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Here’s to the groundsmen

Here’s to the groundsmen: Arguably the most important member of any club, but one whose contribution often goes overlooked, is the groundsman.

Read the full article from The Cricketer here

Here's to the groundsmen

Here’s to the groundsmen

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Updating events to be run online

Updating events to be run online: At the start of each year the Amenity Forum run a series of free updating events for all involved or with an interest in amenity management.

These normally take place at venues across the UK and have been very well received. Given the current restrictions, opportunity to run these in the traditional way has been lost but the Forum are going ahead with them but online. The same technology will be used as for the Forum’s very successful conference held in October.

Updating events to be run online

Updating events to be run online

The format will be very similar to normal, with the programme starting at 10.15 and concluding by 12.30pm. There will be opportunity for questions and all the current issues will be covered. 2021 sees the UK fully depart from the EEU bringing with its new regulations on plant protection products. The UK is also issuing a new national action plan relating to amenity management in 2021. Just these two items present challenges and opportunities. The events also give opportunity to catch up on new developments and innovations and what is required to meet the Amenity Standard, set to become a requirement in future.

Whilst the content of each event will be broadly the same, each will have a particular nation focus. The dates are given below, and each event is free to attend but pre-registration is required. If you would like to register or receive further information, please contact admin@amenityforum.net Full programmes for each event will be available early in 2021.

February 9th            England

February 11th      Wales

February 23rd         England

February 25th     Northern Ireland

March 4th             Scotland

Professor John Moverley OBE, Independent Chairman of the Forum, said ‘As I often say, what happens in amenity management impacts upon every UK citizen every day seeking to provide safe and healthy spaces fit for purpose. The importance of this has never been more apparent in the last year. Our Updating events are always popular and relevant, but this year is set to be more than ever. There is much change around and how we address this will be vital’

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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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Campey begin reintroduction to work plan

Campey begin reintroduction to work plan: Campey Turf Care Systems is putting plans in place to safely reintroduce the team over the next few weeks that will still strictly adhere to government social distancing guidelines.

As an industry that contains essential workers, meeting the needs of customers has been vital. At Campey this has been carried out with the safety of staff, customers and any potential people they may come into contact with as a priority and is the primary consideration of the reintroduction plan.

Campey begin reintroduction to work plan

Campey begin reintroduction to work plan

Like many other companies, Campey has been operating with a skeleton staff at the main office to provide customers with key parts and tines and has stopped all demos because transporting machines to various sites cannot be classed as essential travel. During this time the understanding from customers that orders may be slightly delayed has been fantastic as has the understanding that demos aren’t necessary at this time, with any future demos requested set to be fulfilled when it is safe to do so.

Where customers have deemed it essential, machinery has been available for collection at the main office using a well thought out routine that eliminates the need for personal contact. Using this as a basis, Campey is confident that as the government guidelines are changed, they will be ready without delay.

Campey begin reintroduction to work plan

Campey begin reintroduction to work plan

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AH75 the solution to excessive first cuts

AH75 the solution to excessive first cuts: With the impending difficulty some green space professionals will soon be experiencing from a delayed first cut, many are turning to the Etesia Attila AH75 brushcutter as a solution. 

The Etesia Attila AH75 brushcutter offers ride-on performance in a pedestrian machine and has been designed to work in the toughest of conditions. This powerful workhorse effectively deals with clearing vegetation from a wide variety of sites – long grass, weeds, bracken and brambles on woodland paths or orchards. Ease of operation and manoeuvrability ensure total efficiency and high output.

AH75 the solution to excessive first cuts

AH75 the solution to excessive first cuts

At a time when many will be facing excessive first cuts, green space professionals – particularly those working for local authorities and landscape contractors, will find the Etesia Attila AH75 a cost-effective solution. At just £3,200 plus VAT, this reliable and powerful machine has been proven to outperform many of its counterparts at a fraction of the price.

