Tag Archive for: grounds

Mansfield Sand’s Impact on Repton School’s Clay-Based Grounds

Mansfield Sand’s Impact on Repton School’s Clay-Based Grounds: Navigating the challenges of turf management on heavy clay soil presents a unique set of obstacles. Andrew Butler, Head of Grounds and Gardens at Repton School in Derbyshire, understands this all too well.

Tasked with maintaining Repton’s extensive grounds, Andrew has turned to Mansfield Sand’s MM40 to address the specific needs of the school’s clay-based terrain.

Mansfield Sand's Impact on Repton School's Clay-Based Grounds

Mansfield Sand’s Impact on Repton School’s Clay-Based Grounds

At Repton School, the soil’s heavy clay composition poses challenges to turf health and drainage. Andrew explains, “We are such a heavy clay soil-based site…the clay has got compressed, and it is so heavily compacted.” Recognising the importance of improving soil quality, Andrew sought solutions to enhance the medium and facilitate better water movement through the profile.

Enter MM40 from Mansfield Sand, a product renowned for its ability to improve soil structure and promote drainage. MM40 is sourced directly from the Two Oaks Quarry in Mansfield where the company produces its renowned Mansil range of Silica Sands. MM40 is a moist, medium sand which is predominantly used in the construction and maintenance of a wide range of sports surfaces.

MM40 serves as a vital tool in Repton’s efforts to combat compaction and enhance turf resilience.

The implementation of MM40 extends beyond addressing surface issues. Repton School is in the midst of a comprehensive drainage programme, aiming to alleviate waterlogging and improve turf health across the entire site. Andrew emphasises the importance of this initiative, stating, “We are trying to help get that water away from the surface. It is all about improving the soil medium and getting it through the profile quicker.”

The short renovation window of opportunity during Easter poses a logistical challenge for Andrew and his team. However, the application of MM40 during this period is essential to maximising its impact. Andrew explains, “We only have a short window during Easter to get as much sand in as we can. We use MM40 across all the pitches, across the whole site. It has massively helped with the drainage and improved playability.”

As Repton School continues its commitment to providing top-tier facilities for its students, the role of products like MM40 in improving turf quality and resilience cannot be overstated. With Mansfield Sand’s MM40 as a key ally, Andrew is ensuring that the grounds at Repton School remain a source of pride and excellence for years to come.

For more information visit www.mansfield-sand.co.uk

You can also follow the company on Twitter – @MansfieldSand and Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MansfieldSandSportSurfaces/

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Transforming Repton School’s Grounds with MM Seed

Transforming Repton School’s Grounds with MM Seed: Repton School in Derbyshire is a well-known institution which mixes tradition with new ideas.

Behind the scenes, Andrew Butler, the Head of Grounds and Gardens, is the man responsible for ensuring the grounds are not just aesthetically pleasing but also resilient to the rigours of year-round sporting activities. That’s where MM Seed comes in.

Transforming Repton School's Grounds with MM Seed

Transforming Repton School’s Grounds with MM Seed

After working at Repton for twelve years Andrew became the Head of Grounds and Gardens in 2022. Upon assuming his role, he faced a daunting challenge: the need for a grass seed capable of withstanding the constant onslaught of sporting activities across Repton’s extensive grounds.

Repton’s vast expanse, spanning over 100 acres, hosts a variety of sporting fields, including football pitches, rugby pitches, hockey pitches, athletic tracks, and cricket squares, each demanding its own maintenance. Additionally, the school boasts formal gardens and orchards, adding further complexity.

Reflecting on this challenge, Andrew says, “We are on such a heavy clay-based site, and with it being a multi-sport site, it is pretty much used 12 months a year…so therefore we needed a seed with a lot of durability.”

Enter MM Seed, a name synonymous with excellence in the UK sports turf and amenity industries.

“I didn’t feel that the seed which was being previously used was giving us the durability we needed,” says Andrew. “I started looking at different options, did a lot of research and we gave MM Seed a trial on our first-team football pitch. It just showed us what we were missing. Firstly, the take-up was fantastic, secondly, the durability of it was great, and the fact that it got growing well in the heavy clay-based soils we have here was very impressive.”

Andrew’s decision to switch to MM Seed, particularly utilising MM Tetra Sport and MM50, proved to be a pivotal moment.

MM Tetra Sport, a versatile blend of Diploid and Tetraploid Ryegrass, emerged as the solution for Repton’s winter pitches and cricket outfield. Its ability to improve sward composition and recover from scarring perfectly complemented the school’s diverse sporting calendar.

