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Potters Point keeps pace with new technology

Potters Point keeps pace with new technology: Having been loyal to John Deere for the past 25 years, it was perhaps no surprise which brand would be chosen to upgrade the existing golf and turf maintenance fleet at Potters Point holiday and golf resort in County Wicklow.

Overlooking the idyllic Brittas Bay on Ireland’s east coast, south of Dublin, Potters Point is an exclusive luxury mobile home park owned by the Stone family and was established in 1957. Guests that are lucky enough to stay there have free access to the nine-hole parkland golf course extending to 40 acres that was developed in 1987.

Potters Point keeps pace with new technology

Potters Point keeps pace with new technology

When the existing John Deere equipment fleet was due to be updated, Potters Point manager Irene Lacey called on dealer Dublin Grass Machinery to supply the range of new machines. These include an 8700A PrecisionCut fairway mower, 2653B PrecisionCut utility triplex mower, 2550E hybrid electric triplex greens mower, 220SL walk-behind greens mower, two 3039R compact tractors and three HPX 815E Gator utility vehicles.

“We bought our first John Deere machines in 1997 and have used the brand ever since,” says Irene. “These new models have replaced older equipment, as we want to keep the fleet as fresh and new as possible and equipped with the latest technology, and we are very pleased with them.

“There is great security in having new equipment and therefore no worries about breakdowns. The machines are now all working very efficiently both on the course and in the holiday park.”

The local John Deere golf and turf dealer, Dublin Grass Machinery (DGM), was established in 1981 and is now led by managing director Robert Mitchell. Having enjoyed such a long-term relationship with the dealership, Potters Point relies on DGM for its essential backup service.

“Our equipment has always been fully serviced by Dublin Grass Machinery, and we have found the team there over the years to be very efficient and reliable,” says Irene. “Their backup service is second to none – getting anything repaired or replaced is always done in a very timely manner. DGM has proved to be a very good partner to have in this business.”

Potters Point has plans to invest in additional John Deere equipment, particularly to replace a larger tractor that has been working faithfully at the resort since the very first machines were ordered in 1997.

“Having enjoyed such a long relationship with Potters Point, we were naturally very pleased to be asked to supply them with this new machinery package,” adds Robert Mitchell. “We appreciate their business and will continue to provide Irene and head greenkeeper Eamonn Delaney and his team with first class after-sales support.”

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Evolution Naturelle keeps Ham Manor healthy

Evolution Naturelle keeps Ham Manor healthy: According to the Course Manager at Ham Manor Golf Club, Agrovista Amenity’s Evolution Naturelle fertilisers have been a driving factor in producing healthy, dense turf that recovers quickly.

Paul Brown has been the Course Manager at Ham Manor Golf Club in West Sussex for just over five years. It was the job he always wanted and was therefore delighted to be head hunted for the role while working in his previous job at Canterbury Golf Club.

Evolution Naturelle keeps Ham Manor healthy

Evolution Naturelle keeps Ham Manor healthy

Paul may well have been in greenkeeping for an impressive duration of 38 years but admits that he never stops learning – and believes this has certainly been the case over the past year.

“This period during Covid-19 has taught me a lot about turf management,” he said. “There were products that I thought were essential but actually didn’t have any impact when I removed them from the maintenance programme. We were faced with a limited budget and we had to look for value in money in products. Evolution Naturelle is one of those products – it is tried and tested, and we have faith in it.”

The process in which Paul decides on which products to use on the course is rather unique. Whether it is scepticism or the perfectionist in him, Paul always insists on trialling the products somewhat closer to home before applying them to his beloved course.

“If there is a product I haven’t used before, I will more often than not trial it on my own lawn in the garden,” he admitted. “Joe Dormer from Agrovista Amenity gave me some samples of the Evolution Naturelle, and I took them home with me. Boy, did it grow! It was the most amazing lawn anyone could ever have and after that I trialled it on the tees at the course. It worked so well that we rolled it out everywhere – tees, aprons, collars, greens, and areas around the bunkers.”

