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John Deere supports the ECGC Masters

John Deere supports the ECGC Masters: The month of April is synonymous in golf for the Masters, and each year Education City Golf Cub runs its own version of the tournament over the 18-hole Championship course, which recently hosted the European Tour’s Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

The ECGC Masters was held on April 9 & 10, and this year John Deere supported the club event in conjunction with the effort that went into setting up the golf course to present Augusta-like conditions.

John Deere supports the ECGC Masters

John Deere supports the ECGC Masters

The tournament aims to ensure that all details are aligned to the Masters in terms of course conditions, fast greens and immaculate presentation, all prepared by a fleet of 93 John Deere machines including tractors and greens, fairway & rough mowers, giving members and guests an exceptional experience over the two-day event. Players competed in the gross division for the ECGC Masters green jacket, while others could compete in the net division for some great prizes.

“The ECGC Masters is a signature event at Education City Golf Club,” said the club’s Director of Golf Rhys Beecher. “It is an opportunity to showcase the fantastic playing surfaces and course conditions during a two-day tournament. The team here enjoy making the small touches that bring the ECGC Masters to life for both our members and the guests that participate. John Deere is a terrific partner, as its precision equipment helps elevate the ECGC Masters to one of the most significant weekends in the golfing calendar.”

In 2018, in line with the club’s sustainability vision, John Deere was selected as the perfect match to support the club’s vision in becoming a pioneer for sustainable practices and superior playing surfaces. Hybrid electric technology was chosen and is now used on over 90 per cent of the mowing fleet.

Education City Golf Club’s General Manager Michael Braidwood said: “Our core product is the golf course and therefore it must be presented in immaculate condition. We aim to highlight this annually at a number of key tournaments and the ECGC Masters is one of these prestigious events.”

Carlos Aragones, John Deere European golf & turf sales & marketing manager, added: “Together with our local dealer Progressive Trading, we were delighted to be involved with Education City Golf Club in helping to prepare the Championship Course for this signature event at such a wonderful venue. Our partnership approach helps everyone to achieve the best possible results where they matter, out on the course, and keep things running as smoothly as possible throughout the tournament.”

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Choosing the right topdressing brush

Choosing the right topdressing brush: Topdressing has been an essential greenkeeping technique for over 150 years, since the days of Old Tom Morris.  It serves multiple purposes; to help maintain a true surface, to balance and dilute the buildup of organic matter, to fill coring holes, and to maintain a free-draining surface.

Modern topdressers can apply both heavy and light dressings

Topdressing is spread in different thicknesses, from just a frequent light dusting, to a heavy dressing after hollow coring. Over the years various methods have been used to incorporate the topdressing into the turf canopy.  For many years metal link drag-mats were the norm, but these tended to scrape the dressing across the surface, and were particularly aggressive on the crowns of undulations.

Choosing the right topdressing brush

Choosing the right topdressing brush

In recent years, brushes have become accepted as the optimal tool for working-in topdressing.  However, even these have significant subtle differences between different types.

Which type of brush is best for different greens?

Since its introduction in the 1990’s the Greens-Groomer has been recognized as one of the most effective topdressing brushes ever invented. It has 16 separate brushes mounted in a triple zig-zag pattern.  As the Greens-Groomer passes over the turf, the brushes move the sand forwards and sideways in three directions, making it ideal for filling coring holes. The absence of power-driven rotating brushes ensures that the turf is not bruised and unpleasant dust is not generated, even when operating at speed.

The Greens-Groomer is fast and very effective, and doesn’t bruise the turf

The Greens-Groomer’s large 1.8 x 1.2m (6’ x 4’) footprint has a luting effect, keeping the surface of the green flat and true.

However, if your greens are intentionally undulating, you need a totally different type of brush that will accurately follow the contours and evenly brush-in the dressing.  This is the purpose of the Thatch-Away topdressing brushes.  These fit into the Thatch-Away interchangeable cassette system, and attach to all popular greensmowers.  The three individual brush units run on their own front and rear guide wheels to accurately follow the contours of the green without scraping the crowns or filling up the hollows.

Thatch-Away topdressing brushes accurately follow the contours of the green

Topdressing technology has come a long way since the days of Old Tom, but were he still here he would surely be pleased to see the way that the correct choice of topdressing brush can help to maintain the original characteristics of the greens.

