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Glendale wins ground maintenance award

Glendale wins ground maintenance award: Glendale is delighted to announce that they have been crowned Grounds Maintenance Company of the year at a prestigious Pro Landscaper Business Awards event held at East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf on Friday 30 July 2021

Glendale had also been shortlisted in the ‘Arboriculture Company of the Year’ category, totalling 2 out of a total of 15 categories up for grabs for many of the country’s greatest landscaping companies.

Glendale wins ground maintenance award

Glendale wins ground maintenance award

The Pro Landscaper Business Awards returned to London for the fourth successive year and once again brought the landscaping community together for an afternoon to acknowledge the excellent standards set within the landscape industry. Over 400 industry professionals were at the event for an afternoon of networking, great food, and celebration of the best that UK landscaping can deliver. Glendale had to demonstrate professionalism in everything that they do.  The judges were looking for the unsung heroes of the industry who consistently undertake the crucial everyday maintenance tasks, which many take for granted, with the upmost precision and pride.

They commended Glendale for their 30+ year history and for being a well-established and reputable business in the sector. Glendale’s collaboration with local communities providing over 52,000 hours of social value initiatives and the recognition that its staff are intrinsic to the success of operations were similarly commended.  Glendale commits a minimum of 0.5% of total turnover to staff and technology development initiatives. A key component of staff development is its apprenticeship programme – a member of the 5% club, apprentices made up 8% of its workforce in Feb 2021. Glendale delivers on mental health training to all contract managers, how to spot symptoms and how to provide help. Driving forward continual improvement Glendale has committed to achieving net carbon neutrality by 2027 with hopes it will inspire the rest of the industry to make similar goals.­­

Pro Landscaper’s Jim Wilkinson, said: “Our industry is exceptional at celebrating the visual excellence of landscaping with industry awards and RHS shows that highlight how phenomenal landscapes can look, but with the Pro Landscaper Business Awards, we chose to highlight how well businesses operate their processes, staff training, health and safety records and consistently positive customer feedback.”

Kate Anscombe Sales and Development Director said; “Glendale winning the Grounds Maintenance Company award, coincides with a period of exciting new contract wins and contract extensions for us. Across a period that has highlighted more than ever the importance of team work and collaboration and the impact working for a reputable company to provide incredible outdoor green space has to the health and wellbeing of our teams and customers.”

Glendale offers an all-encompassing green space management and maintenance service at a national and local level. They are skilled designers, suppliers and distributors of grounds maintenance, tree management, landscaping, landscape architectural services, winter weather and arboriculture activities, tackling these, and various other green space management tasks, for public and private sector clients across the UK. Glendale is a national company with a local feel, led by a team who care deeply about their people and the industry, and they are dedicated to delivering the best possible service for clients across the UK.

For More information visit https://www.glendale-services.co.uk/

Glendale, The Stables, Duxbury Park, Duxbury Hall Road, Chorley, Lancashire, PR7 4AT

Media information contact Paul Airey, https://piranha-solutions.com/

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Hartlepool fans praise ground staff

Hartlepool fans praise ground staff: Hartlepool United’s National League match against Wealdstone went ahead as planned following a successful pitch inspection early on Saturday morning.

Read the full article from Hartlepool Mail here

Hartlepool fans praise ground staff

Hartlepool fans praise ground staff

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Ground Staff Furious Over Criticism

Ground Staff Furious Over Criticism: It was a remark by Mark Ramprakash, England’s former batting coach, after the recent Test series defeat by West Indies which pushed one first-class groundsman over the edge.

Ramprakash had just been asked why his batters had underperformed so woefully, and responded by assigning a chunk of the blame to the “inexplicable” preparation of county pitches. “I don’t know how groundsmen can possibly justify the pitches we are playing on at the moment,” the former England player told Sky Sports.

Ground Staff Furious Over Criticism

“The Mark Ramprakash comments were some of the worst I’ve ever read,” the groundsman told The Sunday Telegraph, on condition of anonymity. “Those kinds of throwaway comments, [coming] from people as well that you respect in the game …” He tailed off, too furious to finish his sentence. But that groundsman is far from alone. The Sunday Telegraph has spoken to a range of groundsmen on the county circuit, and discovered a growing well of frustration and resentment at being repeatedly made scapegoats when the cricket falls below expectations.

Last season, when wickets fell at a clatter and only a handful of batsmen reached 1,000 runs for the County Championship season, groundsmen were blamed for creating conditions which rewarded gentle seam bowling and reduced opening batsmen to nervous wrecks. This year batsmen have plundered runs by the bucketful – as was the England and Wales Cricket Board’s intention – and players such as Northamptonshire captain Alex Wakely are lambasting “a really poor cricket wicket” on which “you can’t enjoy games”.

