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Kubota set to support #GroundsWeek

Kubota set to support #GroundsWeek: Kubota (U.K.) Ltd is proud to officially support the Grounds Management Association’s #GroundsWeek, an inaugural celebration week for the turf care sector.

Managed by the Grounds Management Association (GMA), the leading not-for-profit membership body for grounds professionals and volunteers, the turf care campaign will take place 1-7 March 2021 and will celebrate and highlight the vital role that professional grounds staff, volunteers, and the turf sector play in making sport possible.

Kubota set to support #GroundsWeek

Kubota set to support #GroundsWeek

Following a difficult year for the sector due to the impact of Covid-19, #GroundsWeek aims to showcase grounds staff and the amazing work that they do – and have continued to do – despite sport coming to a grinding halt. It also comes after a year where parks and green spaces have been hugely valuable to the public’s health, with increased use for ‘daily exercise’ and physical activity.

To celebrate the week, Kubota (UK) Ltd will be highlighting the essential role of the groundsman via its social media channels.

Kubota (UK) Ltd General Manager Henry Bredin commented: “At Kubota, we’re immensely proud of the fantastic relationship we share with professional groundsmen, who work so hard all year round to maintain and enhance sports and leisure facilities for everyone to enjoy. During #GroundsWeek we look forward to highlighting the incredible job that they do and how they use our equipment to achieve the best results.”

Geoff Webb, CEO of the GMA, said:

“After a tough year, GroundsWeek is a fantastic opportunity for every part of the sector to come together and celebrate all the hard work that’s gone on throughout the year. We want to inspire sports fans and the general public to realise the vital role we play and get even more people to enter the profession and lend a helping hand at pitches across the country.

“We’re grateful to those officially supporting #GroundsWeek, with businesses and partners helping us champion grounds staff and the amazing work they do.

More information on #GroundsWeek can be found here.

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Golf greenkeepers ask for support

Golf greenkeepers ask for support: BIGGA has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement regarding the timetable for the reopening of golf.

As the members’ association for golf greenkeepers in the UK, BIGGA is acutely aware that golfers are eager to get back out on the course and start enjoying the limitless physical and mental health benefits of our wonderful sport.

Golf greenkeepers ask for support

Golf greenkeepers ask for support

However, as golfers have found in Scotland, where courses have remained open for limited play, this has been an incredibly wet and difficult winter and many greenkeepers have reported being able to do very limited maintenance throughout the colder months.

As such, while disappointed that the restart of golf will not be until 29 March in England, BIGGA welcomes the notice period as it will enable golf facilities to complete any essential winter maintenance and prepare the course for play to a standard that will not be detrimental to the long-term health of the facility.

Over the coming weeks BIGGA will be working alongside the governing bodies in golf to provide information regarding reasonable expectations of course presentation, so that returning golfers are aware of the challenges greenkeepers have faced with regards climate, staffing and COVID-19 restrictions and to ensure a safe, happy and prosperous return to golf for everyone.

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Brokenhurst Manor benefits from dealer support

Brokenhurst Manor benefits from dealer support: Situated in the village of Brockenhurst in the New Forest National Park, Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club is one of Hampshire’s finest woodland/heathland courses. The club likes to point out that theirs is the correct and original spelling although it is pronounced the same as with the c, which was added to the railway station name in the 19th century by mistake and stuck.

The club hosted the first of last summer’s eight Rose Ladies Series tournaments, sponsored by Justin Rose. This was held in June just five weeks after re-opening following a 10-week lockdown, when the greenkeeping team was only doing essential maintenance to keep the course tidy. The idea for the series came from club member and Ladies European Tour player Liz Young, who was beaten by Charley Hull in a play-off at the inaugural event.

Brokenhurst Manor benefits from dealer support

Brokenhurst Manor benefits from dealer support

It was the pre-tournament support that club manager Kevin Light and course manager Kevan Glass received from John Deere’s local turf dealer Hunt Forest Group, particularly groundscare sales & golf specialist Andy Johnson and golf demonstrator Rob Patrick, that contributed to the decision to sign Brokenhurst Manor’s first ever fleet package deal using a John Deere Financial contract lease arrangement.

As a result, the club’s greenkeeping team now uses a 7500A PrecisionCut fairway mower, two 2653B tees & surrounds mowers, TX Turf and TE electric Gator utility vehicles, a ProGator equipped with a Charterhouse top dresser and a 5075E utility tractor on low ground pressure tyres, plus ancillary equipment including a tractor trailer, a Campey TB 220 brush and a Tru-Turf greens roller.