For a free demonstration of these innovative brushes, contact GreenTek on 0113 267 7000.

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TriCure AD™ & Terafirm™ combo come to the rescue

TriCure AD™ & Terafirm™ combo come to the rescue: With the Jacobean-style mansion providing the backdrop to some of the courses 18 parkland holes, Warwickshire’s Welcombe Golf Club delivers undulations which are a challenge to player and greenkeeper alike.

In charge of the maintenance is Golf Course & Estates Manager Richard Sheldon who, with a rather aged fleet of equipment at his disposal, has turned to a combination of TriCure AD™ and Terafirm™ from Headland Amenity to tackle the issue of water management.

TriCure AD™ & Terafirm™ combo come to the rescue

TriCure AD™ & Terafirm™ combo come to the rescue

Richard’s first task when he joined the club in January 2020 was to assess his inherited fleet of machinery and spotted the notable absence of a deep aerator. “Our greens are constructed using rootzone and have the ability to drain well but due to the lack of deep aeration we were getting very shallow rooting caused by a pan layer, which also affected the distribution of moisture through the profile” explains Richard, who is assisted by a team of three. In addition, when Richard decided to fire up the club’s irrigation system during the first national lockdown, he found that around 90% of the tee sprinklers were broken! Thankfully, his knowledge and experience of Headland’s TriCure AD™ saved the day.

“It was a really hot period and we were seeing a loss of coverage on both the greens and the tees very quickly. We began using TriCure AD™ on the greens, which helped to retain any moisture near the surface, and in turn the roots, but this also penetrated through the pan layer and in just twelve months, the pan effect has gone. Our recent soil samples showed new deeper rooting through the profile. We also used TriCure AD™ on the tees and, alongside getting the sprinklers replaced, this undoubtedly saved the tees.”

TriCure AD™ multi-molecular soil surfactant improves soil surface dry-down and prevents hydrophobic conditions. Its three different active surfactant chemistries mean that it can treat all types of rootzone particles and can be applied at much lower rates (like for like) than competitor surfactants. “We are now applying TriCure AD™ on a monthly basis throughout the summer, on all greens, tees and approaches. In the winter we switch over to monthly applications of Terafirm™ advanced soil penetrant which has been really impressive.”

“Because we try and keep inputs to a minimum as part of our organic matter control, you can just begin to tell when the Terafirm™ is reaching the end of its field longevity and then, after spraying, the difference is quickly noticeable – the greens are firm, dry and free-from puddling. We had some lovely feedback from local Course Managers on the condition of our greens, even following the heavy rainfall we saw in January of this year.”

Richard concludes, “I used Headland products at my previous club and have always been impressed with the results. This is the first time I’ve been responsible for pricing up supplies and, having seen that the Headland products were competitive, we have converted our entire nutritional programme over to Headland over the last 15 months with fantastic results course-wide.”

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Earlestown Athletic look to the future

Earlestown Athletic look to the future: Grassroots football cub, Earlestown Athletic JFC, has ensured the long-term quality and improvement of their four-pitch site, The Hive, with a New Holland Boomer 35 Tractor, Trimax Striker Mower and Sisis Quadraplay from Campey Turf Care Systems.

The Warrington based club has 21 teams from the ages of three to under-17 level, with a vast majority of games played at The Hive. The development of the five-acre site on what was the former St Aelred’s Catholic School field, which over the years was left derelict took place four years ago with the help of funding from The Football Foundation, Corby Environmental and Sport England.

Earlestown Athletic look to the future

Earlestown Athletic look to the future

With that money and a 99-year lease from the council, the club renovated the ground, installed drainage, a modular building with toilets, a kitchen and a car park. To this point, The Hive has become one of the best football facilities in the area, and it is the aim of Chairman, Carl Hollingsworth, that this can be improved thanks to the help of Campey Product Specialist, Ethan Yates, and their new machinery.

“I’ve been with the club for nearly nine years now, mainly as a coach, but it’s only been in the last year and a half since becoming Chairman that I’ve seen a lot more happening behind the scenes than I ever had before,” Carl explains. “It’s been a bit of an eye-opener, with plenty of ups and downs, but thankfully we have a fantastic committee who put the Club first. Between myself, Dave Edwards our Secretary, and rest of the Committee we’ve steered the club through some pretty tough times with the COVID-19 lockdown and the premature ending of last season. Credit also must go to our players families who have supported us throughout.