It has all stretched the patience of the groundsmen to breaking point.

“When a team does well on a pitch, it’s because the team has played well,” says the head groundsman of one first-class county. “When a team has not done so well, it’s the pitch. Players never just play bad shots.”

According to ECB regulations, pitches should be prepared to provide an “even contest between bat and ball and should allow all disciplines in the game to flourish”, and be judged on “how they play”. It is a lofty ideal, using quantitative criteria (a points system) to judge a qualitative outcome.

But several factors decide a pitch’s character, many beyond the control of groundsmen – from increasingly volatile weather to time constraints on preparation and changes in the weight of rollers (heavier ones are now mandatorily available for each match).

There is another, obvious, factor. Just as countries want their sides to win, so do counties. And ground staff are employed by their counties. “It really comes down to the coaches,” asserts one first-class groundsman. “What doesn’t get picked up on is that it is the coaches who prepare the pitches. We do as we’re told. We work as part of the [county] team.”

Another of his colleagues, at a rival county, agrees. “Unless he is told by the coach, the groundsman goes out to produce the best pitch possible. The less you get interfered with, the better pitches you’ll get. But groundsmen get interfered with a lot. The coaches need to win matches.”

“If the coach asks you to do something, they don’t know how to do it, so they want you to do it,” says another head groundsmen. “They don’t know if there’s 10mm of grass or 5mm. That’s the key sometimes, you have to pretend to tell them because they don’t know. It’s the only job I know where someone tells you how to do it even though they can’t.”

One groundsman recalls being told by his county’s director of cricket that if he won Groundsman of the Year, his side would not win the championship.

“And it’s true,” continues the groundsman. “My argument is, do not take any notice of your pitch marks. You can’t please everybody.”

The pressure from coaches and club may have been an unspoken truth in the past, but times are changing. Social media is full of criticism for the work of ground staff, often fuelled by the kind of remarks made by Ramprakash. The increasing predilection for identifying a scapegoat has left ground staff feeling they “don’t have the voice to respond to all of the criticism that we get”.

“It’s almost as though people think we’re going out to prepare poor pitches,” adds another first-class groundsman. “And we don’t. What I always say to everybody is, ‘I’m working with what I’ve got. As everyone else is in cricket.’ It’s not always right. It’s not always as you might want it to be. As a groundsmen’s group, I think we were very upset about the criticism we all got last year.”

The ground staff who spoke to The Sunday Telegraph understood that their work could be subject to scrutiny, but what came through most strongly was a plea for more understanding – and more sympathetic treatment from their employers and colleagues on the playing and coaching staff.

“The people that I should answer to are the people who pay their money to come in and see the game,” concluded one. “A lot of other groundsmen feel the same. We are there, a dedicated bunch of people who work hard.”

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GKB At “The Most Beautiful Ground”

GKB At “The Most Beautiful Ground”: Cricket Manager and former head groundsman for the Wormsley estate, Simon Tremlin heads the team responsible for maintaining the Wormsley Cricket Pitch in Buckinghamshire, which is often referred to as ‘the most beautiful ground in Britain’.

When Mick Jagger introduced Sir Paul Getty to cricket, the millionaire philanthropist formed such an affection for the sport he had a replica of The Oval built on the grounds of his estate. The pitch was completed in 1992 and the first match played there was attended by Her Majesty The Queen Mother, the then Prime Minister John Major, Sir Michael Caine and cricket legends Denis Compton and Brian Johnston. What is now known as ‘Sir Paul Getty’s Ground’, Wormsley has in recent years played host to England Women’s test matches against Australia and India.

GKB At "The Most Beautiful Ground"

With such a reputation to live up to he’s naturally very selective about the machinery he uses and a requirement for a scarifier and seeder led him to official GKB dealers RT Machinery near Aylesbury.

“We do a lot of contracting work as well as looking after Wormsley,” says Simon “and it’s important to know the machines we use are sturdy enough to meet our needs. Last year we did forty- two cricket squares as well as rugby and football pitches.” RT Machinery arranged with GKB Machines’ Tom Shinkins for demonstrations of GKB’s VStrong and Combiseeder at Wormsley. “We wanted a scarifier that collects as well and the VStrong showed us it’s ideal for that, leaving a tidy finish and saving time, especially in damp conditions.” Simon adds.

