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Milestone in sustainable golf development

Milestone in sustainable golf development: Second edition of the international voluntary sustainability standard for golf developments demonstrates golf’s continuing proactive leadership and progress in the construction industry.

Developed through close collaboration, both within and outside the golf industry, the release of this latest edition of the Sustainable Golf Development Standard represents another major step forward in golf’s journey to becoming a leader in sustainable sport, land use and development.

Milestone in sustainable golf development

Milestone in sustainable golf development

Available to all new developments from September 2021, this simplified new edition raises the bar on sustainability expectations and focuses on the most relevant issues and challenges in the current climate. Renewed emphasis is placed on areas such as increased transparency, carbon impacts, flexible construction timelines, circular economy and the impacts of agronomic decision-making.

Facilitated by GEO Foundation (GEO), six months of open public consultation and dedicated work by the international expert working group for sustainable golf development has led to the release of the second edition of this credible, accessible and relevant voluntary standard for any golf development. The milestone document provides a tighter framework, which can guide the process of delivering any new golf developments and renovations, from site selection through to opening day – delivering positive social and environmental value throughout.

Sam Thomas, Director of Golf Development for GEO, the international organization dedicated to helping advance sustainability in and through golf said: “The process of working with public comments and the international expert group’s knowledge was a great insight into what we’ve seen change in the sustainability space over the past five years. There were invaluable inputs shared into the ways in which everyone felt that golf developments, done in the right way, can continue to make real positive contributions to their environment, climate and community. Going forward, we are excited to adopt this 2nd edition of the standard at all new golf development sites seeking to gain GEO Certified Development status and, over the next five years, see how we can all push on to deliver even greater positive impacts.”

The seven members of the International Expert Working Group, which helped shape this latest edition, included representatives from the Society of Australian Golf Course Architects; American Society of Golf Course Architects; The European Institutes of Golf Course Architects; Golf course builders – through Landscapes Unlimited; Australian National University, Former European Commission representatives and Wetlands International.

Richard Holland, Director, Operations and Network Development, Wetlands International commented: “Congratulations to all involved in this significant milestone for the golf development industry. The 2nd edition builds on the solid foundations of the original standard and raises the bar for new sustainable golf developments. These voluntary standards can also provide valuable guidance for policymakers and regulators in their responsibilities to deliver the best possible outcomes for the environment and local communities.”

The revision of the standard was carried out in line with ISEAL Alliance’s Code of Good Practice for Standard Setting. GEO has been part of the ISEAL Alliance since 2015 and the rigour and credibility of that code are central to the revision of the voluntary sustainability standard. These same codes of good practice are followed by other well-known sustainability bodies including Fairtrade, The Rainforest Alliance and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Tom Mackenzie, Director at Mackenzie & Ebert and Past President of European Institute of Golf Course Architects stated: “It is great to see the release of the 2nd edition of this standard. It now better represents the current sustainability issues we face as designers and I was very pleased to be able to represent the European Institute of Golf Course Architects (EIGCA) on the expert working group. Along with EIGCA’s Raising the Standard of Sustainable Golf Course Design educational programme, which was created with GEO, this renewed sustainability standard represents another meaningful point of connection with GEO for our members.”  

The document and further explanation can be viewed here along with information on the OnCourse Developments programme, which provides practical support to assist all types of golf developments and the GEO Certified Developments mark, which provides credible recognition to new projects.

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Change in approach to managing amenity spaces

Change in approach to managing amenity spaces: Withdrawal from the European community, and the consequences of a pandemic, are already substantially impacting on all who manage amenity and sports spaces.

The pandemic has highlighted just how important these areas are to all and especially in the urban and sporting environment. BREXIT has heralded new requirements in trading, changes in resource sourcing and more. For those charged with maintaining areas, those involved operationally and indeed anyone with an interest in amenity, these are times when it can be difficult to keep up with policy announcements and new innovations and approaches.