“During this summer we applied for and received the Pitch Improvement Grant to help us do the maintenance on the fields, and the latest money is from that programme again, but on the equipment side of things and without them we’d be up the creek without a paddle basically, I can’t thank The Football Foundation enough.”

“Our old mower kept breaking down and about two months ago the wheel fell off so we had to source new bolts and a new a wheel head, but the bolts weren’t right, so it fell off again and it was sat in the middle of a field. That really prompted us to push even more for the new equipment.

“Once we realised we could get it, and raise the money we needed, Campey were brilliant in bringing a mower to demonstrate, and Ethan especially has been great. He’s been brilliant in taking my phone calls after work as we went through the process, and on the day, he dropped the machine off, he spent hours going through it with the coaches and me.

“It’s going to get more use because more coaches are willing to use it whereas the old one it was a bit of a no-go area for some of them because they were a bit intimidated by it. Whereas this is brand-new equipment, and they want to use it, which is good because it takes the pressure off me.”

The quality of The Hive has been recognised over the last two seasons with the award of the Warrington Junior Football League Presidents Cup and Alf Holt Cup finals, with the third round of finals also due to be played on the site unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19.

Whether your club is striving to maintain or improve their pitch quality, Campey can assist you with advice on machinery and provide a full and comprehensive service of consultation and back-up to ensure you get the machinery you need to make a difference for your club.

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Combination ticks all the boxes for Eastleigh

Combination ticks all the boxes for Eastleigh: Managing a high wear pitch, on a relatively tight budget is probably a story with which most non and lower league club grounds managers can relate.

For Eastleigh FC Head Groundsman Dan Barnes, the task is made slightly easier by getting the right seed in the ground first and foremost – and for this, he turns to Johnsons J Premier Pitch. Along with delivering superior wear tolerance, its resistance to disease has meant Dan has only applied fungicide once in the last four years.

Combination ticks all the boxes for Eastleigh

Combination ticks all the boxes for Eastleigh

Eastleigh FC moved to their home at the Silverlake Stadium in the 1950’s and limited investment since then has resulted in a pitch that struggles with drainage and requires thoughtful management – a challenge Dan picked up four years ago, despite having no previous Groundsmanship experience! “In those first few months I spent a lot of time undertaking qualifications and networking with other groundsmen as I sought to build a bank of suppliers” explains Dan, who is assisted only by a team of volunteers. “When it came to seed, after I tried Johnsons J Premier Pitch mixture, I’ve never wanted to use anything else.”

“Despite our challenging ground conditions, this mixture delivers on all of the key performance characteristics – it’s hard-wearing, gives us fantastic visual merit and has demonstrated fantastic tolerance to disease. In four years, we’ve had just one Fusarium outbreak which we could attribute to the use of pitch covers.” Due to budget constraints, Dan has to be creative when it comes to seeding, usually applying 50g per m2 during summer renovations and then overseeding at 25-30g per m2 in the autumn and again in the spring to see them through to the end of the season.

Last winter, Dan supplemented Premier Pitch with Johnsons J 4Turf to benefit from the lower temperature germination of DLF’s tetraploid ryegrass. “This gave the pitch a real boost through the winter and undoubtedly helped us get through a fixture pile-up we had in February 2021 where we hosted five games in a 19-day period. The increased root length we get with the J 4Turf mixture provides great additional strength and, along with J Premier Pitch, recovers brilliantly.”

“There is nothing more satisfying than being proud of the surface you present” Dan concludes. “This combination of Johnsons mixtures gives us a pitch that is always fit and ready for play which, in turn, satisfies the following of fans we are really fortunate to have here at the club.”

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ICL the ‘one stop-shop’ for Bradford City

ICL the ‘one stop-shop’ for Bradford City: ICL’s ProSelect grass seed supported by a monthly nutritional programme has resulted in Bradford City’s pitch being in the best condition ever – according to Head Groundsman Mick Doyle.

If anyone knows the pitch at Bradford City’s Utilita Energy Stadium – it is Mick. He has been working at the club for an incredible fourteen years and in that time, it is safe to say that he has single-handedly kept the pitch in excellent condition.