Evolution Naturelle is a premium range of organo-mineral fertilisers designed with a unique mode of action. Poultry based Evolution Naturelle contains essential nutritional elements such as phosphorus (P), potassium (K), magnesium oxide (MgO), sulphur (S) and iron (Fe) which are compounded to the advanced granulation making them available for plant uptake.

In particular Paul relies on Evolution Naturelle’s Sport Spring – which contains three nitrogen sources blended to optimise consistent grass plant response; and Micro Summer – for phased release and a steady growth response throughout the core of the growing season.

Evolution Naturelle keeps Ham Manor healthy

Evolution Naturelle keeps Ham Manor healthy

“They really are our go-to products,” said Paul. “We apply them throughout the season as a base feed and then will liquid feed or foliar feed on top. There are only two or three months where we can’t use them due to the soil temperatures being a bit low, but generally we are able to apply them most of the year. One of the benefits to using them is that we can use them on a wide variety of areas.”

Further benefits of the Evolution Naturelle range include:

  • Low carbon to nitrogen ratio
  • Provides healthy balanced growth due to phased release of nutrients
  • Complexed potassium for slow release
  • Promotes stimulation of bacterial soil life helping reduce thatch build
  • Hardens turf due to cell division and cell extension as a result of ammonium take up
  • No scorch risk due to low salt index when applied at the correct rates
  • Increased tillering for a denser sward
  • Ammonium produces large volumes of root hairs which ensure active up take of micronutrients

“They really are phenomenal,” continued Paul. “The Evolution Naturelle products have been a big driving factor in producing dense, healthy turf that is resistant to divot damage and recovers quickly from environmental factors such as Leatherjacket activity.

“We find that they provide a decent amount of growth without that huge push and they feed consistently for us. They are also a lot gentler than many similar products we have used in the past which is great because over the past few years my focus has been on encouraging soil health. When I started working here, the organic matter was 28% in the top 60mm and now we are around 3.5% and part of that, apart from all the cultural activities and thatch eating products, is the fact we have stayed clear of harsh products. Evolution Naturelle has been part of that process.

“I’d like to thank Joe Dormer for recommending the products,” added Paul. “Being a former greenkeeper, he is very knowledgeable and now he has an incredible range of products in his portfolio. There is a lot of mutual respect between us and I think there are times where we both learn from each other.”

For more information about Agrovista Amenity, visit www.agrovista.co.uk/amenity

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Switch to Suståne keeps salt under control

Switch to Suståne keeps salt under control: Boasting views of the Atlantic from every hole, Newquay Golf Club has been completing the postcard scenery with picture-perfect greens, thanks to their Suståne organic feeding programme.

After making the switch to Suståne three years ago, Course Manager Dan Kendle is reaping the rewards of the lower salt, organic approach across the 18 greens of the links course.

Switch to Suståne keeps salt under control

Switch to Suståne keeps salt under control

Dan has been at Newquay GC for just over six years and is supported by a team of three. While their Fistral Beach location is undeniably picturesque, the exposed nature brings challenges when it comes to maintenance. “As well as trying to promote traditional fescues, I am keen to explore moving to a more organic approach to reduce salt input and improve overall course sustainability” explains Dan. “I spoke firstly with our local Suståne distributor, Neil Rogers at AGS, who went through the options available and followed this up with support from Suståne’s Regional Manager Russell Riley which confirmed that we wanted to give it a go.”

Formulated especially to assist with the recovery of stressed areas, Dan has been applying Suståne’s
Turf Revival® 6-2-4 twice a year following their main maintenance periods in, normally, March and August. This is then supplemented with two applications of Suståne 5-2-4+Fe in early June and October on the greens, surrounds and aprons. “The results we’ve achieved have been fantastic and since making the switch we’ve definitely noticed an increase in our fescue populations year on year.”

Suståne Turf Revival® 6-2-4 provides complete macro and micronutrients for optimal plant establishment and quick green-up, followed by up to eight weeks of uniform growth and colour. The aerobically composted base material replenishes the soil with a rich supply of humus and mycorrhizal fungi, to improve the uptake of nutrients and boost overall plant health. Its naturally low salt index also allows for healthy root development.