Change in approach to managing amenity spaces

Change in approach to managing amenity spaces

All this means that the timing of the 2021 Amenity Forum conference, to be held on October 21st, could not be better and its title ‘Facing the Future’ very apt indeed. The conference will focus on policy change and its impact. The event will commence with keynote senior speakers from Defra, the Chemicals Regulation Department of HSE (CRD) and the Environment Agency. Defra will address change resulting from the recent review of the UK National Action Plan relating to weed, pest and disease management. The CRD speaker will address changes in pesticide regulation and enforcement approaches. The Environment Agency will look at the ever tightening of regulation relating to water and its quality. Each area is crucially important and reason in itself for conference attendance.

These will be followed by some eminent speakers involved operationally who will look at what more integrated approaches might mean including a specific contractor and a distributor view. There will then be a focus on the vitally important area of education and training. Policy change will bring more requirements for both training and CPD and increased innovation in how this can be delivered. The conference programme will conclude with some individual perspectives on the future for amenity and sports space management. This will include a focus on parks, on the environmental impact of various management approaches and what is involved in creating and maintaining surfaces at an international sporting venue.

To complement all of this will be an exhibition area where supporters will be on hand to showcase and describe what they do and new developments. There will be the announcement of the category winners for the Amenity Sprayer Operator of the Year and John Moverley will provide a presentation of his thoughts looking forward.

A day not to be missed and, given the support from organisations, very competitively priced at £95 per delegate. For further information, please contact Kate at admin@amenityforum.net

Some comments from participants at last year’s event were:

‘’I would just like to say a huge thank you for putting on a great conference, along with some excellent speakers in their various fields of expertise from across the sector. The whole conference was well organised, fast moving and held my attention throughout’’

’Congratulations on such a successful and well run event.  As usual the standard of presenters and presentations was incredibly high, although we’ve come to expect that. .  It was an incredibly worthwhile day, very enjoyable and I learnt new things’’

’Just to let you know that I thought the conference yesterday was really excellent – the content and speakers were very good and their topics were very relevant.  Very well managed making great use of the time, an event not to be missed’’

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Change in leadership for Reesink UK

Change in leadership for Reesink UK: David Cole is leaving the role of Reesink UK’s managing director in April 2022.

David has passionately and successfully overseen the company’s turfcare, agriculture, used machinery and electric vehicles business since 2014, and had previously worked for the former Lely business between 1990-1999. The reasons for his departure are personal; he says: “There are no business reasons attached to this, only personal. The unexpected loss of my wife last year was a huge blow. And after seeing the business through some strange and challenging times and identifying clearer waters ahead, my desire now is to spend more time with and focus on my grandchildren.”

Change in leadership for Reesink UK

Change in leadership for Reesink UK

Leading the recruitment process alongside David is Roon Hylkema, divisional director of Reesink UK’s parent company, Royal Reesink. Roon comments: “Reesink UK is one of the UK’s leading turfcare distributors and has 38 years working with The Toro Company, as such the role of managing director presents an exciting opportunity for the right candidate.

“The company has history on its side, stability and longevity, but also exciting growth opportunities as we look to continue David’s good work diversifying our offering, introducing new brands and new product lines that compliment our core activities.”

Work will start shortly to identify David’s successor and to enable a handover period before next April.

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TurfCare bolsters presence in the Southwest

TurfCare bolsters presence in the Southwest: TurfCare announce Andy Matthews joins the company in a technical sales support role.

Andy Matthews. 40 years within the industry mostly within the independent school’s sector, starting in June 1981 at Bradfield College as an apprentice where he studied Greenkeeping and sports turf at Berkshire college of Agriculture. He left Bradfield as Deputy Head Groundsman in 1993 to take up a position as Head Groundsman at Birkbeck College in Greenford. In 1997 when he accepted a position as Grounds Manager at Taunton School in Somerset where he met his wife Tori. In 2001 they moved to Harrow School to be the Grounds Manager.  During his time at Harrow, he oversaw the £5million upgrade of the sporting facilities. In 2011 he accepted a position at Clifton College in Bristol. where he has hosted international soccer, a rugby world cup training camp and county cricket.