The Attila AH75 is powered by the Honda GXV 390 engine and fitted with a T3 transmission combining differential lock and front wheel locking system with a simple height of cut adjustment from the new handle bar design which allows movement into offset for use on slopes.

Efficiency

  • Heavy-duty brush cutting (up to Ø30)
  • Mowing on the most difficult slopes (up to 20°) thanks to the hydraulic transmission with a differential lock
  • Two idlers that can be locked without a tool for improved stability on slopes
  • Possibility to fit two wider rear wheels as an option
  • Cutting height adjustment with three positions from the new handle bar design
  • Handle offset control from the operating position with three working positions and one transport position

Comfort

  • High manoeuvrability thanks to the hydraulic transmission – three forward speeds and one reverse speed
  • Differential lock can be engaged without interrupting movement
  • All operating controls are available from the operating position for convenience and safety
  • Central handle bar that allows easier access to low controls (parking brake, forward transmission bypass, engine starter), with full protection for cables
  • Parking brake for safe immobilisation
  • Anti-vibration rubber handles

Ruggedness

  • Machine can be moved into vertical position to gain access to the cutter blade for maintenance and cleaning
  • Maintenance-free hydrostatic transmission with forced-air cooling, integrated expansion vessel
  • Flail blades: reversible, protect the blade transmission system, low maintenance costs
  • Rugged and reliable engine: Engine crank shaft mounted on bearings.

A full two-year commercial warranty comes as standard.

You can view a video of the machine in action: https://youtu.be/LDpj7a013Ys

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

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

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Glassboys raise toast to MM60

Glassboys raise toast to MM60: Volunteers are the lifeblood of grassroots football and you would be hard pressed to find anyone as dedicated to the cause than Ian Pilkington. In fact, he spends most of his free time tending to the pitch at Stourbridge FC’s War Memorial Ground, which he says has been hugely benefited by Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed.

Stourbridge through and through, Ian’s involvement with his beloved club, who are also known as the Glassboys, goes back a long way. When he attended his first game as a seven-year old boy, little did he know that one day he would become a director and a groundsman.

Glassboys raise toast to MM60

Glassboys raise toast to MM60

“My dad started taking me to watch the matches at Stourbridge when I seven years old and I’ve followed them ever since,” said Ian. “After the club got relegated in the year 2000 a number of us were invited to run the committee and then we evolved into a limited company and became directors.

“I started helping to run the club in a number of areas and was lending a hand to the groundsman. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury and there was no one to do the work, so I thought I’d better have a go myself.”

That was 16 years ago, and Ian has tended to the pitch ever since. Without fail, he is at the ground every Sunday morning and every spare moment he has during the week, preparing, repairing, and treating every inch of the pitch to keep it in superb condition.

“I’m a keen amateur,” he says. “I’ve found that you never stop gaining knowledge in the groundcare industry. There are always people that I can ask for help and advice and that is how I have managed to do this job for so long.

“To be honest, I could probably do with retiring, but I enjoy spending time at the club. I love being outside and working on the pitch. However, I have found that you can never do enough in this game, and I am always thinking about what else I can do to improve the pitch.”

Ian claims that he saw a remarkable development in the pitch ever since he started using Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed ten years ago after it was recommended to him by trusted supplier Agrovista Amenity.

Limagrain’s MM60 grass seed is renowned for producing an excellent playing surface. It is a 100% Ryegrass formula which is perfect for renovation and divot repair, has a high disease resistance, fantastic aesthetic qualities and offers extremely fast germination – which is boosted by the inclusion of Headstart GOLD®.

“We use MM60 for our renovation at the start of May. We share the ground with a cricket club so as soon as we finish the football season there is change over to cricket. Therefore, we need something which is very quick in establishment and we’ve found that the MM60 is ideal for that – it gives us great coverage.”

“I also tend to overseed in autumn – so I will use the MM60 on areas which need a bit of a boost, or where the fox has been or where the birds have been pecking at the surface.