“This combination seems to really suit our links conditions and is providing an excellent base on which to build with other areas of our maintenance programme. We have not experienced any negative effects by switching away from more traditional feeds, if anything the control this gives me over the salinity of my soil profile is a major plus.” Dan concludes, “We’ve been so pleased with the results we’ve had with using Suståne, and it’s a great step in the right direction in our eventual goal of becoming completely chemical free.”

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Brush-Pro keeps it clean at Worksop Town FC

Brush-Pro keeps it clean at Worksop Town FC: After a new synthetic pitch quickly turned fortunes around for Worksop Town Football Club, the club’s attentions soon turned to the maintenance of their new pitch. Life president and groundsman Keith Ilett explains why they chose the SISIS Brush-Pro.

It is safe to say that over recent years, Worksop Town FC had fallen on hard times. In fact, the club was close to liquidation and arguably, no-one was more saddened than life-long fan, Keith.

Brush-Pro keeps it clean at Worksop Town FC

Brush-Pro keeps it clean at Worksop Town FC

“It was a very difficult period,” said Keith. “I’ve been supporting the club since 1954 and I was four years old when my dad and my grandad started to bring me along to watch the games. I then got more involved with the club in the 70’s and actually celebrated my 50th year at the club just a couple of months ago.

“Fortunately, Pete Whitehead (new owner), came in and he has completely turned the club around.”

One of the first actions under Pete’s new ownership was to remove the natural grass pitch and install a new synthetic pitch in a bid to make the club more self-sufficient.

“The revenue that the club receive from hiring the pitch out to the local community will hopefully keep the club surviving,” said Keith.

With a tremendous amount of usage building on the pitch, Keith required a machine to keep the surface at the highest possible standard, and this led him to the SISIS Brush-Pro.

It is a very common misconception that synthetic surfaces require very little attention but just like natural turf, they require maintenance as soon as they are constructed if they are to perform to the standard expected of them. Regular and periodic upkeep is required because it ensures a safe playing environment, retains the performance characteristics as well as prolonging the longevity of the surface.

The SISIS Brush-Pro is a ride-on brushing system comprising a pair of mid mounted oscillating units and three rear mounted brush units that that have been specifically designed for maintaining synthetic surfaces.

Brushing synthetic surfaces is essential to keep infill mobile, lift the pile and prevent algae accumulation, surface compaction and loss of porosity. The Brush-Pro has been designed for maximum manoeuvrability and operator comfort with features such as an electric start, hydrostatic drive for forward/reverse and its brush combinations – oscillating for thorough periodic work and rear mounted brushes for routine frequent work which cause less compaction than conventional drag brushes.

Brush-Pro keeps it clean at Worksop Town FC

Brush-Pro keeps it clean at Worksop Town FC

“I’m so happy with the Brush-Pro,” said Keith. “It really does leave you with an immaculate pitch once you’ve used the machine and we tend to give it a good brush after every ten hours of usage.

“I like to take it nice and slow when I’m using the Brush-Pro and I tend to brush in different directions in order to get the best results – it is fantastic breaking up any compaction which could potentially cause problems.

“It’s so comfortable to use as well – it is highly manoeuvrable and just a joy to use.”

Keith is now looking forward to a brighter future ahead.

“This is the start of new beginnings. We’ve got a great new pitch, brilliant equipment and a new owner who knows his football and knows his business – we couldn’t be in a better place.”

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact SISIS on 01332 824 777 or visit www.sisis.com

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

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ISEKI Keeps Praa Sands Pristine

ISEKI Keeps Praa Sands Pristine: ISEKI UK & Ireland, distributors of ISEKI compact tractors and mowers alongside their local dealer Nigel Rafferty Groundcare based in Redruth, Cornwall recently sold an ISEKI TLE3400 to Haulfryn Group to help improve maintenance standards on the 5 Star Praa Sands Holiday Park based in West Cornwall.