ICL the ‘one stop-shop’ for Bradford City

ICL the ‘one stop-shop’ for Bradford City

However, he claims that the bar has now been raised and that it all started with ICL’s ProSelect grass seed.

“The bottom line is that I needed a new seed,” he said. “The seed I used previously just didn’t work for me – it was patchy and did not germinate. Therefore, when it came round to pitch renovations last year, I used ICL’s ProSelect 1 Premium Pitch which I had first heard about at an ICL educational day and after speaking to other groundsmen.”

Combining four top-ranked perennial ryegrasses, ProSelect 1 Premium Pitch, provides a fast-recovering, dense, hard-wearing surface. Furthermore, Mick decided that he would like to explore a full ICL nutritional programme because in his words, it would be a “one-stop shop which could deliver on all fronts.”

Prior to sowing the ProSelect seed, Craig Lalley, Technical Sales Manager for ICL visited Mick at the stadium and took some soil samples. Craig then proceeded to devise a plan tailored to Mick’s environment – taking into consideration his stadium, his machinery, his staffing levels, his time restraints and he ultimately put a programme together based on what Mick was trying to achieve.

“My biggest concern was that I could never get any root down but Craig assured me that I would with his programme,” said Mick. “True to his word – he was absolutely right.”

The key was getting the pitch off to the best possible start. After sowing the ProSelect grass seed, Mick immediately followed with 10 litres of H2Pro TriSmart, in a bid to absorb more moisture around the seed and aid germination.

It turned out to be a winning combination: “The seed was coming up beautifully in just six days,” said Mick.

On that sixth day after seeding, and based on Craig’s advice, Mick went one step further by applying Sierrablen Plus Renovator 20-20-8 at a rate of 35g/m², the mini-granules ensuring even distribution for young seedlings while its high phosphate levels encourage strong root growth.

Since then, the nutritional programme has been based on providing the right nutrient at the right time, according to Craig.

“A lot of the programme has been designed to really focus on root establishment to assist with pitch playability. Therefore, Mick has been using Vitalnova SeaMax (seaweed extracts) and Vitalnova Blade along with Primo Maxx II growth regulator.

“Mick has produced a great surface this season and that has carried through the challenging winter months. To work alongside his good cultural methods over this testing period, Mick incorporated H2Pro FlowSmart into his monthly ITM programme. This is a superb penetrant to help with water percolation through the profile.”

Mick was also in agreement:

“I’ve had fourteen seasons here and I can honestly say that this is the best condition the pitch has ever been at this time of year. I put that down to the products.

“The pitch is holding up incredibly well and you can hardly tell that players have been on the pitch after a game. In years gone by where we have had shallow rooting a lot of remedial work was needed following fixtures. This is no longer required so we are saving time and benefitting from good plant health.

“It’s just been consistently good all year.

“The programme is very straight forward to follow – it’s all on my wall planner in my office and reminds me of what’s going on at all times. I can also call Craig and get advice which is a real benefit.

“Overall, I’m incredibly pleased that I decided to go down the ICL route because it really has made such a difference to the pitch – not just aesthetically and from a playability point of view, but also from what is going on below the surface.”

Please contact ICL on 01473 237100 or visit www.icl-sf.co.uk or www.icl-sf.ie if you are in Ireland.

For more news and insightful views, you can follow ICL on Twitter @ICL_Turf

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David Timms joins the Reesink team

David Timms joins the Reesink team: David Timms is delighted to be working with Toro again after 18 years as the new regional business manager for Reesink Turfcare in the Southwest and Midlands.

Having started his career in the turfcare industry as an area sales representative in Sussex working with Toro and Hayter machinery in 2003, David went on to become sales manager within the distribution company of JSM in 2007 before relocating to Somerset with Textron in 2011. Now he has come full circle as he returns to working with Toro machinery.

David Timms joins the Reesink team

David Timms joins the Reesink team

“It’s great to be back working with Toro and Reesink,” says David. “I’ve had a love for the brand since working with them 18 years ago and for some time now, I’ve had the desire to again work with and promote the leading brand, so when the opportunity arose it was a really easy decision. The build quality, innovation and range that Toro provides is above and beyond competitors, so I feel very fortunate to be in a role where I can confidently sell the best machinery in the market. With over 100 years trading as a stand alone mower company, it really speaks volumes about Toro and its future.”

