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Real life scenarios to develop the Ranger Diesel

Real life scenarios to develop the Ranger Diesel: Since its founding in 1954, Polaris has been inviting people to Think Outside and discover the joy of being outdoors.

The innovation, performance and growth that has allowed Polaris to become a global leader in off-road vehicles have been driven by the diversity and passion of its customers, staff, dealers and stakeholders across the world. To celebrate the people behind the brand, Polaris has launched a new initiative, called Polaris People, to showcase how, for many people, Polaris isn’t just a brand but a life choice.

Real life scenarios to develop the Ranger Diesel

Real life scenarios to develop the Ranger Diesel

Polaris People is a video series documenting the stories of individuals across Europe, Middle East and Africa, where Polaris plays an essential role in their lives, all united by a thirst for the outdoors.

EPISODE 2: Rhys Thomas, Hill Farmer in Wales

For more than 20 years, Polaris has been building off-road vehicles that represent years of research and development, allowing them to perform better, work harder and ride smoother. The launch of the new Ranger Diesel in 2019 was no exception: Inspired by its users, Polaris saw the opportunity to develop the Ranger Diesel into something specifically adapted to its European market. To do this, Polaris enlisted the help of existing customers to drive improvements in line with real-life requirements.

The second episode of Polaris People introduces Rhys Thomas – a hill farmer in Wales, UK, and a longstanding Polaris customer. Living in Wales – a country known for its rugged coastline, contrasting valleys and mountains and temperamental weather conditions – Pen Isa Dre Farm boasts endless rolling hills in a secluded area of Abergele, making it the perfect destination for testing the capabilities of the pre-production Ranger Diesel.

Rhys was one of four UK farmers selected to test the Ranger Diesel before it was launched. Being a hill farmer, he relies on his Polaris machines to reach all areas of his land, as well as making his daily tasks more efficient, like fencing, rounding up and moving around the animals with a trailer, towing the animal feeders, and even as a means of transport in snowy and adverse weather conditions when other vehicles are not able to access the farm.

“We were big fans of the previous diesel model, so we were a little cautious trying the new one,” said Rhys. “But we soon realised that it was indeed a much better, improved machine. My son summed the model up by calling it ‘The Beast’.”

Improved reliability, durability, performance and refinement were all key objectives for the project, and Polaris was keen to ensure the product had delivered on these before it made the final call to release the product into production.

With its new, powerful and durable diesel engine and lower cost of ownership thanks to an increased engine service interval to over 200 hours, plus a host of other design, capability and ergonomic enhancements, the satisfaction from the customer trials was overwhelming, leading to the launch of the Ranger Diesel as we now know it in April 2019.

“The Ranger Diesel is a godsend for us, and we were happy to be a part of its initial trial in the UK. Tried, tested and approved by us.”

Check out the second episode of Polaris People to join Rhys and his son on their family farm in Wales, as they give you an inside look at the beautiful Welsh countryside and how the Ranger Diesel helps their everyday life. Available to watch on the Polaris Off-Road International YouTube channel here.

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The life of a Dundee groundsman

The life of a Dundee groundsman: It’s no walk in the park being a groundsman at a Scottish football club when the dark winter hits.

Read the full article from The Courier here

The life of a Dundee groundsman

The life of a Dundee groundsman

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Rigby Taylor Renews Life At Lees Hall GC

Rigby Taylor Renews Life At Lees Hall GC: When joining 18-hole Lees Hall Golf Club in 2016, Ian Whitehead knew that simply by applying common sense greenkeeping practices – coupled with the right amenity products – he would be able to make a difference. The badly-presented, badly-playing course was effectively “playing second fiddle to the club’s social/bar facilities” and members were drifting away.

Today, part-way through what Ian reckons could be a ten-year programme of improvements to the course, there is a massive turnaround with ‘lost’ members returning and new ones joining – to the extent that over 100 new members have signed up during the past year.

Rigby Taylor Renews Life At Lees Hall GC

With more than 30 years’ experience of greenkeeping in the Sheffield area, starting on a YTS course at Hallamshire GC, then at Stocksbridge GC before moving to Hillsborough GC as head greenkeeper aged 24 – plus having Levels 2 and 3 accreditations in greenkeeping and Level 3 in management – 48-year-old Ian joined the Sheffield-based club “when the greens chairman wanted someone to help out the greens staff”.

