every UK citizen every day with all involved seeking to create safe, sustainable amenity and sports spaces fit for purpose’

Kate Cooney from Perennial, the charity that helps people in horticulture, said ‘’We are very pleased to support this initiative and highlight the work of so many, so often not understood or recognised. It is a brilliant and fun idea with a very real and important purpose’’

Laurence Gale said ‘’This is long over-due and I am delighted both to support it and help bring it to fruition. Now all is needed is for everyone to get involved and make it a real success’’

Some further information on how to get involved is provided below and if you have further questions, we will be happy to help if we can. Throughout the period leading up to the week, we will release progress updates and stories about those getting involved and all press enquiries should again be directed to Kate at admin@amenityforum.net

How to get involved

It is really easy to take part with the overall aim of raising awareness of the sector, its brilliant work across the UK and the amazing employees that have worked tirelessly to ensure that green spaces are available and accessible to everyone; most importantly we are looking to raise some money for charities, who have really suffered over the pandemic and would appreciate some support themselves.

Here is how:-

  1. If you are an organisation, or individual, working within the sector we are looking to you to get involved with a charitable activity during the week commencing 20 September 2021.
  2. Choose the Charity you wish to support – Perennial is our partner for the event as they look after people in horticulture, but it can be a charity chosen by you or your organisation.
  3. Select what you are going to do to raise money – this might be a sponsored walk in your local park, a cake sale, football match between departments, the list is endless!
  4. Let the Amenity Forum know what you are planning and when so that we can promote your activity via our social media channels
  5. Enjoy yourselves, raise some money for charity

Promote the sector and the charitable activity within your own press outlets and via the Amenity Forum.  The sector trade press is supporting this event too, so they would love to hear from you too and feature your activities in their magazine articles about the event.

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Parks & green spaces during a pandemic

Parks & green spaces during a pandemic: Green Space charity Fields in Trust has published an online Impact Report following their Annual General Meeting this week. The report shows that despite the challenges of the pandemic, work to champion, support and protect the UK’s parks and green spaces has continued. 

The report notes that 2020 was a year in which the value of parks and green spaces was widely recognised for the physical health and mental wellbeing benefits they contribute to regular park visitors.

Parks & green spaces during a pandemic

Parks & green spaces during a pandemic

Fields in Trust Chair of Trustees Jo Barnett said: “Like many charities we have had to adapt our services, embrace remote ways of working and more digital dissemination like this years online Impact Report. But I am pleased to say we have continued to make great progress with 31 new spaces protected during the year and significant progress made on our regional programme to work with Local Councils and deliver real change for their towns and cities.

As normal life resumes, we must not forget how vital our parks and green spaces have been – and that failing to protect them will be to our collective detriment.

At the AGM, Vice President of Fields in Trust, Gyles Brandreth spoke to reflect and appreciate the work of His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh who was President of the charity for 64 years. Gyles Brandreth, The Duke’s friend and biographer, is Vice President of Fields in Trust and spoke about The Duke of Edinburgh,  taking on the role as President of Fields in Trust, in October 1948 – his first national charity commitment. He served for over six decades, stepping down in 2013 to be replaced by his grandson, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, who remains as President today. The legacy created ensures that many much-loved parks and playing fields remain available today for play, sport and the enjoyment of nature.

The AGM comes a month after the current president of Fields in Trust HRH The Duke of Cambridge, launched the Green Space Index as part of his engagement with a range of charities focused on environmental issues ahead of COP26. The Index is an annual barometer of green space provision and distribution which can be used as a tool to support local authorities with green infrastructure planning to mitigate climate change. It shows there are around 2.8 million people in Great Britain who live more than a ten-minute walk from their nearest park or green space Areas with the least provision tend to be those with a higher incidence of deprivation – precisely the communities who benefit most from green space access. The Fields in Trust Impact Report can be viewed online www.fieldsintrust.org/impact-report

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Green spaces transformation

Green spaces transformation: Seeking to transform dull spaces into inspiring havens for nature and the local community, is the mission of a new venture called YourGreen.

