Posts

Growing Toro fleet for HHA

Growing Toro fleet for HHA: Owing to gradual business expansion, HHA Grounds Maintenance in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, has grown its Toro fleet with the addition of the LT-F3000 Triple Flail Mower and the GrandStand stand-on.

The family-run business, which is celebrating 10 years of service, is responsible for grounds maintenance for a number of schools and parish councils in the East of England.

Growing Toro fleet for HHA

Growing Toro fleet for HHA

Owner, Harvey Hart, had encountered Toro Groundscare machines before and at a pivotal moment in the expansion of the business opted to boost the fleet with quality products they could trust.

Harvey comments: “With three two-man teams in operation daily between March and October, we needed a robust range of machinery which could cater for the variety of jobs we encounter.”

With lawns, playparks, schools, business sites and graveyards to maintain, HHA needed different machines to negotiate both urban and rural sites and varying terrains. With busy rotas and a growing client list, quality and longevity became key factors in deciding what machinery to add to the fleet.

Harvey continues: “We have two Toro Z-Master Zero-Turn mowers which we got over eight years ago and they remain in excellent working condition. As the business grew, we decided to add to the fleet with a Triple Flail mower and a GrandStand stand-on machine.

“Both are fantastic, but we are especially pleased with the GrandStand which is compact, nimble and can get into places that the sit-on can’t. As with all Toro mowers the cut is beautiful. Our clients are always thrilled with the finish.

“You can’t fault the Toro machines. They are absolute workhorses that just run and run if you look after them. We get minimal issues and we take good care of them. They pay for themselves, especially when you think that some of our Toro’s have been operating almost as long as our business!”

This was the first time that HHA had bought machines directly from Reesink Turfcare East Anglia branch, which Harvey cites as being ‘fantastic’. Having been impressed by the customer service he also signed up to a maintenance contract to offer ultimate peace of mind in the eventuality the machines required any aftercare.

Alastair Rowell, UK sales manager for turfcare equipment at Reesink Turfcare, comments: “It’s wonderful to work alongside businesses like HHA and help them grow their fleets. Their teams are getting increasingly busier with further expansion on the cards, so it’s important that they are supported with the right tools for the job.”

Speaking of the future, Harvey concludes: “Our potential is vast and to have a range of premium mowers along with the support of a leading brand like Toro is integral to us.”

Reesink Turfcare is the exclusive distributor in the UK and Ireland for Toro groundscare machinery. For further information on the range call 01480 226800, email info@reesinkturfcare.co.uk, or visit reesinkturfcare.co.uk

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.

New research shows growing crisis for sport

New research shows growing crisis for sport: During GroundsWeek (1-7 March 2021), a celebration week for the turf care sector, the Grounds Management Association (GMA) has released new research that highlights the crisis the UK is facing without the next generation of grounds staff and volunteers.

The leading not-for-profit membership organisation for the grounds sector is calling on the nation to celebrate the vital contribution of grounds staff, and urging young sports fans to consider the profession.

New research shows growing crisis for sport

New research shows growing crisis for sport

The foundation of physical activity

Sport relies on grounds staff and volunteers to keep the nation active. However, with 40% of the workforce now over 50, this vital sector is facing a 9% reduction in those who maintain grounds and sports surfaces in the next 5 years. This gap means approximately 5,120 pitches in the UK could be left without a grounds person, leaving 9% of kids that play weekly (around 340,000 junior players) unable to play on safe and good quality pitches without staff and volunteers to care for them.

4.3 million people work behind the scenes in sport in the UK, fulfilling vital roles such as referees, coaches, physios, grounds staff and managers, and ultimately supporting 14,000 professional sports players. However, while almost 6,000 young people must join the turf care sector as professionals in the next 5 years to fill the skills gap, most young people haven’t even considered it as a profession.

32% of young people said they wanted to work in sport in the future and 57% regularly take part in and enjoy sport, but overall, 95% of children asked didn’t know the careers available to them in their favourite sports, and a meagre 2% had considered grounds management.

When it comes to adults, in a survey of 2,000 general consumers, 72% think grounds management is vital to sport, and 23% would encourage young people to consider grounds management as a career path, but only 11% of adults would consider it for themselves. Without an attitude shift, sport in the UK will face significant and potentially permanent challenges, despite it currently contributing £39 billion to the economy each year.

Volunteers are the backbone of enabling play; they make up 56% of the grounds management sector and overall contribute a value of over £120 million. Over 37,000 grounds volunteers in England offer their time to ensure sport at grassroots level can go ahead, supporting the 3.8 million children who would ordinarily play weekly. Despite this, only 9% of children and 15% of adults would currently consider volunteering as a grounds person in the future. Encouraging volunteers of all ages is even more important now; two thirds of community grounds volunteer are over 60, and are therefore more vulnerable to Covid-19.

