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Celebrate ‘Have a Field Day’ 2019

Celebrate ‘Have a Field Day’ 2019: UK green space charity, Fields in Trust, is inviting people to take part in a national celebration of parks and green spaces on “Have a Field Day”, Saturday 6th July. Thousands of people across the UK will come together once again this summer for picnics with their friends and neighbours, to celebrate the green spaces that are so special to the local communities who care for them.

Community events in parks are a great way to connect with our neighbours and celebrate our local communities. With the clocks springing forward, people across the UK are looking forward to getting outdoors this summer and enjoying their local green spaces – Have a Field Day provides the perfect opportunity.

Celebrate 'Have a Field Day' 2019

Research published by Fields in Trust demonstrates that using local green spaces improves physical health and mental wellbeing and that access to green space leads to people feeling healthier, happier and becoming more active as a result. However, it is not just better health – recent reports and publications from government departments have repeatedly referenced the importance of parks and green spaces in reaching many public policy goals; including:

  • The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government’s Integrated Communities Action Plan which identifies the importance of parks and green spaces as spaces where people can meet, mix and strengthen local connections
  • DEFRA’s 25-year Environment Plan, which includes proposals to improve air and water quality, enhance wildlife habitats and use green spaces to improve public health and wellbeing.
  • The Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan references “limited access to green spaces” as a contributory cause and encourages local authorities to “…ensure access to quality green space to promote physical activity”.
  • The value of parks and green spaces is also referenced in DCMS’s “Civil Society Strategy”, as well as their “A Connected Society” plan where the value of parks in tackling loneliness is discussed.

Fields in Trust are inviting people to plan a summer picnic. Have a Field Day on Saturday 6th July is an opportunity for people to champion their local parks and green spaces by enjoying spending time in them, at the same time as connecting with neighbours and friends in joining a movement of fellow park users across the UK. These green spaces are good, they do good and by championing them through Have a Field Day people can help to protect them for good.

Fields in Trust Policy Manager Alison McCann said: “Our research shows that parks and green spaces have an important role in society and can help to transform lives. These are spaces where communities can come together, tackling social isolation and loneliness, as well as contribute to improved mental and physical health and help to tackle the childhood obesity crisis. However, first and foremost they are places for play, sport and recreation; Have a Field Day is a way to celebrate all the positive things we love about the UKs parks and green spaces”

Fields in Trust was founded by King George V in 1925 and is a UK charity that actively champions parks and green spaces by protecting them in perpetuity. Over 2,800 spaces have been protected since our foundation. In 1934 – 85 years ago – the first Playing Fields Day was held; Have a Field Day is the current version of this earlier commemoration.

Held every year on the first Saturday in July, Have a Field Day in 2018 saw an estimated 30,000 people across the UK come together to celebrate their parks and green spaces. Over 100 events ranged from small community picnics to large parties and fetes. In 2019 park users are again encouraged to champion their local green spaces with picnics as well as events which reflect how the spaces serve their local communities and 2019 is already set to be even bigger.

If you are planning a Have a Field Day picnic in your park on Saturday 6th July 2019, visit the Fields in Trust website, www.fieldsintrust.org, to find out more and sign-up. All registered picnics will receive a free support pack through the post including bunting, posters and activity cards.

Participating in Have a Field Day is a way for communities to champion their green spaces, call for their protection from development and raise awareness of the positive impact they have on our health and wellbeing.

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Rigby Taylor’s ‘Must Have’ Brochure

Rigby Taylor’s ‘Must Have’ Brochure: Rigby Taylor’s 2019 Professional Products range brochure – the ‘must-have’ reference document for every turf manager – is now available free of charge.

The most comprehensive yet, the fully-illustrated 176-page brochure is packed with essential information in an attractive and easy-to-read format.

Rigby Taylor's 'Must Have' Brochure

Each of the company’s products is described in detail indicating what they do, where, when and how they should be used – including spray and spreader rates and, where appropriate, water volumes and pack coverage.

Many pages are devoted to technical information on turf diseases – their recognition and details of high-risk periods – as well as nutrient delivery technology, soil analysis, grass seed selection, pH chart, plus nutritional content and conversion tables.

Each section has an easy to follow Range Selection chart to guide the reader to the choices available, and each group of products has a Selector table that describes in detail each individual product.

In addition, a number of testimonials are included that describe the successes that greenkeepers and groundsmen have had using the products.