In addition to bringing near two-decades of experience with him, David also starts the role with a philosophy to work according to the fundamentals of selling machinery, something he feels will help him in his role and benefit customers.

“In my time in the industry I’ve learned what is really fundamental when it comes to selling turfcare machinery,” says David. “First and foremost is building strong relationships with customers, dealers and colleagues. People don’t buy from people they don’t know. Secondly, backing both the product and customer through the machine’s life is very important, and simple aspects which are all too easily overlooked. All customers are asking is for you to go out and do a good honest job.”

David is already enjoying the work and is excited for what’s to come: “The most exciting part of the job is definitely the opportunity it provides to build on existing and new relationships with customers in the industry, made even better by the fact I have the confidence that customers now genuinely want to buy the brand, with it already at the forefront of most customers wish lists.”

With the industry starting to move forward from a time of uncertainty, David is optimistic about the future of golf, and Reesink and Toro’s part in that.

“I would hope that over the next 12 months we see a resurgence in golf, particularly as people appreciate the chance to get outside more than ever,” David concludes. “With Reesink and Toro having the most comprehensive and reliable offering of machinery, servicing, parts support and warranties in the market, and customers more concerned with whole life costs and longevity of equipment, we are well placed to meet customer needs.”

David can be contacted via Reesink on 01480 226800.

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Royal Cinque climbs the rankings

Royal Cinque climbs the rankings: Since having a new Toro irrigation system installed in 2019, Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club’s course has seen a “remarkable improvement” according to course and estates manager James Bledge.

“The new Toro irrigation system has been a huge success,” explains James. “We’ve reached the top100golfcourses.com world rankings for the first time ever, which we can in part attribute to the remarkable improvement the course has seen thanks to Toro irrigation.

Royal Cinque climbs the rankings

Royal Cinque climbs the rankings

“Not only did Toro help us get through one of the driest summers in history last year, but the water savings were incredible,” says James. “We kept within our water allowance and didn’t lose any turf coverage, which is definitely something our old system wouldn’t have managed. In fact, the turf quality has come on leaps and bounds despite the tough conditions.”

Part of James’ drive to continuously improve the course, March 2019 saw Royal Cinque Ports install a Toro Lynx Central Control System and Infinity sprinklers on the greens, surrounds, approaches and fairways with B Series sprinklers on the tees and T5 and PRN combinations on the walkways. The installation came shortly after another Toro machinery fleet agreement, so had the added bonus of securing the club’s position as a Toro Total Solutions customer.

Despite its success, it wasn’t a given that Toro would be awarded the irrigation contract. In fact, initially James considered staying with the same brand as the previous system for the irrigation update, but changed his mind after being “thoroughly impressed” by Toro in a demonstration by Reesink Turfcare.

“The whole team really liked the way the Toro Lynx Central Control System and the sprinkler heads worked,” says James. “In particular, being able to change the trajectory and ease of set up of the sprinkler heads is incredibly useful when it comes to dealing with the strong winds we get here as a links course.

“The course itself has changed quite a bit in the last twenty years and as a result lots of areas weren’t benefitting from the irrigation, such as the walkways. So, we wanted something which would water more of the course and target areas more efficiently. The Toro system has given us the opportunity to tackle the issues we were having and make further improvements.”

Plus, James tells us, he was keen for a more sophisticated control system: “Having previously had a 20-year-old irrigation system, faults with the electrics meant it was time for a change. The system had stopped coming on during the night which was a huge issue. A complete replacement was needed which included the pumps and wiring alongside a new control system, sprinklers, additional pipework and the creation of a new abstraction point from the water source to the reservoir.

“The new control system is much more modern and it’s great to be able to make adjustments from my mobile phone and provide the same accuracy as hand watering. It’s a real game changer.”

With the installation completed by one of the leading golf construction companies MJ Abbott, both the installation process, and the support from Reesink Turfcare since has impressed James. “It’s been really great from the first demonstration through to now. In particular, Robert Jackson and Peter Newton at Reesink have gone above and beyond. The communication has been a different class, whether we needed parts, back up or training, Reesink was always available to help.”

He concludes: “With our Total Solutions package, we are continuously improving and well on the way to making the club a ‘bucket list’ destination.”