The inclusion of Tetraploids also improved drought resistance during the summer months which is important on the cricket outfields. Meanwhile, MM50, with its fast germination, establishment and ability to withstand heavy wear plus its ability to recover quickly after use found its role on Repton’s cricket squares, ensuring optimal playing conditions season after season.

Transforming Repton School's Grounds with MM Seed

Transforming Repton School’s Grounds with MM Seed

Andrew elaborates further on the durability of MM Seed, “With us going from different sports throughout the year, it means we have to give the grass different heights of cut – so when you go from the height of cut on a rugby pitch down to a football pitch, down to a cricket pitch and then back up again, you are putting a lot of stress on it, but the seed copes incredibly well.”

What sets MM Seed apart is not just its performance on the field but also its commitment to innovation. Treated with HEADSTART® GOLD, a unique seaweed-based seed treatment, MM Seed ensures rapid and even germination, laying the foundation for a resilient and vibrant turf. Andrew confirms this, stating, “I think it is down to HeadStart in the mixture which gives it that extra boost.”

Transitioning to a new seed variety is not without its challenges, yet Andrew found support in Agrovista Amenity, a trusted distributor of MM Seed. “Agrovista Amenity are great – I know I can ring up and have a pallet of seed here in 48 hours,” he remarks, underlining the importance of reliable partnerships. He also praised the advice he received from Matt Gresty, MM Sales and Marketing Manager, “Matt came in and explained everything about the seed. I have been carrying out exactly what he said to do, and the results have been superb ever since.”

The results do indeed speak for themselves. Repton’s grounds now boast not only durability but also supreme aesthetics. “The definition of stripe the seed gives us is first-class,” Andrew proudly states.

Andrew’s success story highlights the importance of strategic decision-making in the turf management industry. With MM Seed, he has improved the quality of the grounds, and will continue to do so for years to come.

For further information, please contact MM Sports Seed on 01386 791102 or visit the company’s website www.mm-seeds.co.uk.

You can also follow the company on Twitter: @MM_Seed.

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Grounds Person

Title:   Grounds Person

Reports to:  Head of Grounds

Grounds Person

Grounds Person

Location:  Various club sites including Vitality Stadium & Academy training ground

Hours: 35 hours per week ranged over 5 days between Monday-Sunday

3 Positions available: 1x Immediate; 2x starting Summer 2024

About AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth is a family and community club. We strive to deliver a professional, friendly and welcoming approach in all areas of the club. With a small backroom operation, you will be joining a tight knit group who pride themselves on hard work, passion and togetherness.

Entering an exciting new chapter in its long and storied history, AFC Bournemouth is proud to retain its focus on family and community. Delivering that engagement with our loyal supporters is a passionate and integrated backroom staff, working closely together to provide a positive and lasting experience for all at Vitality Stadium.

Since its takeover by chairman Bill Foley, in a partnership including Hollywood actor Michael B. Jordan, the club has seen significant investment committed towards sustaining AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League, highlighted by the construction of a state-of-the-art training facility and the arrival of promising young talent from top clubs around Europe.

Job Purpose

We are looking for a skilled (or working towards) Grounds Person on a permanent full-time basis to join the grounds team, to assist in the maintenance of the club’s grounds at Vitality Stadium, the training ground and academy sites.

Reporting to the Head of Grounds, the successful candidate will have an enthusiasm for the industry, ambition to improve themselves, and thrive to present the clubs playing surfaces to the highest standards.

Main Duties

  • Undertake routine maintenance work of playing surfaces and landscape as detailed on work schedules or as directed by supervisor.
  • The safe use and operation of equipment and machinery used in surface maintenance.
  • Inform supervisor, where appropriate, take corrective action on mechanical defects or breakdown of equipment.
  • Work at the either of 2 sites Stadium/Training Ground and/or Academy.
  • Carry out grass cutting, line marking, aeration, scarification, divoting, brushing, weeding, debris clearance, litter picking, pressure washing, pitch set up, hedge cutting, spraying.
  • Assist in the specialist maintenance of the clubs’ grounds.
  • Keep and maintain in good and clean condition all plant, tools and equipment belonging to the club.
  • To be trained on machinery used on the grounds.
  • Keep and maintain in good condition all plant tools and equipment used by the team.
  • Assisting with the teams/players and/or public who may have questions or need assistance.
  • As a member of staff to ensure in all matters, you follow and actively promote the club’s mental health policies and practices to ensure an open, non-judgmental and inclusive environment for everyone engaged with the club.
  • As a member of staff to ensure that you to adhere to the club’s safeguarding policies and procedures and are committed to our safeguarding values, creating a safe and positive environment for all those who interact with the club.
  • Obligation to adhere to the club’s health and safety policy and procedures.
  • As a member of staff to ensure in all matters you follow and actively promote the club’s equality policies and practices to ensure a welcoming, safe and inclusive environment for everyone engaged with the club.