“Our previous five-year contract was up for renewal in the summer, and the decision to change to John Deere was influenced by a number of things,” says Kevin Light, who has been manager for three years. “Chief among these was that Andy and Rob were very forthcoming with loan machines for testing, demonstrations and tournament support. Both John Deere and the dealership did a very professional job all the way through this period and were really helpful when we needed it.”

“We’ve run John Deere tractors here for 20 years, used Gators before and know the 2653 utility mowers well, but the A Model fairway mower and the Tru-Turf roller were firsts for us,” adds Kevan Glass. “We managed to stay positive through the initial lockdown period and utilised the time as well as we could. Along with the new kit, we were able to get quite a few extra jobs done and ticked a number of boxes while we were shut.

“There are not a lot of clubs like this one, with the forest all around us – the natural beauty of the woodland feeds onto the golf course, it’s very tranquil and provides great views all the way round. However, with a clay subsoil and situated on a flood plain, it can be a hard job keeping it in top condition. Nowadays people want the full golf course experience, they don’t want tee mats and temporary greens during the winter months for example, so it’s definitely more of a challenge than it was 10 or 20 years ago.”

Since Kevin Light took over as club manager, a number of other significant changes have been made and there is a waiting list for members. “We have a great team here now, with Kevan and the greenkeepers, our bar manager Kevin Casswell and club pro Jason MacNiven, who is one of the UK’s leading club fitters, all working together rather than as separate entities,” he says.

“As a members club run primarily for our members, we know what people want to see the club evolve into. However, the whole place is a lot more social these days, and I’d like to think more welcoming to visitors. We are now looking forward to hosting another important tournament, the Brabazon Trophy Southern Qualifier, in May if permitted, and I believe the club can continue to grow and prosper, despite what we’ve all had to go through in 2020 and early 2021.”

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YANA and Harrowden Turf support rural mental health

YANA and Harrowden Turf support rural mental health: Harrowden Turf is pleased to announce a new partnership with YANA – providers of rural mental health support. Early in 2021 a new Harrowden Turf delivery vehicle will feature YANA branding and will be seen across the country.

YANA provides practical guidance and confidential counselling to those in farming and rural businesses. Farming or working in the countryside is usually a good way of life but it can be a demanding and stressful occupation. Many people involved with agriculture can feel isolated, depressed or unable to cope.

YANA and Harrowden Turf support rural mental health

YANA and Harrowden Turf support rural mental health

One in five people in the UK will experience poor mental health so Harrowden Turf is working with YANA to emphasise that no-one who works in the rural economy is alone.

Harrowden Turf has adopted the YANA corporate identity one of its trucks which will cover more than 100,000 miles every year. The objective of the partnership is to make more people aware of the support that exists and which is focussed on the rural economy.

Stuart Ridd-Jones – Harrowden Turf Managing Director:

“If 2020 has taught us anything it is that we are stronger together and whilst all businesses have had to adapt to the pandemic those within rural businesses often work alone, can feel alone and struggle to access support services.”

Melinda Raker –YANA Patron:

“YANA is delighted to take to the road in this way. This Harrowden Turf vehicle with our logo and contact details will help to ‘drive’ home the message that there is practical help and advice available to improve rural mental health.”

For more information:

  1. Harrowden Turf and Turfonline Media Office please email marketing@harrowdenturf.co.uk or call 07980 568842

YANA – please email pr@yanahelp.org.uk or visit our website www.yanahelp.org.uk

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Advice & support secures switch to Johnsons

Advice & support secures switch to Johnsons: Backed with advice from two trusted industry contacts Richard Ponsford, Course Manager at Clevedon Golf Club, has been delighted with his switch to Johnsons Sports Seed.

The combination of Johnsons J All Bent on greens and J Rye Fairway has now been in use at the picturesque parkland course for two years, delivering results that means that Richard would never go back to using any other seed.

Advice & support secures switch to Johnsons

Advice & support secures switch to Johnsons

When Richard joined the club in North Somerset just over two years ago, he very quickly built up a rapport with Johnsons Technical Manager Ian Barnett and Joe Hendy, his local distributor for AGS. “In this industry, the support and advice of colleagues goes a long way and knowing AGS is a key distributor of Johnsons, I was keen to explore the range.” With poa/bent dominated swards on sand-based greens, the first switch was to the Johnsons J All Bent mixture.