To talk to someone about the finance options available and how the Toro range would suit yo

To talk to someone about the finance options available and how Toro irrigation would suit your course, visit reesinkturfcare.co.uk, call 01480 226800 or email info@reesinkturfcare.co.uk

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For sustainability, meet the EPG

For sustainability, meet the EPG: Senior Environmental Consultant Dr Tom Young introduces the newest member of the STRI family, The Environmental Protection Group (EPG), and takes a closer look as to how the new partnership can help manage water at sports facilities.

The Environmental Protection Group (EPG), established in 1998, is a leading independent geo-environmental engineering design consultancy delivering cost-effective, sustainable designs focused in the areas of contaminated land remediation and gas protection, sustainable water management, flood risk assessment and structural waterproofing.

For sustainability, meet the EPG

For sustainability, meet the EPG

STRI and EPG have been working closely with one another since 2010 when the two companies worked together on a number of London 2012 Olympics projects. It was formally announced in August 2020 that STRI and EPG had joined forces and EPG is now part of the STRI Group.

Figure 1

Figure 1

EPG has a huge amount of experience in water management plans, site-wide drainage schemes and sustainable water harvesting. Coupled with STRI’s agronomic, research and design capabilities, the Group now has the ability to further assist sports facilities. In particular, EPG has vast experience in designing Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS), which are now more commonplace and often required as part of any planning conditions. EPG was actually co-author of the CIRIA SuDS Manual, a key piece of industry guidance, which is the go-to document for any SuDS engineer.

Harvesting water from buildings

  • STRI and EPG can accurately model and predict volumes of water that can be collected from buildings, which can be easily collected and stored for later reuse
  • This solution can be ideal for small sports facilities that currently rely on mains water
  • Water collected can easily be incorporated into a small-scale irrigation system with the pump station preferentially using collected rainwater before mains water
  • In the example in
    Figure 2

    Figure 2

    Figure 1, a small cricket club in London could potentially harvest nearly 270m3 a year from their clubhouse roof and 400m3 a year from the club car park. This could potentially reduce the club’s mains water requirements by 20-50%. The design of the storage tank is critical in these situations; in order to provide a cost effect solution, but to also be large enough to take advantage of large storm events

Harvesting water from whole sites

  • STRI and EPG can also produce much larger water models for whole sites. This allows us to predict:
    a) how much water falls across an whole site and when
    b) where this water ends up
    c) how much of this water can be transported and stored for later reuse
  • This detailed approach is very much cutting edge, with STRI and EPG optimising hydraulic models based on experience from other sectors and making them appropriate for sports turf situations
  • Key issues to consider include detailed analysis of site drainage systems, rootzone composition, = effect of vegetation on runoff and effect of climate change on future rainfall events
  • In the case study shown in Figure 2, STRI and EPG were able to accurately model the entire drainage network of an 18-hole golf course
Figure 3

Figure 3

  • It was found that an average volume of 3750m3 a month was potentially available for the club once local topographical issues, losses in ground infiltration and inherent water capture by
    vegetation were taken into account
  • With a current demand of 10,000m3 a month, water harvested from the course easily accommodates all the club’s irrigation demand, and also allows the club to seriously look into the addition of fairway irrigation
  • Runoff from the winter when demand is low can be stored to create a surplus of water for the summer when the irrigation demands are at their peak. Therefore, the club would require a reservoir largeenough to not only meet demand throughout the year but also to build up surpluses during the winter
  • The club is now looking into the concept in more detail, with STRI and EPG supporting with detailed designs, reservoir sizing and help with Environment Agency permission

Flood risk Assessments/ mitigating effects of flooding

  • In some situations, flooding of certain areas of buildings is problematic and STRI and EPG are required to design sites to accommodate water from elsewhere
  • EPG is very experienced in running detailed Flood Risk Assessments (FRA) for sites and then designing solutions if flooding is predicted
  • In Figure 3, a site was predicted to undergo serious flooding on a regular basis. EPG was able to mitigate against this by designing the site to accommodate water elsewhere. This was achieved by a simple depression across the site that could accommodate additional flood water (Figure 4)
Figure 4a & 4b