The new eco-seed and tree business is calling on the public and private sector to think differently about green space and consider the breadth of environmental, emotional and brand benefits of planting wildflower seed mixes, trees, hedgerows.

Green spaces transformation

Green spaces transformation

Co-founder of YourGreen, Bethan Pugh, points to their YourPact consultancy package, supporting the development of a sustainable and eco-friendly brand; offered alongside advice on the practical and technical aspects of creating inspiring green spaces.

“We work hand in hand with organisations to create a package of activities that help realise their green ambitions, from supporting a sustainable food chain to creating natural public spaces for the local community,” she says. “This could mean planting grassland, meadows, woodlands, hedges, environmental mixtures or donating wildflowers to community projects.

“Carbon sequestration is one aspect, but it’s wider that that – we’re thinking about offsetting biodiversity loss as well as focusing on the community, health and wellbeing.

“We’ve developed a whole range of wildflower mixes that have been created with those benefits in mind – right down to thinking about the impact on mood and mindset, with mixtures which promote relaxation, positivity and creativity. At YourGreen, the service goes well beyond supplying a generic seed mix,” adds Bethan.

The launch of YourGreen follows a year when the pandemic exposed the importance of getting closer to nature.

“There’s definitely an appetite for businesses and the public sector to make their premises and outdoor spaces more attractive and create a positive experience for all. The motivation could be one of mental health, conservation or attracting home workers back to the workplace.

“There’s an untapped demand that’s seeing organisations looking for ways to give staff, customers and the local community an opportunity to connect with nature,” she adds.

Bethan says that the firm is also equipped to offer technical growing advice and has a strong philanthropic outlook.

Marking the launch of the new venture, YourGreen is supporting Children’s Gardening Week by donating wildflower packs to schools across Shropshire.

“Our aim is to encourage schools to take part in rewilding areas of the UK, educating children across the county about how planting wildflowers can support wildlife, conservation and connect with nature to increase quality of life,” she adds.

To find out more about YourGreen, visit the website at https://your-green.co.uk/ or follow on Facebook or Instagram at @yourgreenltd.

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Fields in Trust Green Space Index launched

Fields in Trust Green Space Index launched: At an event in Edinburgh, Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge helped to launch the Fields in Trust Green Space Index which reveals that, despite their value for health, wellbeing and climate change mitigation, some parts of the UK have access to 50% less green space than others and 2.8m people in Great Britain live more than a ten-minute walk from their nearest park.

The parks and green spaces that have been so vital to the nation’s wellbeing during lockdown are not equally accessible to all, according to new data from green space charity Fields in Trust. The Green Space Index is an annual barometer of green space provision and distribution and shows that people in the most well provisioned locations have the equivalent of 45m2 of accessible parks and green space per person compared to just 19m2 per capita in others.  Areas with the least provision tend to be those with a higher incidence of deprivation – precisely the communities who benefit most from green space access.

Fields in Trust Green Space Index launched

Fields in Trust Green Space Index launched

The visit came ahead of COP26 climate change conference, which will be taking place in Glasgow later this year, with today’s event one of several projects which have a positive effect on climate change that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have visited across Scotland. Urban parks and green spaces boost air quality, support habitats and mitigate the effects of climate change.

At the event in Starbank Park, Edinburgh’s Lord Provost, Frank Ross, announced that the City of Edinburgh Council would be using the Green Space Index to determine strategic green space locations. He said: “Edinburgh is already a wonderfully green city, and we want to ensure it remains that way for generations to come.

“I’m extremely pleased to announce that the City of Edinburgh Council will be looking to partner with Fields in Trust in protecting in perpetuity a further 25 green spaces – adding to the 34 already protected. This will mean that almost everyone in Edinburgh will be within a ten-minute walk of a protected green space, ensuring that for years to come citizens are guaranteed a lifetime of opportunity for activity, play, learning, recuperation and community.