For your free copy, contact your local Rigby Taylor area manager or:

Freephone 0800 424 919

E.mail: sales@rigbytaylor.com

For more information, visit: www.rigbytaylor.com

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Good To Have David Back

Good To Have David Back: David Withers, who became one of this country’s most successful exports when he rose to the position of President and CEO with Jacobsen after 24 years with the company, has taken on the role of Managing Director of Iseki UK with the task of building a British arm for what is a very well known and respected Japanese brand.

David, for all his high flying career based in the United States, never lost either his love of his real home or contact with his British friends and associates, and being able to reignite with both sees him entering his new challenge with characteristic vigour.

He took time from building his new company infrastructure – and shouting at photocopiers and printers – to chat with Turf Matters.

Good To Have David Back

It must have been pretty full on since the decision to create Iseki (UK) towards the end of last year and your appointment as Managing Director shortly after that.

December and January was a really busy time. We had to find premises, hire people, put a computer system in place and pick up the inventory from Ransomes. It’s a big deal starting something from scratch in a very short space of time, ensuring all the legalities are in place etc, but we’ve been able to do it.

You were obviously very well aware of Iseki as a company, and their products, having worked with them while at Ransomes yourself.

Yes, I knew about the company from my time with Ransomes and Textron and that’s why I’m involved in all honesty and being able to work with a company that I wasn’t in competition with while at Textron.

Did your relationship with Ransomes assisted with the hand-over?

Very much so. The transition from Ransomes to Iseki UK was handled very well by both sides and done in a very friendly and co-operative manner. There are also five people who have transferred from Ransomes to Iseki. Our new premises are literally 400-500 yards away from Ransomes so in terms of transferring inventory it was relatively easy because we were so close.

How many staff do you have at present?

As we speak we have eight full time employees while we have three more who have agreed to join us and three temps. In total we will end up with between a dozen to 15 which should be enough to get us through this year and we’ll probably add some more after that.

Where does Iseki currently sit in what is a fairly crowded market?

It varies with tractors and mowers. We’re probably third or fourth with tractors at the moment and first or second when it comes to cut and collect mowers, which I believe are second to none when they come to build quality and performance.

What ambitions do you have for the company in the short, medium and long terms?

The task we’ve been given by our colleagues in Japan is to double business over a five year period. That’s what we are working towards and I think that it’s eminently doable. As things stand right now, golf is very important to us and local authorities are also very important to us but there is no doubt a lot of opportunity for us with contractors, homes with acreage, the bottom end of the agricultural market, so that is where we will be putting our effort. If I compare us to our colleagues in France, Germany and Spain, their sales are 50-50 on agricultural or turf tyres. For us it is probably 90% turf and 10% agricultural tyres. It’s not that the market doesn’t exist, it’s just that we haven’t focussed on it yet.

We often find we end up not doing the job for which we came into the business – Course Managers end up in front of computer screens rather than cutting greens for example. Are you looking forward to getting back to a more hands on role to the one you had latterly at Jacobsen?

Yes I am and no I’m not is the truth of it. I’ve been doing this for about four months and there are bits which I really love – out there meeting dealers, selling things etc. We’re a small team and if we’re really busy in an afternoon I’m out there picking parts something I’ve not done for many years. But then I find myself having to work a photocopier or a printer and I’m completely out of my comfort zone. It will be nice to get all the infrastructure in place so I can focus more on the business strategy side of things.

With all the experience you have gathered over the years you must be uniquely suited to your new role?

It was because of the experience and training that I picked up at Jacobsen that Iseki approached me and we started to talk about this role. To be honest it would be tough to find someone who has better experience and qualifications, based on the job I’ve done over the last 25 to 30 years.

Did you ever thing about sitting back and enjoying the fruits of your labours?

It probably took two or three months to get around the fact that I wasn’t at Jacobsen any more. I’d been there such a long time and it had been so much a part of my life. I was still waking up in the morning thinking about work but by the time I’d got the summer I was bored. There is only so much golf you can play and it was too early for me. I still feel like I’ve got something to offer. We’ve got the five year plan to double the business and I’ll see how I feel when we’ve achieved that. I’ll be edging towards 60 by then so I’ll see then what I want to do then.

So exciting times ahead?

Very much so. I have to say too that we are working with dealers but we have gaps to fill so there will be opportunities for dealers who are out there and who are interested in becoming an Iseki dealer.

Well, David, we are delighted to see you back in the UK. The industry will be better for having you back involved and we’ll just let you get back to working out how to put toner in your printer.