TurfCare bolsters presence in the Southwest

TurfCare bolsters presence in the Southwest

“We are incredibly pleased that Andy is joining the TurfCare team said TurfCare UK Sales Manager Daniel Jones. “His background and experience will allow our entire team to further grow and support our customers in the Southwest. TurfCare General Manager Jim Holden said that we are delighted to welcome Andy to the team. He has 40 years of industry experience which offers the company and our customers access to his vast amount of experience and knowledge. We look forward to working with Andy in the next chapter of his profession.

“I am excited to join the TurfCare team and support our customers in the Southwest Region helping turfgrass managers select the correct products to match their agronomic needs, TurfCare offer some of the best products in the industry with their world-wide brands “Matthews said.

Andy will start with TurfCare from the 2nd of August and can be contacted through the following details 07584 046834 amatthews@turfcare.eu  +44 1425 472102   www.turfcare.eu

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JCB invest in Ventrac

JCB invest in Ventrac: JCB Golf & Country Club, the flagship sales and marketing tool of the JCB brand, situated in rolling parkland adjacent to the company’s World Headquarters in Staffordshire, has purchased a package of Ventrac equipment from local dealer, Sharrocks.

Included in the package is a Ventrac 4500 all-terrain compact tractor with dual-wheels, a Tough Cut rotary deck, a Power Broom and a Stump Grinder.

JCB invest in Ventrac

JCB invest in Ventrac

The 7,400-yard course, which opened in 2018, was designed by architect Robin Hiseman of European Golf Design, and is situated in 280 acres on the estate of the former Woodseat Hall and surrounding farmland. It can be played by JCB management, staff and their guests, together with private and corporate members including dealers, suppliers and major customers. Integral to the design brief is the expectation that it will become a regular venue for a professional tour golf.

Callum Wark is the Course Manager and is responsible for a team of 31 full-time staff including three apprentices, two irrigation technicians, two mechanics and four gardeners. He’s been at the course since its inception having been employed here since the start of the course build back in 2016.

“It’s the best decision I’ve made in my career, so far,” he said. “I previously worked at Loch Lomond and it was great grounding, but when I was offered the opportunity to work on a new build, something very rare these days, especially so in the UK, I jumped at the chance. I worked as Head Greenkeeper under Euan Grant and when he left, I applied for the job of Course Manager and was successful.

“We have large estate to manage here and the CEO demands that it is of the highest quality possible. Not just the golf course, but all the areas surrounding the clubhouse, our luxury lodges and the academy. JCB is renowned across the globe and our facilities here must reflect the esteem intrinsic in the brand. That’s our goal and, in a nutshell, that’s my job.

“Therefore, we need robust and reliable equipment, to ensure that we maintain the property to these exacting standards. And, that’s why we’ve purchased the Ventrac package. This course has been designed to accommodate championship golf and has been constructed with dramatic fescue mounds and banking for spectator viewing. We needed a machine that could tackle these slopes; we tried other machines, but none came close to what the Ventrac could do. The initial demonstration was excellent and we knew very quickly that it was the machine for us.

“We have 10 km of tarmac-ed cart paths and these need to be swept clean on a regular basis. We also have extensive carparking and other hard landscaped surfaces, so the inclusion of the Power Brush in the package was an obvious choice. We have numerous tees on each hole, but the championship tees are rarely used and this can lead to a moss issue. This can be controlled by setting the broom bristles to just touch the sward and removal is quick and simple. Being a woodland estate, the Tough Cut deck and Stump Grinder come into their own when we clear any woodland margins.

“Versatility is the key word when describing the Ventrac; one power unit for many accessories. I need to make a business case for the additional purchase of the Cart Path Edger. The cart paths are all edged with kerbs and a strip of fine fescue either side. I usually send four guys out to edge those areas, whereas one guy on a Ventrac could do that in just one day.”

Tim McCutcheon is the Head Mechanic and has been described as a greenkeeper with a passion for mechanics. He began his career at Lichfield Golf Club, before enrolling on the Ohio State Program, where he spent 18 months working at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, OK, recognised as one of the top 100 courses in the world and host to 15 Championships since 1945.