“Scores of volunteers across the city work alongside the Council to support our parks, green spaces and cemeteries. We are very grateful to Friends of Starbank Park their ongoing hard work and dedication and we will continue to work with them to make sure these important areas are preserved for the benefit of our future generations.”

The City of Edinburgh Council are the first Local Authority in Scotland to adopt this approach and follow the pioneering example set by Liverpool City Council in March 2021 to protect all 100 parks in the City.

During the event Their Royal Highnesses met with volunteers from the Friends of Starbank Park Group and park users of all ages who have found sanctuary in the park over the last year as a place to play, exercise, relax, and reflect.

Fields in Trust Chair of Trustees, Jo Barnett said: “Through the pandemic we’ve realised just how valuable parks and green spaces are to our health and wellbeing, yet across the UK only 6% of parks are protected and access to them is not equitable. The proven physical and mental health benefits of local parks is unchallenged. These are valuable places; places where we can all move, breathe, run and play. Fields in Trust welcome this significant commitment by the City of Edinburgh Council, we need to champion and support these precious spaces by protecting them for future generations to enjoy. Because once lost, they are lost forever.”

Full details of the Green Space Index – including an interactive web app to explore local provision can be found on the Fields in Trust website www.fieldsintrust.org

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Forest Green extend Infinicut partnership

Forest Green extend Infinicut partnership: It is perhaps no surprise that the club described by FIFA as ‘the greenest football club in the world’ would turn to battery power when it comes to their choice of mowers.

However, what did surprise Forest Green Rovers Grounds Manager Nigel Harvey was the enormous improvements in both operation and finish achieved with the club’s duo of 34” INFINICUT® FL’s compared to their previous petrol-driven units.

Forest Green extend Infinicut partnership

Forest Green extend Infinicut partnership

Now nine months into his role, and with the assistance of club Apprentice Matt Berry, Nigel’s transition from the Forest Green training ground to the Stadium was a swift and steep learning curve. “I had only used petrol mowers previously and because of the speed of the handover, when I took over at The New Lawn Ground, I stuck to what I knew. That was until Oliver Hall from INFINICUT® came in and did some training with me on the pair of floating head units and I just could not believe how good they were – I’d been missing out!”

“It’s not just the fact they’re battery powered, which obviously means they’re quiet to operate and aren’t kicking out noxious fumes, but it’s the quality of cut too which is just outstanding. Within the time it took me to mow half the pitch I could tell the definition of stripe and cleanliness of cut was far superior to what we had been using. With fewer conventional tools and techniques at my disposal to tackle issues such as disease control, the balance and adjustability of the INFINICUT® delivers the perfect cut – with no shredding or bruising – to maintain plant health.”

Along with the two FL 34’s, Nigel has also got a range of TMSystem™ cassettes as his disposal including the SarelRoller™ and ThatchMaster™, which will be of particular use in preparing the surface for next season. The club are also looking at add further battery powered equipment to their fleet, with the aim of significantly reducing petrol usage at the stadium.

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Council protects parks and green spaces

Council protects parks and green spaces: Liverpool residents will be guaranteed access to park and green spaces, forever, removing the threat that any might be built on or sold off, in a new strategic partnership between green space charity Fields in Trust and Liverpool City Council. Liverpool is the first local authority to ensure local access to green space in perpetuity for all its citizens by legally protecting each of their eligible parks and green spaces.

The city council’s Cabinet, on Friday March 19th, committed to legally protect 100 much-loved parks and green spaces across the city, totalling over 1,000 hectares and sets the ambition that every resident will live no more than a ten-minute walk from a high-quality green space. Protected parks include local recreation grounds as well as well-known city centre destination parks and children’s playgrounds. (see attached) This landmark decision ensures there will always be local parks and green spaces available for current and future generations of Liverpudlians to enjoy.