Ian picks up the story: “I immediately saw that with a bit of TLC the course (tees, greens and fairways) could be turned around. So, within a few weeks, I had borrowed the appropriate machinery and I set about double cutting and getting some stripes in. I also instigated a regime of regular scarification and aeration (we’re on clay), and applied fertilsers and topdressing – a normal regime!

“In fact, we’ve applied a lot of topdressing – 80 tonnes last year and more than 100 tonnes this year – and we now also regularly Shockwave and slit the fairways.

“The first thing I did was to double-cut the 1st and 17th tees down to 10 mm – the tees that are in view when you arrive at the course. First impressions count!”

Andy Rossington, the club’s resident professional, and the greens committee could immediately see that what Ian was doing was working and they were very supportive by for example, investing in a number of new machines “that have made a big difference, including new mowers for the tees, greens and semi-rough areas”.

As a result, Ian was appointed head greenkeeper four months later, in November 2016. “That gave me a full winter to get everything organised and ‘tidied up’ ready for the new season. We’re now in the second season and we’re getting there!”

Support was not only forthcoming from the greens committee and Andy. Over a number of years Ian has worked with Rigby Taylor’s Technical Representative Mike Brear, who had put together programmes of treatments to benefit the courses Ian had worked on.

Rigby Taylor Renews Life At Lees Hall GC

“To an extent, I simply followed that programme here,” says Ian. “But these were old push-up greens and I didn’t want to ‘open them up’ too soon and too quickly, so I took a measured approach during the first season, waiting until the course looked a bit ‘tired’. Also, being north facing, this parkland course battles all the elements and in the spring suffers relatively slow growth rates.

Now, Ian applies his full Rigby Taylor programme, and he particularly highlights the Breaker Biolinks wetting agent which is applied six times a year as an indispensable product for Dry Patch prevention and root generation.

With an annual overseed of Rigby Taylor’s R105 Browntop bent blend, the current programme includes regular (twice a year, in April and September) use of Microlite micro-granular fertiliser, plus Microflow controlled-release liquid fertiliser in May, June and July, along with applications of Magnet Rapide liquid iron and Magnet Dynamic (turf colour enhancers, twice and once, respectively), Maintain NT plant growth regulator for dense swarf and improved root mass (seven times a year), K-Form potassium supplement (five times) and the Spike ‘tournament preparation’ mixture of potassium and silica (twice).

“These products have never let me down in the past,” adds Ian, “and I see no reason why they will now.”

He concludes: “There’s still a lot to do, especially with thatch levels on the greens and approaches, as well as work to the bunkers and the drainage, plus to the trees that shade many of the greens and tees. I think the approaches alone will take three to four years to get them where I want them. But I’m already seeing massive improvements in the fairways (through slitting).

“My goal is to make this the leading golf club in Sheffield, and with the backing of the committee and the members plus the continued technical support from Rigby Taylor, there is no reason why this can’t be the case.”

The last word is with Andy Rossington, the resident pro: “It’s no exaggeration to say that before Ian’s input, the first green here resembled the moon – it was desperate! But news of the improvements to the course has travelled, as is reflected in the boost to membership.

“Importantly, too, the greenkeeping team as a whole can now be proud of what they are achieving. Everyone here agrees with that, especially the golfers.”

New Life For Sports Surface Thanks To Replay

New Life For Sports Surface Thanks To Replay: The Pasture (Fairways) Sports Complex boasts an astroturf surface which is a hub for sport in the community of Sherburn-in-Elmet, North Yorkshire. A true multi-functional pitch, it see’s many hours of play per week taking its toll on the condition of the surface. Synthetic specialists Replay Maintenance were recently called in to conduct their Rejuvenation® process, which has given the pitch a new lease of life.

Owned by Selby District Council, the day to day running of the site is controlled by Parish Council Clerk of 34 years Margaret Gibson. “The Pastures is a great asset and hosts a variety of sports including hockey, football and tennis. The upkeep of the pitch, together with the surrounding park, falls to a contractor but this is really just on an ad-hoc basis and following months of poor weather, and high play usage the pitch was in need of a more thorough deep clean.” The services of Replay were recommended by a local England Hockey representative, to which Replay are the sole official maintenance partner.