Adrian Pidcock the Maintenance Manager for the idyllic park explained; “I started working at the park 14 years ago, there has been a lot of hard graft and development in recent years but the site is now a 5 star holiday destination with over 100 luxury holiday homes, a pool, spa, gym, clubhouse with bar and entertainment plus various outdoor play areas.”

ISEKI Keeps Praa Sands Pristine

Having previously owned an ISEKI TM3265 the holiday park decided, at the end of their five-year lease, to upgrade their tractor to a TLE3400 to continue improvements to the park.  Commenting on the TLE3400 Adrian said; “following the reliability and quality of the previous ISEKI tractor I didn’t feel it necessary to look at any other manufacturer when the lease came up for renewal.  I spoke with our longstanding local dealer Nigel Rafferty Groundcare, he came to us with some suggestions of suitable machines for our budget and requirements.

“With all these improvements comes the increase in maintenance demands so we needed a higher horsepower tractor plus the ability to run extra implements.    The 38hp engine of the TLE3400 and the lift capacity of up to 1000kg enables us to carry out further jobs in house instead of paying higher fees for contract workers.  Equipped with a front loader and backhoe the TLE3400 has the horsepower and lift capacity we need at an affordable price.

The spacious platform and clearly laid out controls allow all of our staff to utilise the machine safely and productively ensuring all attachments can be operated easily and precisely.”

The team of eight at Praa Sands not only have the park to keep pristine but in 2009 the Haulfryn Group purchased the golf course adjacent to the holiday site.  Adrian explained further; “used for numerous jobs from spraying, topdressing and mowing, to towing a trailer to assist in cleaning the site each day the TLE3400 is used vigorously all week in order to help with the upkeep of this exceptional holiday park and we will shortly be looking for a flail arm hedge cutter attachment to add to our fleet of machinery.

“With many demands put on the tractor the build quality of the machine needs to be at the very highest, ISEKI’s products have gone way beyond any expectations. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.”

For more information, visit: www.iseki.co.uk.

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Flexibrush Keeps Worm Casts Away

Flexibrush Keeps Worm Casts Away: Oswestry Golf Club head greenkeeper, Gary Barnfield, claims the SISIS Flexibrush has proved to be an ideal solution for controlling worm casts.

Oswestry Golf Club is a mature parkland 18 hole course set in the glorious Shropshire countryside and Gary has been working at the club for an impressive 31 years after joining as an apprentice. Over the years he has worked his way up through the ranks and six years ago he was promoted to the position of head greenkeeper.

Flexibrush Keeps Worm Casts Away

Since taking over as head greenkeeper Gary has implemented a number of changes to the maintenance regimes which has no doubt reinforced the club’s reputation for being in an excellent condition all year round.

However, over recent years Gary claims that he has faced arguably his biggest challenge after a number of chemicals were removed from the turfcare market.

“With the ban of certain chemicals we have not been able to use what was once in our armoury,” he said. “This proved to be problematic, as it no doubt did for every other greenkeeper, but the biggest loss was Carbendazim. Unfortunately the worms came out and more and more casts were appearing so we had to come up with a solution.

“An STRI advisor came to visit us and recommended that we apply some sand to top dress to the areas and also to brush the worm casts and level them off before we cut. We needed to find ourselves a reliable machine that would give the worm casts a rigorous brush and we trialled four brushes from four different brands. The SISIS Flexibrush was the stand out machine.”

The SISIS Flexibrush is a tractor mounted brush which is equally effective to disperse top dressing and remove excess material on natural turf and on synthetic surfaces. The versatile Flexibrush can also be used for dew dispersal and striping for improved presentation. It has a 5.35 metre working width, its brush sections float to follow ground contours and the outer sections fold for transport and storage.

“It’s not only great for brushing the worm casts but it also stands the grass up before we cut – which improves the quality of the cut and gives us better presentation,” said Gary.

Flexibrush Keeps Worm Casts Away

“In fact, the Flexibrush has got multiple uses because we use it for knocking dew off in the mornings and also in the winter months when the turf is not growing so much we will brush instead of cutting to keep the presentation to a high standard.