Geoff Webb, CEO of the GMA, commented:

“We know how vital the turf care sector is to sport, but it’s often misunderstood and undervalued. This #GroundsWeek, we want everyone – whether you’re in the sector, a player, or just enjoy watching – to take the time to think about what grounds staff and volunteers do to make sport possible. Great surfaces don’t happen without them.

“Come rain or shine, they’re out there ensuring that your matches can go ahead – and by becoming a groundsperson, you can be a part of something amazing, and help make sport happen across the world. Let’s celebrate their contribution to sport, give the industry the respect it deserves, and ensure that a new generation know that grounds management makes sport and physical activity possible.”

Zeynu Bedru, apprentice at Harrogate RFU, said:

“I love my job. I came here as a refugee from Eritrea, and at first I didn’t know what I was going to do. I entered the grounds sector as a volunteer, and was lucky enough to be taken on at Harrogate RFU as an apprentice. I would encourage anyone and everyone to consider becoming a grounds professional; you could get a job anywhere – including travelling abroad – and it’s amazing to be able to work outside every day with such a great team.

“GroundsWeek is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the amazing work we do, and show young people what a career in grounds management can offer.”

Wes Matthews, a volunteer at Cranfield United, said:

“It’s great to see GroundsWeek being launched and to have people across all sports celebrating what we do. Getting the pitch ready for game day is so important, and incredibly rewarding – I actually gave up coaching and managing a team to focus on volunteering as a groundsperson! It’s very satisfying watching the teams play on a surface I’ve helped prepare, and knowing I’ve been a part of making sure the game can go ahead.

“I’d love for everyone to get involved with the week by sharing the #GroundsWeek hashtag on social media, thanking their local grounds person, or even volunteering at their local grounds. Grounds management is a great way to stay active and meet new people, both in your local community, and in the grounds management community.”

To help spread the word, the GMA has developed a toolkit for clubs, teams and organisations to engage with, including social media templates, graphics and imagery. It also includes top tips for looking after your local pitches, and tips for ensuring your club or team is doing enough to celebrate local grounds volunteers and staff.

For further information about #GroundsWeek visit: www.thegma.org.uk/groundsweek

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters. 

The growing role of PGR’s

The growing role of PGR’s: Plant Growth Regulators (PGR’s) are a longstanding programme component for those maintaining all types of amenity grassland and managed amenity turf.

Clipless NT® from Headland Amenity’s is a Trinexapac-ethyl PGR, which is typically applied from mid-April on outfield or course turf and mid-late May on fine turf. Alex Hawkes, Headland’s Sports Turf Manager explores how PGR’s work and how many are now finding additional benefits of their use.

The growing role of PGR’s

The growing role of PGR’s

PGR’s effectively block the production of gibberellic acid – the plant hormone responsible for cell elongation. By lowering levels of the hormone within the plant leaf, PGR’s reduce cell elongation and vertical growth and, instead, redirect the energy within the plant to generate enhanced root development and lateral growth. In its simplest capacity, it can contribute towards a sward that requires less frequent mowing, saving manpower and associated machinery costs. They can be particularly useful for reducing mowing in difficult or dangerous areas such as steep banks.

Because growth is redirected from vertical to horizontal, PGR’s are often employed by greenkeepers and groundsmen alike to increase the density of a given area. Moreover, they have also been shown to optimise the conditions for seeding operations – particularly those in or near competitive swards. With the regulated growth and lower energy consumption of the existing plant, nutrition from the soil profile is optimised for germination and establishment of the new seedling.

At Trent College in Nottingham, Head of Gardens and Grounds Peter Flewitt trialled Clipless NT® in this capacity, on the schools four cricket squares. “In our environment, we are able to renovate the squares much earlier in the growing season than perhaps other local clubs or the county grounds would. We applied Clipless NT® at the end of July, a week before we started our renovations and we nicknamed this area our ‘old grass’. We were interested to see if by regulating the growth here, the new seed sown in the vicinity would germinate better due to lower competition – and it worked well.”

Peter continues, “We left the ‘new grass’ to grow through and the difference in their comparative growth speeds was evident – particularly when we mowed for the first time that it was just this new grass being cut. With the Clipless NT®, used in conjunction with H-Cote™ (slow-release fertiliser) we were able to then manage and sustain the healthy, dense sward we achieved in our renovations through the autumn and winter period when our workload shifts focus onto our winter sports areas. With the wet winter we had, the Clipless NT® application kept growth in check meaning we didn’t have to take any mowing equipment out onto the soft ground at any stage.”

For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.