New Life For Sports Surface Thanks To Replay

“Replay came in to conduct their Rejuvenation® process at the end of April and the end result was fantastic. It refurbished the pitch to a point where it looked like a new surface which was welcomed by all of the clubs and players who use the site.” Replay’s unique Rejuvenation process uses constant air-flow plenum technology and compressed air to remove the contaminated top layer of sand; restore the pile to vertical and fill again with new clean infill. It can restore a surface to an ‘as new’ condition for appearance, drainage and performance and often double the playing life of a pitch for a fraction of the cost of a replacement carpet.

Following the successful Rejuvenation®, the Parish Council made the decision to appoint Replay on a service agreement basis which will now see them visit twice a year to conduct a deep-clean. Sales Director of Replay Maintenance Nick Harris reiterates the importance of planned maintenance. “Choosing regular, arranged maintenance gives you peace of mind that your surface is getting the treatment required, at a fixed amount and at intervals that suit the needs of each individual facility. With Replay we also conduct pre and post maintenance testing to show the difference the maintenance regime is making, enabling you to plan future requirements far more effectively.”

New Life For Sports Surface Thanks To Replay

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Park Life

Park Life: A report by the Heritage Lottery Fund, State of UK’s Public Parks, suggests that in the UK 34 million people visit a park regularly. To put this into context, more people visit one in a year than voted in the 2015 General Election.

The Victorian philanthropists who had the vision to create the world’s first public parks understood the importance of green space for the health and wellbeing of society. Access to good quality green space is vital if we are to tackle some of the challenges that we face, including the growing problem of obesity, the rise in mental health issues and the feelings of being disconnected from the communities in which we live. Research shows that having well-managed, accessible green space contributes to tackling many of these issues.

Park Life

This is where the Green Flag Award can help, because it supports organisations that provide quality green spaces. Parks are only well-used and valued if they feel clean and safe. Fear of crime is one of the biggest barriers to certain groups using a park to exercise or relax and if a park looks unloved and uncared for, this can lead to an increase in anti-social behaviour.

Launched in the UK in 1996, the Green Flag Award has transformed our country’s green spaces. It was introduced to reverse the decline in the quality of our parks that had happened in the 1970s and 1980s and it has worked.

When it was launched, only seven parks met the standard required to fly a Green Flag Award today more than 1,600 parks and green spaces have a flag flying. The Green Flag Award has delivered change in the UK’s parks and green spaces and raised standards by setting the standard. It has shown that running a park that is well-used and valued by its community is about more than just cutting the grass.

It has established that effective management and the use of skilled staff, along with support of the local community, are key to creating fantastic public parks. In addition, the Green Flag Award has supported the professionalism of the parks sector. It has provided an opportunity to share good practice through a network of more than 800 volunteer judges that supports new applicants.

For those running our country’s parks and green spaces, the Green Flag Award is an invaluable tool, whether the space they are managing is a traditional park, a cemetery, a shopping centre or a university.

The Award helps focus activity on the important elements of management and provides a proven, successful framework. It enables the development of a costed management plan that allows resources to be focused in areas that will have the biggest effect. It also allows managers to demonstrate that resources are being used to their best effect and money is being spent appropriately and delivering value for money.

The aim of the Green Flag Award is to ensure that everyone has access to a quality green space and to enable them to live more healthy lifestyles.

Park Life

The number of Green Flags Awards flying in Britain –and further afield – today is the proof that many others share that vision.

As a green flag judge, I get to visit some amazing parks and open spaces every year. Judging usually starts in April and completed in June with flags awarded in late August.

This year I judged several parks, one of which was Priory Park in Dudley. The town of Dudley has a long and illustrious history and heritage with is famous castle, National Nature Reserve, limestone and mining history, and fantastic canal system. Dudley Priory is a little known gem nestling in the heart of the town centre. The Dudley Priory was founded by Sir Gervase Paganel and served a community of monks and lay people for several hundred years until it was demolished during the 16th century by Henry VIII during the dissolution of the monasteries.

The Priory Park restoration project which was funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund has developed the park significantly and has restored and enhanced many of its impressive features from its 1930’s inception and beyond. One of the most impressive features which has been improved has been the ruined Priory itself

The Ranger posts which have also been funded for five years have meant that themed events and activities with schools and community groups take place on a regular basis and the park is now a lively and vibrant place once more. Local people have been trained to deliver sporting, horticultural and heritage-based events in the park, and the park pavilion itself, once a derelict and burnt out shell has been reinvigorated and revived to become a local hub for the community, in a splendid green landscaped setting.