“Ultimately, we had to do something about the worm casts and the Flexibrush has done a brilliant job. I think it is a great alternative to spraying the worms and I think more greenkeepers will go down this route.

“It has been a cost saving exercise for us too because we used to have contractors come in and spray the worms but the SISIS Flexibrush was a one off payment and we get to keep it for us long as we like.

“It’s such a well-built machine and nothing can really go wrong with it – I think it will probably even outlast me!”

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact SISIS on 01332 824 777 or visit www.sisis.com

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

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Headland Keeps School Disease Free

Headland Keeps School Disease Free: Thanks to help from Headland Amenity, the 17 hectares of grounds for rugby, tennis and cricket at Kings Bruton School have come through the winter of 2017 disease-free and stronger than ever before.  For a relatively small school, they punch well above their weight when it comes to sport and the facilities they offer their 350 pupils.

Grounds Manager, Adie Davis, and his team of 6 groundstaff are kept busy looking after the facilities. “I have been familiar with Headland products for a long time and have enjoyed success with their programmes here at the school for a number of years. On our cricket outfields & rugby pitches we’ve been using Multigreen 28-0-0 which delivers results for the full 5-6 months it promises it will.” Applied in April and then again in September for strength through the autumn/winter, this is complemented on the fine turf areas by C-Complex in various formulations: 4-3-4 used during renovation work; 7-0-7 through the cricket playing season and 5-2-10 as a spring-starter.

Headland Keeps School Disease Free

On the cricket squares, Adie has found success with the combination of Multigreen Mini and Headland’s 20/20/30 non-pesticidal tank mix. “We apply the Multigreen Mini in early autumn to take us through the winter and then once a month between October and March we supplement this with a spray of the 20/20/30 enhanced plant health mix.” Headland’s industry-leading 20-20-30 mix combines Seamac ProTurf Fe and Liquid Turf Hardener plant protectants and Turfite elicitor that work together to strengthen the plant against disease. The combination of products applied at Kings Bruton delivers enhanced root development, disease resistance and strong colour. “This programme has kept all disease, including Fusarium and Dollar Spot, at bay – which I know groundsmen at other schools are suffering from.”

As the school heads towards its 500-year anniversary celebrations in 2019, Adie is delighted with the success achieved with their current nutritional regime. “I’ve worked closely with Headland’s Alex Hawkes, who is very knowledgeable, for a number of years and it’s thanks to him that we now have a combination of products that are really working. We get a lot of comments from staff, parents and local clubs that they’ve never seen turf quite like ours, our cricket areas in particular, which makes all the hard work worthwhile.”

For more information, visit: www.headlandamenity.com

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Textron Keeps Meldrum Peaceful

Textron Keeps Meldrum Peaceful: Meldrum House Country Hotel & Golf Course extended its hotel in 2016 to 55 rooms, and since then has invested in golf course maintenance equipment and vehicles from Textron Golf in order to lessen noise levels around the hotel grounds. The equipment featured on the five-year lease deal includes mowers and vehicles across the Jacobsen, Cushman and E-Z-GO brands. Local dealer Fairways GM facilitated the purchasing process and is providing continued after-sales support.

Meldrum House Country Hotel is a four-star hotel in a 13th-century estate house, the oldest stone building in Aberdeenshire. The hotel is set in beautifully manicured grounds which are maintained by Kenny Harper, Golf Course and Estate Grounds Manager, and his team. Having spent five years at Gleneagles, and 20 at Meldrum House, Kenny said:

Textron Golf Keeps Meldrum Peaceful

“The golf course here is a members-only course, and it is crucial that whilst we keep our members happy, we also need to be mindful of our hotel guests, as the rooms and the golf course are very close to each other geographically.

“I looked into the Jacobsen Eclipse 322 riding greens mower, and it ticked all of the boxes for us. The noise levels are dramatically reduced, meaning that we can cut greens around the hotel whenever we like without disturbing anyone. As well as the noise advantage, the Eclipse 322 doesn’t use any hydraulic oil, which means there aren’t any disastrous leaks on the greens either. I also like being able to set speeds and clip rates using a passcode so that everything is being cut consistently. The members have noticed the difference on the course; our greens have never looked better.”