Key Knowledge

  • Qualified to (or working towards) a minimum of ND2 / NVQ 2 (or equivalent) in Sports Turf or Horticulture (Essential)
  • Industry related experience (Essential)
  • Driving licence (Essential)
  • Spraying certificates PA1, PA2 and PA6 (Desirable)

Person specification

The Club’s values are at the core of its staff behaviour and how they approach everything they do, therefore we are looking for someone is honest, inclusive, kind, hardworking and loyal.

Staff Benefits

In return for your hard work and commitment to us, you will receive a competitive reward package which will include, but is not limited to:

  • Free onsite parking
  • Season Ticket & allocation of complimentary/ purchased tickets
  • Subsidised Lunches
  • Complimentary healthy snacks throughout the day
  • Discounts at the Club superstore
  • Contribution towards eye tests and glasses
  • Discounts and benefits from partners and local businesses
  • Club pension scheme
  • Life Assurance Scheme
  • Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) by Health Assured
  • Paid parental leave (bank of 5 days per year)
  • Discounts and benefits from partners and local businesses.
  • Christmas Party, End of Season Awards and other social events throughout the year run by our Club Social Team.
  • Paid volunteer opportunities (2 days per year).
  • Paid days leave on your birthday

How to Apply

Please send your application form to by jobs@afcb.co.uk by CLOSING DATE

AFC Bournemouth is an equal opportunities employer and ensures that staff and volunteers are able to achieve their full potential. AFC Bournemouth values the diversity of its workforce and welcomes applications from all sectors of the community (Equality Act 2010).

We actively encourage applications from women, and individuals from ethnically diverse communities.

For further information on accessibility within the stadium please click here.

AFC Bournemouth is committed to protecting all children, young persons, and adults at risk in its care or attending its premises and expects all staff and volunteers to share the same commitment.

For all positions where a DBS check is required, an offer of employment will be subject to receipt of satisfactory disclosure at the appropriate level.

Any and all potential agreements, relationships or commitments that could be considered a conflict of interest should be disclosed upon application to this vacancy by emailing jobs@afcb.co.uk. You will also be asked whether you have any conflicts to disclose upon receipt of your application.

Satisfactory references will be required for all positions, your eligibility to work with the club will be subject to receiving appropriate referencing.

We strive to create a positive and safe environment and ensure all who interact with the club feel safe, protected, and heard.

AFC Bournemouth can exercise their right to perform external searches and to confirm information provided by candidates. It does not retain any data during this process.

The most famous school grounds in the world

The most famous school grounds in the world: Eton College’s Lee Marshallsay became the first school Grounds Manager to become the GMA Grounds Manager of the Year, proving that it’s not just the boys in the Eton classrooms who are high achievers. Lee spoke with Scott MacCallum.

The Battle of Waterloo, perhaps one of the most famous triumphs to be carved onto the bedpost of British military history, was said by the very man who led our forces, to have been won on the playing fields of Eton.

The most famous school grounds in the world

The most famous school grounds in the world

Now in all likelihood the Duke of Wellington didn’t say it, or to be charitable, no-one is around to prove that he did or didn’t, but what it did was ensure that those very playing fields became the most famous school grounds in the world. An accolade held to this very day.

Can you think of anywhere to rival them?

What the quote actually meant, apocryphal or not, was that the excellence embodied by Eton, and its fellow British public schools, was what carried the country to victory. That ethos remains in place in 2024, a mere 584 years after Eton was founded in 1440.

So, it is perhaps fitting that the man charged with looking after those famous fields has also achieved a degree of excellence which marks him, and his superb team, out from the crowd.

Lee Marshallsay was crowned Grounds Manager of the Year at the recent GMA Awards, held at Headingley, in Leeds.

“It was a real shock as the winner normally comes from football, cricket, tennis or horse racing, so I certainly didn’t expect my name to be called out. I believe it is the first time that someone from a school has won the award.

“But it was great as it was only possible for me to win because the team had won the Top Independent Schools Grounds Team award earlier in the evening, so it is an award for the whole team.