Trees make an important contribution to the park’s special landscape and historic interest. The 2009 tree survey recorded 501 trees within the park, with just over half of these being classed as mature. In recent times a significant number of large mature specimens have been removed as a result of disease and as a precautionary measure to protect the safety of visitors. Further felling of 51 trees as part of the restoration work was recommended in the tree survey and has now been completed.

During my visit I get to meet the people and staff responsible for managing the park the lead officer responsible for Priory Park is Liz Stuffins who obliged me by answering a few questions about her role and the work undertaken as part of their Business plan for Priory Park.

Turf Matters:- How long have you been working for Dudley MBC ?  

Liz Stuffins:- I have been with Dudley MBC for nine years

TM:- What is your role with the council and how many parks and open spaces do you manage?

LS:- My role is Development of Parks and open spaces, my team works with residents, visitors and sports groups to improve and restore parks, and make them more pleasant places to visit. I manage large capital programmes such as Lottery Funds, 106 planning obligations, funding and other funding sources to improve parks. We have had large public Health grants and government grants to deliver projects, and we work with community organisations to improve volunteering and events and activities on sites. We have 28 main parks we work on.

TM:- How is the maintenance work carried out in the park?

LS:-The maintenance work at Priory Park is carried out by site based staff plus the north area team who are peripatetic. We also have a number of volunteers who assist the site-based team, plus the apprentices who use the site for learning and project delivery. Although the Authority no longer has glasshouses to grow bedding, the Council is working with Dudley Mind who are working on a Growing in the Park project. They manage the glasshouses and the apprentices will work with them to gain this experience as part of their training.

TM:- Why do you support Green Flag? What benefits do you get from having the award?

LS:- The Green Flag Award is really important to the Borough as it sets the standards for high quality parks. The four Lottery funded parks have all got Green Flag status, plus we have two other parks which have the Flag where the community or public Health have helped to fund raise for intiatives/projects in Coseley and Dudley Town Centre.

Park Life

TM:- How many green flag sites do you have ?

LS:- Six sites have Green Flag Status two of these are Nature Reserves, we are working on a cemetary project which we hope will get Green Flag and some Community projects such as allotment sites.

TM:- You have a good apprentice ships scheme running in the park, what benefits do you get from running this programme?

LS:- The apprenticeship scheme has been running since our government funded Future Skills project ceased 7 years ago. The Council is really committed to training up young people to provide a better workforce. The Green care team recognise that the workforce is very old and close to retirement and needs to develop succession planning.

TM:- As an industry do you think we are doing enough to encourage the next generation of parks managers or are we a dying breed?

LS:- Our industry has a huge opportunity to train others and to encourage others to join the industry. Parks managers need so many different skills these days, but there are people who want to work in the environmental industry, but not necessarily have the traditional horticultural training that parks managers of old had. I have a background in ecology and environmental management with a passion to see local people care for their local green spaces. We are seeing local people becoming the champions for parks with the rise of the Parks’ Friends’ movement.

TM:- What further improvement would you like to see in the Park?

LS:- Priory Park really does need to become a thriving hub for Dudley’s regeneration. Dudley has a number of excellent visitor attractions, Zoo, BC Museum etc, the Park needs to be sold as part of the tourism package. I am working on delivering the café at the park which we hope will be open next year. I would also like the park to be hosting more events and activities, the Churches Together event is being held next weekend and the Friends have several ideas for events in the future.

I really enjoyed meeting the staff and getting to know what Dudley MBC had in mind to secure the future of Priory Park, I may be tad biased, but you really cannot put a price on these valuable parks and open spaces, we collectively have a duty to secure their future for the next generation. Maintaining Greenflag status without doubt plays an important role in doing this.  I like to thank Dudley’s  MBC staff and friends of the park who made me feel very welcome on the day, and we will all look forward to finding out if they managed to maintain Greenflag status later in the year.