As well as three Eclipse 322 greens mowers, Meldrum House has also invested in two LF570 fairway mowers, two Cushman Hauler Pro vehicles (one with a sprayer, and one with a topdresser), three Cushman XD-R vehicles one Jacobsen TR-3 mower, one AR-3, one HR500 wide-area mower, one Truckster XD, and Iseki tractor and 10 E-Z-GO RXV electric golf cars.

“The Eclipse 322 and the electric E-Z-GO vehicles are another addition to our environmental plan. The reduced noise and air pollution is important to us, and we are already using wood-burning boilers to provide hot water and heat to the hotel and maintenance facility. We also use recycled rain water for washing down machines, and wild-flower plantations were used around the hotel extension which has allowed us to have bee hives on site which we produce our own honey from. Pesticides are being reduced to protect our bees and wildlife, and our new machinery also plays a crucial role in our environmental efforts.

“We are very happy with all of the machinery from Textron Golf. Textron Golf really has its finger on the pulse right now with the latest technology and providing machinery and vehicles which are built to last. We’re very pleased with what we have, and most importantly, the back-up from Fairways is superb; nothing is too much trouble, and a representative is always in to check on us.”

Meldrum House Country Hotel & Golf Course was purchased by its current owners in 1995. A nine-hole golf course designed by Graeme Webster was opened in 1999, and an 18-hole, 7,000-yard parkland course followed in 2000.

About Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc.

Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of golf cars, utility and personal transportation vehicles, snowmobiles, side-by-sides, all-terrain vehicles, professional turf-care equipment, and ground support equipment. Textron Specialized Vehicles markets products under the E-Z-GO®, Cushman®, Arctic Cat®, Textron Off Road™, Jacobsen®, Dixie Chopper®, Ransomes®, TUG™, Douglas™, Premier™ and Safeaero™ brands. Its vehicles are found in environments ranging from golf courses to factories, airports to planned communities, and theme parks to hunting preserves.

 About Textron Inc.

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Textron Off Road, Arctic Cat, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training.

For more information, visit: www.textron.com

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AquaTrax Keeps Pitches Pristine

AquaTrax Keeps Pitches Pristine: Lillieshall is one of the United Kingdom’s National Sports Centres and centres of excellence. The centre is set to host to some of the country’s leading sports activities like Archery, Gymnastics and Hockey. Within the 350 acre site are 2 synthetic pitches, a water based hockey pitch and a multi-sport surface. The Grounds Supervisor Peter Bolland, and his team of 6 which includes an apprentice, have their work cut out ensuring all the facilities meet their rigorous requirements and are kept performing at their best – which they do with the help of Replay Maintenance.

“The centre has a rich history,” explains Peter, “and having previously been on the English Heritage at Risk Register, but following a management plan set up back in 2013, the team are now working on a long term 21 year master plan, to bring the site back to the 1830’s when the Duke of Sutherland would have been prevalent. The majority of maintenance work, including pitch renovations, is conducted in-house and this is no different when it comes to the regime on the artificial surfaces.  We do cleaning,
drag-mat/brushing and removal of debris on a daily and weekly basis, but as a training facility for GB Hockey and other international teams alike we like to go that step further and have Replay in to conduct a deep clean at least once a year.”

AquaTrax Keeps Pitches Pristine

Their most recent visit saw Replay utilising their unique AquaTrax process on the two synthetic pitches.  This process combines pressure washing and vacuum extraction to dislodge and remove dirt and algae growth. The annual work also ensures that the surfaces pass the Centres twice-yearly audits.

Replay have been working with Lillieshall for a number of years and Peter says that, moving forwards, he has no reason to change that. “It tends to be the same guy visit each year.  He’ll report in and, unless there are any issues, he’ll just crack on with the job – there are times we don’t even know he’s there! They do such a great job, right from the initial quote and advice through to the actual work – they’re knowledgeable, always really helpful and work together with us in meeting the standards for the pitches and our facility as a whole.”

For more information, visit: www.replaymaintenance.co.uk

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