At 37, Lee is still a young man but he has packed a lot into his 20 years as a groundsman and grounds manager and he has a CV which includes two other schools at the very top of the independent school tree – Harrow and Charterhouse, both of which he was Grounds Manager.

But the role at which he has excelled was very much second choice by way of a career.

The most famous school grounds in the world

The most famous school grounds in the world

“I actually wanted to work in taxes and excise, but I didn’t get the grades,” laughed Lee, as we stood on the balcony of one of Eton’s famous pavilions, about to conduct a Turf Matters, YouTube video interview.

It says a lot for Lee’s single minded focus that he would have contemplated a job which doesn’t feature strongly on many people’s list of dream occupations, but having seen those aspirations dashed, he embarked on another activity which doesn’t offer much by way of love and affection either.

“I was a football referee to quite a decent standard,” he revealed, adding that he was a referee at Conference level and assistant referee at National League level.

With his commitments at the school he has retired his whistle and flag, but he does attribute refereeing for adding to his man management skills.

“Dealing and managing people in stressful situations on the pitch showed me that everyone is different and everyone has to be handled in different ways. I miss the 90 minutes of a game, but I don’t miss everything else that goes along with it.”

It was actually flicking through the prospectus of Oaklands College, shortly after his tax man dreams had been thwarted, that he fell upon the Greenkeeping and Grounds Management course.

“So that’s what I did,” he said of a decision which must go down as one of his best ever.

“I did a one year’s course including some work experience at Tottenham before getting an interview at Harrow School.”

Lee worked his way through the ranks at Harrow before eventually becoming Grounds Manager. He made the move to Charterhouse after 12 years and it was further four years before the attraction of his current employer saw him make the move… four years ago in the middle of Covid!

His attitude to being the man in charge of the most famous sporting fields in the world is refreshingly down to earth.

“I personally don’t look at the fact that it is Eton any differently to how I looked at it at either of my previous schools.

First and foremost I’m looking to produce playing surfaces for the boys. It’s just on a bigger scale.”

Lee manages a team of 30 at Eton which is split into three areas – the playing fields team, which looks after 38 winter sports pitches covering 600 acres; the gardens team which looks after the formal areas of the school and the gardens of the 25 boarding houses, and the landscaping team which works on the meadows, the hedges, the trees and the management of Dorney Lake, which was the venue for the 2012 Olympic Rowing regatta.

The most famous school grounds in the world

The most famous school grounds in the world

There are also 500 acres of farmland which doesn’t come under the management of Lee and his team.

“My goal is always to try and improve year on year and I feel that as a team we’ve gone on a bit of a journey since I came here. We aren’t perfect but we always want to be better, and always try to be better.

“We came second to Whitgift School in the GMA Awards last year so to win it this year shows that we haven’t rested on our laurels. We went again and have been recognised and that is great for the team to show them that the hard work they’ve put in has been recognised,” said Lee.

If there is one thing that Lee is particularly hot on, it’s presentation.

“We have parents and grandparents visiting the school, as well as other visitors and people who walk around the grounds, as we are an open site in the town, so presentation is very important.

I want to make sure that we are always on point, that pins are straight goal posts are clean etc.

All small things, but they are noticeable if they are not done well.”

Lee may not have learned the phrase back at school in Borehamwood, but he is an advocate of Carpe Diem – seizing the day!

“The biggest thing I’d say about this site is when the opportunity comes up to do work, you’ve got to do it because if you miss the boat you may not get the chance again for some time.

“The reason that is the case here at Eton is the weather. We are getting more rain and with the Thames so close to us our water table is higher than most, while our fixture list, with over 1500 boys on the role, is packed. There is play on most pitches every single day but if there is a gap we will go on and carry out work,” said Lee, who explained that the boys play sport from 2pm every day.

There is one sport that doesn’t give Lee too many headaches when it comes to presentation. The Eton Wall Game is unique to the school, and bizarre barely covers it.

Two teams, one comprising pupils from College, which is one of the boarding houses, pit themselves against a team made up of the “Oppidans”, pupils from all the other boarding houses. The combination of rugby and football doesn’t produce much by the way of scoring with many matches finishing 0-0 but it is a spectacle nonetheless.

The most famous school grounds in the world

The most famous school grounds in the world

It is played on a strip of ground called the Furrow five metres wide and 110 metres long, next to a slightly curved brick wall erected in 1717.