Headland Bring Greens Back To Life

Headland Bring Greens Back To Life: Over the autumn and winter of 2016/17, Basingstoke’s Test Valley Golf Club was hit with a serious Fusarium attack which left their greens weakened and scar damaged. Course Manager Dave Ross turned to Alex Hawkes of Headland Amenity to help with the creation of a recovery programme – applied it at the right time to maximise the results by using the Headland WeatherCheck service.

“Looking back at it now, the greens didn’t go into the period as strong as they should have been, leaving them vulnerable to disease” explains Dave, who heads up a team of 4 greenkeepers. “It was clear the damage from the Fusarium attack was extensive so I asked Alex for advice to put together a recovery plan, to try and give the greens a kick start into spring.” Alex recommended C-Complex 5-2-10, an organic mineral fertiliser capable of working in low temperatures making it an ideal spring starter.

Headland Bring Greens Back To Life

Alex explains, “I told Dave how C-Complex could provide a burst of early growth, which could help to grow the disease scars back in. However, to give it the best chance, I consulted the WeatherCheck service to find the optimum window of opportunity. As this was February, I was not overly hopeful however I could see there was an uplift in ‘Growth Potential’ imminent so we organised a next day delivery of the product for Dave to apply – the products performance, coupled with the window of increased soil temperatures, delivered amazing results and gave the greens the kick start they needed moving into the main playing season.”

“It was a new product to us” says Dave, “but it did exactly what Alex said it would.” Following this, between April and September they’ve had success on the greens with a programme of Seamac Ultra Plus, C-Complex and TeMag Elite. “We’ve also kept an eye on the ‘Evapotranspiration’ module on WeatherCheck which gives us an idea of when the greens are likely to experience drought stress. Using this information, we have been using TriCure Granular as a pre-emptive stress reliever on the driest areas, again to great effect.”

Headland’s WeatherCheck is a customer and postcode weather service which features a general 7- day forecast, as well as detailed 3-hourly, daily weather forecasts showing predicted rainfall, expected wind strength and precipitation probability. It also contains many specific agronomic modules, facilitating the turf manager to take a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to programmes and applications.

For more information, visit: www.headlandamenity.com

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New Life For Old Greens With Terrain Aeration

New life for old greens with Terrain Aeration: The original course at Hartley Wintney Golf Club dates back to 1891 when it was laid out as a traditional 9 hole parkland course.

An extra 9 holes were added in 2000 to offer a well laid out variation of both traditional and new designs. Whilst the new holes and six of the original ones have sand based greens three of the old soil greens, what became the 11th, 12th and 17th, were retained and these date back to when the course was first built. The 17th for example is a lovely Par 3 protected by a channel of trees and a small green.

As one of the original holes it is regarded as a gem and most peoples’ favourite hole on the course. The original greens however, did have a drainage problem and in winter particularly were holding onto too much moisture.

New Life For Old Greens With Terrain Aeration

To alleviate this, for both aesthetic and cost-effective considerations, Hartley Wintney GC called on the services of Terrain Aeration. The greens are cut using a John Deere 2500E, which reduces triplex ring with exclusive offset cutting units, and a Baroness LM55 Pedestrian. Prior to the Terrain Aeration treatment a Verti-Drain was used with 12mm diameter tines to a depth of 250mm to open up the surface and allow the compressed air to escape during treatment. A Toro ProCore was also used to remove thatch from the surface. Following preparation Terrain Aeration moved in with the specialist Superscamper Terralift deep penetration aeration system, working two metres apart, to blast air at 18 bar pressure to break up the compaction and panning. Where the ground is exceptionally hard the specially incorporated JCB hammer drives the probe down to the one metre depth, where it releases the air blast, followed by the injection of dried seaweed. This serves to maintain the aeration to get oxygen to the grass roots and continue to relieve compaction as the seaweed swells with moisture, keeping the fissures open. The compressed air exits through the previously created Verti-Drain slits.

“The greens were back into play immediately,” says Matthew Rolls, the club’s Course Manager. “One green needed a little levelling to deal with some high spots but that was to be expected. We then backfilled the holes with Lytag and topped up with rootzone. The two guys from Terrain Aeration were very good, exceptionally helpful and a pleasure to have on the site.”

Terrain Aeration have been treating golf courses, sports pitches, amenity areas, trees and gardens for over twenty-five years using the Terralift deep penetration aeration system and have a long history of testimonies to the effectiveness of the treatment.

Terrain Aeration 01449 673783 www.terrainaeration.com

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