Figure 4a & 4b

Green/Blue roofs

  • The runoff from most new buildings needs to be slowed down in order to reduce the amount and speed of runoff from the building. This can be achieved via the use of rainwater storage tanks as shown in Figure 1. However, sometimes it is more appropriate to store the water on the roofs of buildings (for example in more built up areas or when excavation for tanks is expensive). This can also be combined with vegetation of a roof. Known as Blue (storage of water), Green (vegetation) or Blue-Green (water storage with vegetation) roofs, this method can really improve the look as well as environmental credentials of most buildings
  • In the example given in Figure 5, STRI and EPG were tasked with reducing the runoff from the roof of a new building, whilst storing the water for later reuse in irrigating large planters placed on the roof to provide screening for the building
  • The innovative design stored water across the entire roof level in a shallow modular tank (85mmdeep) which was located across the entire roof slab removing the need to have a large storage tank located in the development boundary. Each roof on the building is connected so once one tank is full, it cascades into the one below
Figure 5

Figure 5

  • Underneath the planters, subsurface irrigation ‘wicks’ were installed to passively wick water from the shallow storage area into the rootzone above. This provides sufficient water for the plants to survive, whilst reducing the need for potable water across the site
  • The design allowed the site engineers to save significant amounts of money by removing an entire large soakaway tank (50m x 4m x 2m)

These examples only demonstrate a small amount of the joint expertise that the two companies have now combined. If you are interested in any of the problem-solving methods discussed, please get in contact with Tom Young at tom.young@strigroup.com

Reproduced from the STRI Bulletin, September 2020, with thanks.

The battery that knows what it’s doing

The battery that knows what it’s doing: Intelligent Lithium-Ion batteries are the heart of the new Mountfield cordless range. Batteries that recognise the mower or tool that they are fitted to and tune the power appropriately to maximise battery life and deliver the right amount of power to get the job done.

These new intelligent batteries – believed to be a world first – will help British gardeners roll out the Quiet Revolution of Mountfield battery powered equipment that focusses on ease of use.

The battery that knows what it's doing

The battery that knows what it’s doing

Battery power is rapidly replacing petrol and electric cables as a lifestyle trend in gardening. In the UK in 2020, 12.5% of lawn mower sales were battery and this trend is projected to increase to 23% by 2025. At Mountfield the focus is on delivering cleaner, safer and more reliable energy supply.

All the battery lawnmowers and hand-held tools in the Mountfield range, new for 2021, are built from lightweight, robust materials. Whether mowing, cutting, trimming or clearing, they are as powerful and long-lasting as their petrol equivalents but with none of the noise, fumes and hassle of engine maintenance.

This cut away of the STIGA 48V battery clearly shows how cooling air can freely circulate around the battery cells to help prolong operating and shorten recharge times.

E-Power works ‘smart’ in both the 20V and 48V battery systems. In the freedom100 Series of lawnmowers and hand-held tools, the 20V battery has a microchip. The Smart Tool Recognition System recognises the type of tool and tunes the power appropriately to maximise battery life and performance of the machine being used. This cost-effective, adaptive battery performance is unique to Mountfield and none of the main competitors in this price segment offer this. The 48V battery has an internal memory that registers all working parameters and communicates any issues between the battery, the tool and even the charger. The self-propelled mowers in this range are powered by two 48V batteries that work as a synchro pair – the powertrain balancing the energy load and synchronising the discharge for maximum efficiency and cutting performance.

Mountfield batteries are tested at a full, “real-life” usage current that goes far beyond the test widely used in the industry, that is less demanding. Industry Standard tests only 300 charges at 20% of the “real-life” usage current. The Mountfield E-Power batteries, developed, tested and produced at STIGA’s Italian plant, were still gong strong after 600 charges. That is the equivalent of an owner running down and recharging the battery twice a week for six years.

From the family-friendly simplicity of the Freedom100 series to the longer-lasting power of the Freedom500 series, E-Power can drive the smallest tool or the biggest lawnmower including Mountfield’s first ever battery-powered garden tractor range.

“Our new battery is a real game changer,” says Gary Tully, sales and marketing director of STIGA UK. “For the first time there is a battery powered lawnmower suited to small gardens with pocket handkerchief sizes lawns and significantly areas of grass in country houses. This is a first for British gardeners.”

Mountfield is owned by STIGA UK Limited and the lawnmowers and hand-held gardening tools being launched this year are all produced at the company’s Italian plant.

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