The St Andrew’s Day match, in particular, is viewed by many as one of the highlights of the year which sees almost the entire school turns out to watch.

It is a bitterly contested clash, with the Oppidans currently holding a slight advantage at 48 victories to the 43 of College, with the remainder ending in draws.

“We don’t have to prepare the pitch for the Wall Game, but it is tradition for the Head Groundsman to toss the coin before it starts,” revealed Lee.

While that is not something any other Grounds Manager has on his list of tasks, there are many others which are just the same as any grounds team up and down the country.

“A few summers ago we had the dry hot weather where everything burnt off and died while we had the frosts at the end of that year while we’ve had the floods as well.

“As people who work on grounds we have to adapt and we learn how to know where we can make a difference and which parts of our land that we need to avoid. This time last year was a nightmare for us in terms of trying to get things done to the cricket square.”

Lee has come a long way from that 16 year old unfulfilled tax man back in Borehamwood. What would the Lee, with 20 more years’ of experience under his belt, say to him to cheer him up?

“I would say to grab every opportunity that comes your way because you just don’t know where it is going to take you. And in this job, if there is something you want, you can really go out and get it.”

And coming from the man who now looks after the most famous sports fields in the world, that is very sound advice.

All-female grounds team revel in derby delight

All-female grounds team revel in derby delight: Last weekend, history was made for the grounds management industry. For the first time in Football, an all-female grounds team prepared the pitch at the Emirates Stadium for Arsenal vs Tottenham in the Barclays Women’s Super League.

Ahead of International Women’s Day, a sold-out crowd of over 60,000 fans flooded into the Emirates Stadium to watch the game, making it the highest attendance of a women’s domestic football match in the UK. It was also the most-attended sports fixture in London that weekend, including Premier League games, putting the grounds management industry firmly in the spotlight, highlighting the vital role of grounds staff in making sport possible.

All-female grounds team revel in derby delight

All-female grounds team revel in derby delight

Not only was history made off the pitch but also on the pitch, by the grounds team who prepared it. Thirteen trailblazing women from various grounds management settings, from cricket and football to educational facilities, worked hard over the days leading up to the match to prepare the pitch.

With women making up less than 2% of the grounds management industry, the all-female grounds team’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed and received praise from across the sporting world, with support shared by Lionesses legends, Leah Williamson, Alessia Russo and Beth Mead amongst many others, as well as widespread media coverage.

This historic moment was the result of collaboration between the Women’s Super League, Arsenal FC, the Grounds Management Association and Women in Football, and put women in grounds management at the centre of one of the greatest sporting stages in the country.

Leading the GMA’s involvement in the project, Director of Communications, Jennifer Carter was proud of the day:

“To see a team of thirteen experienced and talented women prepare the iconic Emirates Stadium pitch in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators and viewers across the UK, was a highly significant moment in the GMA and grounds management industry’s history.

“The lack of visibility of women in this field remains a significant barrier, but we’re confident that moments like these, and more in the future, will be pivotal in convincing more young people, especially females, to explore this promising career path. Those who took part are incredible ambassadors for the industry, and I have no doubt that their work will have inspired many and shed light on the grounds management profession.

“We’re hugely grateful for our partners at Arsenal, the WSL and Women in Football for working with us to make this happen and we’re immensely proud of the thirteen inspirational grounds women.”

Vinai Venkatesham, Arsenal’s Chief Executive, was full of praise for the grounds team’s efforts:

“This is a celebration of what’s been achieved for women in sport, but also serves as a reminder of the work we need to do together to ensure more young girls are encouraged to break into the game. It’s important we continue to build on these moments to inspire the next generation and accelerate the sustainable growth of the game.”

The Grounds Management Association is encouraging sports fans to share their appreciation for grounds staff during #GroundsWeek, the association’s annual awareness week, from 18 – 24 March 2024. For more information about #GroundsWeek and how to support it, visit: thegma.org.uk/groundsweek.

If you’re interested in working in grounds management, you can find out more about careers and training at thegma.org.uk/learning.

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Grounds Management Heroes Celebrated at GMA Awards

Grounds Management Heroes Celebrated at GMA Awards: The very best in the grounds management industry were celebrated at a dazzling evening at AMT Headingley Stadium, hosted by award-wining sports broadcaster, Hayley McQueen.

Over 300 attendees from across the sports turf industry, from grounds staff to grounds care businesses and representatives from sport’s National Governing Bodies, all gathered at the iconic AMT Headingley Stadium for an evening of celebration.