The VStrong follows in the tradition of GKB’s Combinator and employs generically developed 3mm carbide scarifying blades attached to the rotor using their Quick-Lock system. An operating depth of 5cm is easily attained without missing any areas. The operating speed of up to 12km/h is a real benefit for the professional contractor, with fast removal of thatch and weed with the ability to collect at the same time.

The GKB Combiseeder can be used for overseeding and initial seeding and features two spiked rollers that open up the soil for the seed to then be spread accurately across the full width, in and around the holes. Creating over 1500 holes per m² the Combiseeder provides accurate seed application at various rates to suit different seed mixes, with drag brushes to incorporate seed and topdressing for minimal surface disruption.

“We’ve gone with the GKB machines for the way they perform and they are robust enough to withstand the punishment of contracting work,” says Simon, “and we have plenty of that ahead as well as maintaining Sir Paul Getty’s Ground.” GKB machines can be seen at work in an open day at RT Machinery, Nether Winchendon near Aylesbury on the 5th September 2018 and local demonstrations can be arranged.

For more information, visit: www.gkbmachines.com

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Vandals Wreck Sports Ground

Vandals Wreck Sports Ground: HB Regional Sports Park management and users are understandably unhappy that over the weekend hoons in vehicles have ripped up one of the grassed playing fields.

For what was probably a few minutes of “fun”, these vandals have destroyed weeks of work that went into preparing the field, ruined a season of sport that players would have had on the pitch and cost the park a lot of money.

Vandals Wreck Sports Ground

The damage is going to take the rest of the playing season to fix.

All for what? And why?

Rugby League Hawke’s Bay chairman Kevin Tamati has referred to the vandals as “idiots”. I doubt anyone will argue with him.

“While the vast majority of us would see the harm in wrecking a public playing field, there is a brainless minority that sees a grassed area as a chance to use their vehicle like a roundabout in a kids’ playground.

And any grassed area seems to be fair game … reserves and domains, picnic areas, river berms, school fields. I can’t understand someone that could delight in trashing what belongs to all of us. Where’s the pride in turning an expanse of grass into a swampy, muddy mess?

While all around us last weekend there were volunteers planting and beautifying our parks and reserves, why would you prefer to cause ugliness and ruin?

Not to mention that it’s illegal.

I have a suggestion – if these infantile souls like to go round and round, perhaps they could wait until all the smaller children have gone home from the playgrounds and they could spin on roundabouts all they like. Or go really high on the swings if it’s thrills they are after.

And they wouldn’t be breaking the law, exactly, though some playgrounds do have an age limit so that should give them a frisson of guilt, if that’s what they are after.

Or – and here’s an idea I bet none of them have thought of – they could grow up, act their ages and respect people’s property. Maybe even take up a sport and enjoy the playing fields in a whole – and wholesome – new way?”

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WACA Jack Gets Cricket Ground Ready For Ashes Test

‘WACA Jack’ Gets Cricket Ground Ready For Ashes Test: Next weeks’ Ashes test will be the last to be held at Perth’s traditional home of cricket.

John Lewis, who was given his more catchy nickname by WA fast bowling great Dennis Lillee, has been a WACA Ground staple for almost 40 years with his jobs varying from “general fixer-upper”, groundsman and assistant pitch curator to cultivating his beloved roses.

WACA Jack Gets Cricket Ground Ready For Ashes Test

But as the WACA prepares for its final Ashes battle tomorrow week before a move to Perth Stadium, the 71-year-old admits his tenure is also nearing an end. Unlike most Victorians who revere the MCG, his adopted State’s ground is his only love.

“To me it’s home … well, my second home anyway,” Mr Lewis said. “It may as well be because the only time I’m not here is when I’m home sleepin’. To be here for so long, this ground means everything to me, mate, it really does. It’s going to be hard to walk away, mate, I can tell ya.”

Mr Lewis, a former roof carpenter and truck driver who survived a heart attack in 2015, started work at the WACA on June 19, 1978.

“At 8am,” he said proudly.

He laughed as he recalled once heading out to the wicket to remove a broken stump with a hammer and a screwdriver, only to find English Test batsman Derek Randall unsuccessfully trying to loosen it pouring cordial down the stump hole.

Mr Lewis still has his part of the stump at home. But not all of his tasks were a joy. “There were 1287 old garden chairs which were all multiple colours,” he said.

“Every year they had to be shaved back and repainted with all new boards put on. It would take nearly the whole of winter to fix them up.”

And there was only a brief pause when asked what he could buy if he had a dollar for every time he had mowed the WACA lawn. “Probably the Taj Mahal,” Mr Lewis said with his trademark cheeky grin.

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