“We’ve overseeded with J All Bent, which contains Arrowtown and Manor, and it has done a fantastic job at reducing Poa annua invasion, increasing the bent content and thereby improving the playing speed of our greens. This autumn, I consulted again with my technical managers about one historical problematic green which was adversely affected by disease in the summer – the suggestion was rather unconventional, oversowing with J Premier Wicket. We needed something that would take well and become a nurse crop for the Arrowtown and Manor as we head into the cooler months. While we only put this perennial rye mix down at the end of October it has established well, and is growing in to give us coverage and strength for the winter.”

For their divot mix and overseeding on other areas such as tees and collars, Richard is using the hard-wearing J Rye Fairway mixture. “This delivers really quick establishment making it ideal for repairs. Our members carry divot bags with them, and they enjoy seeing the quick response they get from using the Rye Fairway mix on divot marks.”

At the time of writing, the second lockdown in England has seen play suspended for four weeks giving Richard and his team time to complete a bunker renovation project which commenced in October. “We’ve seeded the new bunker surrounds with the J Rye Fairway mix, instead of turfing them, which will be established and presenting well by the time members return for play, and will save us both time and money.”

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Ground-Guards strengthens support for groundscare

Ground-Guards strengthens support for groundscare: Ground-Guards Ltd, the UK’s leading supplier of high performance temporary access solutions, has launched a brand new ground protection system that can be installed in support of the Government’s social distancing policy.

Ideal for use in the groundscare industry, Ground-Guards’ FastCover PLUS is made from environmentally friendly 100% recycled PVC and can be configured with highly visible yellow markers every 2m as a constant reminder for people to maintain a safe distance from each other.

Ground-Guards strengthens support for groundscare

Ground-Guards strengthens support for groundscare


This innovative and cost-effective system is an extension of Ground-Guard’s popular FastCover range and features unique interlocking flanges for improved ease of use and a superior trip-free surface. Lighter and easier to install, FastCover PLUS is a versatile ground protection solution suitable for a wide range of applications, from surface protection for block paving and interior floors, to creating safe clean paths and walkways during site works.

Weighing just 14.5kg per mat, FastCover PLUS, can be laid directly onto grass, footpaths or stone bases, with its superior anti-slip surface delivering maximum health and safety benefits. Furthermore, the mats have built-in hand holes, providing ultimate ease-of-use for the handler. Built with durability and longevity in mind, FastCover PLUS features an innovative honeycomb underside, providing strong structural support and ultimately increasing the useable life of the product.

Marcus Oliver, Product Development Manager at Ground-Guards, commented: “As Britain’s groundscare sector continues to play a vital role in the nationwide effort against Coronavirus, we’re committed to supporting the sector do its work as quickly – and safely – as possible.

“That’s one of the key reasons we’ve launched our FastCover PLUS social distancing walkways.  The solution is cost-effective and sustainable, with the versatile matting system not only delivering a superior trip-free surface, for maximum safety, but it’s also quick and easy-to-install for visible two metre social distancing implementation – a key consideration for a sector reliant on safe and seamless operations.”

Backing up the launch of FastCover Plus is Ground-Guards commitment to provide its customers with a first class service offering, which includes product warranties and access to training at the company’s state-of-the-art facilities in Yorkshire.

To find out more about Ground-Guards’ FastCover Plus visit https://www.ground-guards.co.uk/products/fastcover-plus/ or 0113 267 6000.

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Martinstown CC’s message of support

Martinstown CC’s message of support: Martinstown Cricket Club have found a unique way to get behind the NHS, leaving a message of support in the middle of their pitch.

The club has shown their love and support for the NHS by cutting a pattern of the three letters encased in a heart into the turf.

Martinstown CC's message of support

Martinstown CC’s message of support

With many members of the club and their families’ working for the NHS in the fight against coronavirus, the club’s groundsman, Tony Jacobs and its President, Jim Godding decided to use their time and resources to pay tribute to the NHS.

Mr Jacobs said: “We had the time and the place to show that the club is indebted, as we all are, to the NHS.

“Jim and I were proud to do it, and we made sure to social distance throughout, of course.

“There may be no cricket possible, but we are glad to have the opportunity to pay tribute to our wonderful NHS.”

Click here to read the original article

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JCB support the homeless

JCB support the homeless: JCB has stepped up its food aid programme to cater for homeless people in North Staffordshire.

Since the launch of the JCB ‘Food for our Communities’ programme – the idea of Lady Bamford, wife of JCB Chairman Lord Bamford – the company has provided more than 3,600 cottage pies for disadvantaged people across the area.

JCB support the homeless

JCB support the homeless

Now JCB is expanding the initiative by adding sandwiches to the menu – making 500 every week for distribution across Stoke-on-Trent.