Grounds Management Heroes Celebrated at GMA Awards

Grounds Management Heroes Celebrated at GMA Awards

The awards recognised leadership, innovation and outstanding achievement across every aspect of grounds care, from grassroots pitches to professional stadia, over 17 categories.

Attendees celebrated new talent emerging on the scene, with two female winners of the Young Groundsperson of the Year and Newcomer of the Year award categories, whilst long-time industry stalwarts were honoured with Hall of Fame inductions and GMA Grounds Manager of the Year awards.

The awards ceremony recognised outstanding achievements in public and private sports venues and highlighted the progress of young grounds professionals as well as outstanding performance in environmental practices. Also new to 2023 was a Special Recognition Award which shone a light on a unique and inspiring individual who represents everything that is positive about the industry.

Geoff Webb, CEO of the Grounds Management Association, commented on the success of the evening:

“The GMA Industry Awards are always an important evening in the industry’s calendar. With the industry playing such a vital role in the country’s enjoyment of sport, it’s hugely important that we come together to celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals and grounds teams across all levels of sport

“The talent celebrated throughout the event is testament to the hard work and innovation of grounds staff across the sector, and we’re always delighted to see exceptional examples recongised and celebrated for their achievements. The iconic AMT Headingly Stadium provided the perfect backdrop for the awards.

“There were many highlights on the night, including two women taking home the Young Groundsperson of the Year and Newcomer of the Year awards – opening the sector to a wider demographic has long been an objective of the GMA’s work, so to see two young women receiving recognition on the night was a real sign of progress.

“The surprise on Rod Heyhoe and Lee Marshallsay’s faces represented the full spectrum of exceptional grounds managers, from volunteers to professionals, as they received recognition for their outstanding contribution to sports turf. The story of Zeynu Bedru, who received a Special Recognition Award, and his journey as a refugee from Eritea to Harrogate RUFC, summed up the wonderful community our industry creates.”

The winners of the GMA Industry Awards 2023 are:

Young Groundsperson of the Year – Sponsored by Origin Amenity Solutions
Bethany Gibbs Wellington School

Newcomer of the Year
Meg Lay Gloucestershire CCC

Volunteer Groundsperson or Team of the Year
Clapton Community F.C

Community Groundsperson or Team of the Year – Sponsored by National Governing Bodies
Yeovil Recreation Centre

Environmental and Sustainability Impact – Sponsored by Syngenta
Leicester City F.C

Bowls/Croquet Groundsperson or Team of the Year
Wantage Bowling Club

Best Managed Artificial Surface of the Year
Yeovil Recreation Centre

Professional Horse Racing Grounds Team of the Year – Sponsored by Avant Tecno UK LTD
Lingfield Park

Professional Cricket Grounds Team of the Year
Marylebone CC

Professional Tennis Courts Grounds Team of the Year – Sponsored by Infinicut
Devonshire Park

Professional Rugby Union Grounds Team of the Year
Bath Rugby

Professional Rugby League Grounds Team of the Year – Sponsored by Agronomic Services Ltd
Leeds Rhinos

Professional Football Grounds Team of the Year
Stockport County F.C

Professional Football Grounds Team (Elite) – Sponsored by SGL
Leicester City F.C

University/College Grounds Team of the Year
Loughborough University

Independent School Grounds Team of the Year – Sponsored by ISEKI UK & Ireland
Eton College

Special Recognition Award
Zeynu Bedru Harrogate RUFC

GMA Grounds Manager of the Year – Sponsored by DLF Seeds Ltd
Lee Marshallsay Eton College

The GMA is hugely grateful for the GMA Industry Awards sponsors for their support of the industry:

Platinum sponsor and Independent School Grounds Team of the Year Category sponsor


Award Category sponsors

Amenity Solutions

National Governing Bodies (RFL, RFU, ECB, Premier League)


Avant Tecno UK




DLF Seeds

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Toro grounds mowers in stock

Toro grounds mowers in stock: In the market for a new Toro grounds machine? Reesink Turfcare can deliver.

Reesink Turfcare, the exclusive distributor in the UK and Ireland for Toro groundscare machinery, has five of Toro’s popular grounds mowers in stock and ready for swift delivery across the UK.

Toro grounds mowers in stock

Toro grounds mowers in stock

The Groundsmaster 3300 out-front rotary, LT3340 heavy-duty triple, LT-F3000 triple flail, LT2240 cylinder and the Groundsmaster 4000 rotary mowers bring new cutting concepts to rotary, cylinder and flail mowing and are in the UK and ready to order now.