“What can I say about this machine apart from it’s brilliant,” he said. “From a greenkeeping perspective it’s so versatile, but from a mechanic’s point of view, it’s a dream. It’s robustly built, the belts are easily accessible and simple to change, as is the access to filters and grease points. The flip-up decks make cleaning and maintenance easy and the accessory mounting system is ingenious. One thing is outstanding, especially in my role, and that’s the quality of the manuals. They are extensive and in colour, which really helps when trying to identify parts. All-in-all, a great addition to our fleet.”

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Hayter and Toro: Working together in harmony

Hayter and Toro: Working together in harmony: Hayter, the makers of the finest mowers, and The Toro Company, a global leader in turf and landscape equipment, have come together to create two versatile and battery powered product suite for gardeners of all levels.

Hayter has developed the 60V battery cordless range of mowers to offer the same convenience as a petrol lawnmower without engine exhaust emissions. While Toro has released the Flex-Force battery range, which includes outdoor products for all needs in the garden.

Hayter and Toro: Working together in harmony

Hayter and Toro: Working together in harmony

These two ranges share the same heavy duty, 60V lithium-ion battery, which is interchangeable between all of the products, to offer maximum flexibility. Simply remove the 60V battery and transfer to one of the other compatible machines from either range – so there’s no need to purchase any additional batteries if you already own a product from either range.

Using products from both ranges means the user can have ultimate flexibility, as well as control over all parts of the garden. If your desire is to mow your lawn and leave it with a perfectly striped finish, then the battery powered Harrier 60V cordless mowers are the perfect machines to achieve this with the two piece, ribbed rear roller. If you then need to trim hedges, then the Flex-Force range offers a hedge trimmer, that is focused on tackling those big jobs in less time.

With both Hayter and Toro ranges being used in unison, users will have a product for every season and every application.

Other products in the Flex-Force range include, the Recycler mowers, a leaf blower, chainsaw and string trimmer. And the Hayter 60V battery range includes the Osprey 46 lawnmower.

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

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Etesia celebrates 30 years in the UK

Etesia celebrates 30 years in the UK: Etesia is celebrating 30 successful years of operating in the UK.

In 1991 French based company Etesia set-up a headquarters in the Midlands with a limited product range – just one ride-on mower and a pedestrian mower to be precise. However, the two products put Etesia’s name on the map and word quickly spread as to just how technologically advanced this innovative brand was.

Etesia celebrates 30 years in the UK

Etesia celebrates 30 years in the UK

Fast forward to June 2021 and Etesia has become a major player in the professional market with a multitude of products covering every inch of the UK. Year on year, Etesia UK continues to grow with an expanding list of dealers promoting the Etesia and Pellenc brands, and the past 12 months has been no exception despite the pandemic.

“How time flies,” said Managing Director Les Malin. “It does not seem that long since we celebrated 25 years and now, here we are 5 years later, celebrating 30 years in the UK – but what a 5 years it has been.

“The industry in general has seen its fair share of ups and downs and the last 18 months have disappeared completely under the shadow of the pandemic. However, I’m pleased to report that Etesia has seen significant growth in the last 12 months. Battery products are generally becoming more dominate throughout our product portfolio and nothing shows that more than the recent launch of the ET Lander utility vehicle.”

The ET Lander is a fully electric utility vehicle built specifically for use on roads and all types of paths in both the town and countryside. Powerful enough to use for a full working day and with the ability to transport loads of up to 940kgs, this new product is set to be another ground-breaking innovation.

The launch of the ET Lander is the perfect way to celebrate Etesia UK’s 30th anniversary and there will certainly be more innovations to look forward to according to Les.

“This innovative product has been in development way before our 25th celebration year,” he said. “Innovation does not happen overnight, and we will continue to develop products like this – which will help make our next 30 years look outlandishly green.”

For further information, please contact Etesia UK on 01295 680120 or visit www.etesia.co.uk.