Council protects parks and green spaces

Council protects parks and green spaces

Parks and green spaces have been vital over the last year as places to play, exercise, relax, reflect and the only safe place to meet loved ones and connect with friends and our neighbours; they will continue to be important as part of our recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic.

As part of the wider City Recovery Plan Liverpool’s Acting Mayor, Councillor Wendy Simon has committed to work with Fields in Trust and secure legal protection of Liverpool’s entire portfolio of green space. The decision is based on evidence of the health, wellbeing and community benefits they deliver. Councillor Simon said “Liverpool is blessed to have so many stunning green spaces, and this new initiative means we can ensure everyone has access to free, local outdoor spaces for sport, play and recreation, forever.
“The health, wellbeing and community benefits these locations deliver are priceless, demonstrated so clearly during this pandemic where they have become such a central and important part of our lives.

“And the benefits aren’t just health related. Access to green spaces improves our neighbourhoods, tackles climate change, supports education and economic growth and they frequently become the stage on which we host many of our hugely popular cultural celebrations.
“Our partnership with Fields in Trust is a ground-breaking, forward-thinking approach to protecting our parks and green spaces and we look forward to working with them to secure the future of these vital assets.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected Liverpool more severely than many parts of the UK: both in the number of cases and the rate of infection. Research conducted by Fields in Trust has demonstrated clear physical health and mental wellbeing benefits from regular use of parks and green spaces, yet these vital community assets are not equally distributed.

Fields in Trust’s evaluation of Liverpool’s green space shows that there is around 25.3 square metres per person, around a quarter the size of a six-yard box on a football pitch. Yet only four hectares of Liverpool’s parks are currently protected leaving them vulnerable to loss or building development. This new commitment will protect green spaces in every one of Liverpool’s 30 wards and guarantee they will remain as green spaces forever. This is vital when 1 in 6 people in Liverpool (16%) have no access to a private or shared garden, compared to 1 in 8 people (12%) across Britain as a whole. Additionally, the average size of Liverpudlians’ private outdoor space (144.4m2) is less than half the average across Britain (332.7m2). (Source: ONS)

Fields in Trust Chair of Trustees, Jo Barnett said: “Through the pandemic we’ve realised just how valuable parks and green spaces are to our health and wellbeing, yet across the UK only 6% of parks are protected and access to them is not equitable. We welcome this pioneering commitment by Liverpool City Council to recognise the proven physical and mental health benefits of local parks. These are valuable places; places where we can all move, breathe, run and play. We need to champion and support these precious spaces by protecting them for future generations to enjoy. Because once lost, they are lost forever.”
With the population of Liverpool set to increase by 10.3% over the next 20 years, any future loss of parks and green spaces would disproportionately impact the most disadvantaged and underrepresented communities, who would be missing out on these health benefits, as well as opportunities to get out into nature, have a kickabout and connect with their neighbours.

Fields in Trust have been conducting development work in Liverpool, using an evidence-led approach to make the case to Liverpool City Council for the legal protection of their green spaces; as well as contributing to Simon O’Brien’s green space audit, becoming a partner of the Liverpool City Region Year of Environment and supporting local Friends of parks groups. At the 2019 General Election, MP for Liverpool, West Derby, Ian Byrne, along with 37 other MPs took Fields in Trust’s “Parks Protector Pledge”, committing to championing parks and green spaces within their constituencies and across the UK.

Full details of the pioneering agreement between Liverpool City Council and Fields in Trust can be found on the Fields in Trust Website www.fieldsintrust.org/liverpool

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Vandals damage green at Whinhill

Vandals damage green at Whinhill: Inverclyde Leisure bosses are feeling teed off after mindless vandals went on the rampage at Whinhill Golf Course.

Read the full article from the Greenock Telegraph here

Vandals damage green at Whinhill

Vandals damage green at Whinhill

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