Jon Cole, divisional business manager, turfcare, at Reesink Turfcare, says: “Reesink UK and The Toro Company have been investing resources to support availability including paying additional airfreight on accessory items and premiums to secure equipment from other Toro distributors, where there’s the option. We’re so pleased to see this approach working and stock arriving in the UK.

“Whether it’s a rotary, cylinder or flail mower customers want, we’ve got it covered.”

All of these machines are ideal for maintaining areas that are cut infrequently and can handle longer, wetter, coarser grass cutting, or finer, neater cuts depending on what is required in the green space being tended.

From light trimming to mowing dense overgrown areas, the Toro LT3340 will be appreciated for its durability, strength and performance. The LT-F3000 will impress by increasing the length of time between cuts, making grounds teams more efficient. If it’s wet, coarse, long, dense grass on the agenda, the Groundsmaster 3300 with flail or rotary deck, will deal with it.

The LT2240 works in areas with restricted access and limited manoeuvrability and is suited for fine-turf applications as much as densely packed, overgrown municipal grass, while the Groundsmaster 4000 handles cutting on hills and wet grass with ease and has the ability to turn on itself leaving a zero inch uncut circle adding to its already impressive productivity.

So, don’t delay, with these popular grounds machines in the UK and ready for delivery now, order today for guaranteed results within weeks.

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Toro U.K. Attends Sports & Grounds Expo

Toro U.K. Attends Sports & Grounds Expo: Toro U.K. Limited, manufacturer of Hayter® and Toro® lawnmowers and turf equipment recently exhibited at the Sports & Grounds Expo in Malvern for the third consecutive year.

The large stand space gave the perfect background to exhibit the great selection of Toro-branded products including the new Toro® Grandstand® Revolution, a lithium-ion powered stand-on mower providing up to 7 hours of run time and with a 5-year commercial warranty. Additionally, the Toro® Dingo® compact utility loader range made for a great back drop during the U.K. Loggers National Championships 2023 held over the two days at the same event.

Toro U.K. Attends Sports & Grounds Expo

Toro U.K. Attends Sports & Grounds Expo

Local dealer Revill Mowers supported the show alongside the Toro U.K. team. Matthew Coleman, Toro U.K. Sales Manager for LCE and SWS – U.K. Direct Market, commented that “despite the low visitor numbers, the strength of enquiries taken were strong with demonstration requests to follow up on”.

For more information, please visit www.toro.com / www.hayter.co.uk.

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Countrywide Grounds Maintenance’s additional robot

Countrywide Grounds Maintenance’s additional robot: Origin Amenity Solutions has recently delivered their latest GPS guided robotic line marking machine, the TinyLineMarker (TLM) Pro X, to long-standing customer Countrywide Grounds Maintenance (CW) in Devon.

Steven Hurley is the Regional Manager for CW Devon. one of 46 Nationwide Franchisees to provide complete grounds maintenance services for education facilities, housing associations, facilities management companies and estates.

Countrywide Grounds Maintenance's additional robot

Countrywide Grounds Maintenance’s additional robot

In early March 2023 Steven procured his second robot from Origin Amenity Solutions. He comments, “We carry out the line marking requirements for approximately 80 schools, colleges, and sports fields. There is planned acquisition of further schools this year so we need to be in a position to meet the additional requirements these will bring. After initial marking we carry out weekly over-marking so I anticipate both of our robots will be in use full time.”

TinyLineMarker robots are marketed and distributed exclusively in the UK by Origin Amenity Solutions which brings together four leading industry names – Headland Amenity, Rigby Taylor, TurfKeeper.com and Symbio.

Packed with a range of brand-new innovative features, the TLM Pro X is an exciting new GPS robot designed to make line marking projects as streamlined and effortless as possible.

Steven continues, “Our first robot is the Pro which has been brilliant. After five years it is still going strong, but it was time to add to the fleet.  We need to be able to offer high quality

line marking to all our customers in a timely fashion. The additional robot will ensure we can do that. Our original robot is a good robust machine, but I am very impressed with the new and improved Pro X. It is efficient and easy to use. The design and light weight of the machine makes it so convenient and easy to handle and transport. It has bigger wheels that are better at handling on rough or uneven ground which is ideal and well suited for the soft ground conditions we often have here in The Southwest.”

Steven is particularly impressed with one of the new key features, the multi-select tool. This tool gives users the ability to queue up multiple pitches to be marked out in a specific order of their choosing, and the robot will then mark out the designated areas. “This feature will be invaluable; it will save me so much time.”