For more news, reviews and insightful views, you can follow Etesia UK on Twitter @EtesiaUK and like the company’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/EtesiaUK You can also view the latest Etesia videos by visiting www.youtube.com/EtesiaUK

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New recruitment in BASIS team

New recruitment in BASIS team: BASIS has expanded its workforce with the recruitment of two new employees.

Jade Prince and Tanya Kesterton join the team to take on two new roles as business development executive and head of digital learning, respectively.

New recruitment in BASIS team

New recruitment in BASIS team

Jade has a background in environmental science and is FACTS qualified.

“My role centres around promoting the courses, boosting membership and building the network around BASIS’ target audience”.

As part of her role, Jade wants to focus on raising awareness of the courses that BASIS offers to the younger generation. “I am already working to develop the business through recruitment of new members, creation of new relationships and networking with other industry organisations.”

Reflecting a move towards delivering more digital courses, Tanya Kesterton joins the BASIS team as head of digital learning. With a strong background in education and IT, Tanya is looking forward to building BASIS’ digital education capability.

“I want to look at supporting the current members and work on reaching a wider audience through our digital platforms,” she says.

New recruitment in BASIS team

New recruitment in BASIS team

“BASIS has a really strong vision for what they want to do and where they want to go, and I’m delighted to be part of this journey.”

For more information, or to get in touch with Jade or Tanya, please visit https://www.basis-reg.co.uk/team.

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Toro involved in many key milestones

Toro involved in many key milestones: Toro dealer Cheshire Turf Machinery, based in Stockport near Manchester, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Toro, and its UK distributor, have been involved with Cheshire Turf Machinery for at least the last quarter of a century and some time before that, as managing director, Steve Halley explains: “Initially set up as Cheshire Light Tractors in 1956 selling garden machinery and turf equipment, the company was bought by Flymo in 1980, before we took the business back into private ownership in 1996. At that point, Toro was already a staple part of the business and Lely supported us, particularly with demo equipment when we took over. We changed the name to better suit the ethos of the business in the supply and servicing of professional turf equipment and set our focus on a mainly sports based portfolio of customers.

Toro involved in many key milestones

Toro involved in many key milestones

“The company has been through many changes, but one thing that has remained the same is our relationship with Toro and its UK distributor Lely, then Reesink.”

Toro excels at creating enduring relationships, built on reliability, productivity and quality; many of its relationships with customers are 25 years and counting – and the same relationship longevity applies to its dealers too.

Steve says: “Toro has been involved in so many milestones over the last quarter of a century. Toro was our first machine sold and our 1,000th, and when we decided to branch out into the market sector of councils and landscape contractors in 2013, becoming agents for the Toro Groundscare range enabled us to do that.”

In addition, Toro has also helped in the company’s expansion and as a result of continued sales growth Toro awarded Cheshire Turf Machinery with extra sales and service territory for its commercial golf mowers and equipment, primarily to cover South Yorkshire, culminating in the formation its sales division, Yorkshire Turf Machinery.

Steve says: “We’re very lucky to have had and to continue to have Toro and Reesink on board, having their names associated to ours has benefitted us greatly in building up the business. There’s a very good reason why 70 percent of our product portfolio consists of Toro machinery and that’s because of its quality. I believe that if we do our job properly when we sell that first Toro, we’ll have a customer for life.”

And that leads nicely on to the other major contributing factor to the company’s success and that is the experienced team, says Steve. “Our staff are good at thinking on their feet, thinking laterally to solve our customer’s problems. It was really highlighted in 2020 just how much they care, and I can’t thank them enough for that as well as all their hard work over the years.”

Excellent staff retention means the company can call on over 200 years of industry experience. Special mention goes to company secretary, Bob Smithson. Steve says his wisdom and business acumen has helped guide the company from inception to present and his influence cannot be overstated: “Bob has been instrumental in the success of the business.”

Also key, has been the company’s ability to tailor flexible finance packages to specifically meet customer requirements.

While golf provides the company’s largest customer base, other company highlights include the successful relationships forged with football clubs such as Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool, as well as Preston, Blackburn, Blackpool, and Oldham.

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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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