One of the first recipients of the sandwiches is the Brighter Futures organisation, which has co-ordinated the provision of accommodation for homeless people in hotels and hostels to enable them to safely self-isolate during the Coronavirus crisis.

The organisation is including the sandwiches in daily food parcels being distributed to homeless people in Burslem and Hanley and, according to company director Maureen Eastgate, the support is “really appreciated.”

She said: “It means on a daily basis that the people who need food, are getting good quality food from a very reliable source. Without the help of JCB and others, we would be struggling, given the extra demand brought about by this crisis. What the company is doing is very much appreciated by everyone who needs the food.”

The sandwiches are being lovingly prepared on behalf of JCB by partners Sue Hodgkinson and Brian Stephenson, of Oakamoor, near Cheadle, whose company Tier Solutions are the contract caterers at JCB’s Global Learning facility next to the World HQ at Rocester.

Sue said: “As a contractor we very much see ourselves are part of the JCB family and as such had no hesitation offering our services to such a great project inspired by Lady Bamford.”

Each week the pair are getting through 1,500 slices of bread, 11 kilos of butter, 12 kilos of ham and cheese and 25 kilos of tomatoes.
It’s all part of an initiative that started more than two weeks ago with the company’s catering staff in the UK and India preparing more than 37,500 meals a week for distribution around towns and villages located close to its plants.

JCB’s kitchens in Staffordshire are being supported with the provision of food from organic farms at Daylesford in Gloucestershire. So far, Daylesford – founded by Lady Bamford – has supplied more than half a tonne of organic beef mince to the project, with staff working seven days a week to support the food aid initiative.

In the UK, JCB is also working with the The Hubb Foundation in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, to distribute food to children and families, as well as Stoke-on-Trent City Council, which is distributing JCB meals to vulnerable adults and children across the city.

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ECB unveils interim support package

ECB unveils interim support package: The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) today announced a £61 million package to help cricket withstand the financial impact of COVID-19.

The plans detail a number of measures for the whole sport from elite to grassroots, including the MCC, the First-Class Counties (FCCs) and their County Cricket Boards (CCBs).

ECB unveils interim support package

ECB unveils interim support package

Local cricket clubs will also be offered support to see them through the coming months.

In accordance with Government advice the start of the cricket season has been delayed until at least 28 May. A range of options for cricket to begin in June, July or August are currently being modelled.

With revenues impacted across the game – from both cricket and non-cricket activities, the ECB Board today approved plans to expedite payments from a number of areas within its 2020-2021 planned distribution budgets.

Around £40m will be made immediately available through:

  • Early release of three months’ (May-July) county partnership distributions to FCCs and CCBs
  • The immediate availability of two years’ facilities maintenance distribution
    – Funds available unfettered and not restricted to facilities maintenance expenditure
    – A further £5.5m to be made available for counties who are not eligible for 2020-2021 ordinary facilities maintenance distributions
  • Suspension of international staging fees for four months and waiving of international staging fees payable in 2020 if the match is not played as scheduled due to COVID-19

An extra budget of just over £20m will become available to the recreational game through a cricket club support loan scheme, grants through the “Return to Cricket” scheme and a 12-month holiday on loan repayments for recreational clubs.

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ECHA support action against COVID-19

ECHA support action against COVID-19: ECHA will, together with the European Commission, support Member States and industry in addressing disinfectant shortages. The Agency will also extend some of its deadlines to help chemicals companies.

ECHA is taking measures to support EU action to fight the pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The Agency will, together with the European Commission, support Member States and industry to address shortages with the supply of disinfectants, which has become a critical issue in several EU Member States.

ECHA support action against COVID-19

ECHA support action against COVID-19

Bjorn Hansen, ECHA’s Executive Director says: “It is essential to ensure that there are enough disinfectants available for health professionals and European citizens. The main limiting factor seems to be the availability of active substances used in these biocidal products – in particular isopropanol, 1-propanol and ethanol. We are working, together with the Commission, on special arrangements to help Member States and companies get more disinfectants on the market as soon as possible.”

More details about concrete actions will follow soon.

Deadlines for certain processes will also be handled flexibly, including the payment of invoices. For certain deadlines that fall between now and the end of May 2020, companies will receive an extension of two months. This applies to cases where companies have initially failed to provide a complete registration for their chemicals and were granted a final deadline between March and May 2020, as well as for requests for further information related to confidentiality claims.

An extension of 30 days will also apply for companies to comment on ECHA’s draft decisions in cases where a registration has been considered incompliant with legal requirements.

More information on these arrangements will be published soon and duty holders will also be informed directly through ECHA’s IT systems.

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