When marking out multiple pitches, it is likely that any robot will run out of paint, which is where another of the new features comes in to play. The TLM Pro X features a simple yet revolutionary low paint alert system, ensuring no time is wasted. When the robot is running low on paint, an automatic alert is sent to the user’s hand-held tablet notifying them of the paint levels. This is a much-welcomed feature which avoids time being wasted marking out a field with no paint in the tank!

Not only does this feature notify the user of low paint levels, but the robot will also send an alert if there is a clog preventing the robot from line marking. A simple yet time saving feature which many TLM Pro X users are finding invaluable.

The Origin Amenity Solutions team offer onsite training, maintenance and general advice. “The robot is simply to set up and use but I like having the peace of mind that service is just a phone call away and my queries are always handled quickly and professionally.” Steven adds.

The TLM Pro X also boosts many more improvements, including general upgrades to the hardware and software for a largely improved experience on what was already a solid offering from the existing range of robots. The electronics within the robot have been enhanced, allowing for more reliable and powerful line marking in a range of project areas, and the external design has been enhanced, with the addition of buttons to activate pump and nozzle, enabling users to prime, clean and test without using the tablet.

Thanks to the design upgrade, the robot offers faster deployment and maintenance has been streamlined too, making all round care as minimal as possible to ensure users can focus on their line marking projects.

Steven sums up by saying, “I’m really delighted with the new robot. Its many new features are going to be invaluable to us and having a second machine mean we can service many more customers.”

Free demonstrations are being offered across the UK.  To book or enquire visit https://tinymobilerobots.com/tinymobilerobots-uk/

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GMA launch Grounds Management Framework

GMA launch Grounds Management Framework: The Grounds Management Association (GMA) has officially launched the Grounds Management Framework (GMF) at an event hosted at Lord’s Cricket Ground and attended by key industry personnel, including GMA members and representatives of the National-Governing Bodies.

To support the sporting industry in better understanding how to maintain natural turf sports surfaces to the best possible level, as well as presenting grounds management as a viable career path, the GMA has developed the GMF, a set of standards for natural turf sports surfaces.

GMA launch Grounds Management Framework

GMA launch Grounds Management Framework

With the quality of playing surfaces directly impacting the standard, and amount, of sport played on them, the GMF shines a spotlight on the importance of grounds management to sport. It does so in a way that is simple to understand for people outside of the industry, like club chairmen and directors.

Developed by the GMA and experienced Sports Consultant, Tim Nicholls, the GMF combines long-standing Performance Quality Standards with relevant skills and knowledge.

Backed by National-Governing Bodies, the easy-to-use framework will determine whether users are at a ‘basic’, ‘good’, ‘advanced’, ‘high’, or ‘elite’ level and will ensure that those responsible for pitches are aware of the characteristics, resources, skills and knowledge required for their playing surface, and how to progress to the next level.

The framework is already in use on the Football Foundation’s revolutionary web app, PitchPower, in addition to the GMA’s training programmes, where courses and qualifications have been aligned to the levels of the GMF.

Speaking about the framework, GMA CEO, Geoff Webb says:

“The Grounds Management Framework has been in development for a long time and has been a big focus for us as an organisation, so it’s great to finally see it launched officially.

“The grounds management industry already employs around 26,000 people, with over 37,000 part-time volunteers, but more are needed if we are to keep up with the demand for sport. We need 1000 people a year to join our sector to keep up with demand, but we know that, with improved surfaces, almost 2 million more children will benefit.

“Our work is focused on getting the best for the industry and highlighting the hard work, knowledge and skill that goes into making sport possible – this framework will make it clearer for people inside and outside of the industry, from club chairman to stadium managers, to understand what it takes to prepare playing surfaces at all levels and will better support matching training and experience to quality of playing surfaces.”

Playing a key role in the development of the framework, Sports Consultant, Tim Nicholls says:

“The Grounds Management Framework has taken a lot of work and time to get it to where it is today. Although it’s just been launched, it’s already playing an essential role in innovative new strategies to improve our pitches, through programmes like PitchPower – I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes our industry, and its place in sport, over the coming years.”

The Grounds Management Framework is free-to-use and is targeted at grounds staff, grounds managers, club committees, and senior management at all levels including community clubs, local authorities, education, and professional sports clubs.

For more information and resources about the Grounds Management Framework, please visit: https://thegma.org.uk/GMF

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