Glassboys raise toast to MM60

Glassboys raise toast to MM60

“The colour is also very strong throughout the year – it’s always a vibrant green and is healthy.”

MM60 also includes Limagrain’s Ryegrass cultivar Annecy which has outstanding disease resistance particularly against Leaf Spot. The mixture’s high disease resistance coupled with its hard-wearing sward makes MM60 a seed that Ian can rely on.

“We never suffer from any disease here and I’ve found that the MM60 provides great recovery – even in bad weather conditions. Ultimately, we have consistently good results year in year out.

“I’ve been working with Mark Allen from Agrovista Amenity for more than 10 years and have been using the MM60 throughout that whole time. It’s been a fruitful partnership, which combined with use of the Limagrain seed, only benefits the club and will continue to so in the future.”

For further information, please contact Limagrain UK on 01472 371471 or visit the company’s website www.lgseeds.co.uk/mm – you can also follow the company on Twitter: @MM_Seed

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Toro give $500,000 to Coronavirus efforts

Toro give $500,000 to Coronavirus efforts: The Toro Company (Parent company of Hayter Limited) yesterday announced that it is giving $500,000 to assist families and communities worldwide that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grant funding from the Toro Foundation will span all regions where The Toro Company operates, and will focus on providing food, health and humanitarian assistance to helping people adversely impacted.

Toro give $500,000 to Coronavirus efforts

Toro give $500,000 to Coronavirus efforts

“Supporting our customers and communities is an important part of our culture and core to who we are as a company,” said Rick Olson, chairman and chief executive officer of The Toro Company. “Now more than ever, it is critical that we come together to respond to the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19 and to support those most vulnerable in our communities.”

The contributions include commitments to several global nonprofits that are assisting in the relief efforts. This includes the American Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross, Feeding America, the World Food Program, the United Way Worldwide, and United Way organizations in communities where The Toro Company’s employees live and work.

An additional element of the global giving effort includes a special program for its employees who wish to personally give to designated COVID-19 relief organizations. Under the program, The Toro Company will match employee contributions to a nonprofit organization of their choice in support of relief efforts.

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Park grass-cutting to re-start

Park grass-cutting to re-start: Grass-cutting in Angus parks, cemeteries and open spaces is to resume next week.

Click here to read the original article

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Fields in Trust bringing parks to you

Fields in Trust bringing parks to you: Whilst we’re all staying home and less able to get out to enjoy our nation’s parks this spring, green space charity Fields in Trust are bringing parks to people with a virtual tour of the UK, discovering beautiful parks and green spaces which are much loved and valued by their communities along the way.

At a time when communities across the country are revaluing the benefits their local parks usually provide for sport, nature and play, the tour will be moving around the UK exploring locations online by showcasing town and city parks which you can “visit” from your home and get a little virtual wellbeing boost in these challenging times. It’s an opportunity to experience, not just the local green spaces on your doorstep, but to discover new parks across the nations and regions of the UK.

Fields in Trust bringing parks to you

Fields in Trust bringing parks to you

The Fields in Trust website at www.fieldsintrust.org is the start point of the tour which begins by exploring the locations of the Home Nation winners in 2019’s UK’s Best Park award, Blackpool, Antrim, Dunfermline and Merthyr Tydfil. After that, the direction of the tour will be determined by park users who are invited to share their green space stories and suggest new areas to investigate. Whether you think your town or city has great parks that the rest of the country should know about, or perhaps you’re a Park-Friends-Group group or a community organisation who’d like to tell their story, let Fields in Trust know where the tour should visit and why!

Along the way, Fields in Trust will be finding out a bit more about how our usage of parks has been affected at this time with, a short survey of park users on the website www.fieldsintrust.org.

Research conducted by Fields in Trust has demonstrated clear physical health and mental wellbeing benefits from regular use of the UK’s parks and green spaces, yet these vital community assets are not equally distributed. Around 2.6million people in Great Britain live more than a ten-minute walk from their nearest park and are missing out on the physical health and mental wellbeing benefits as well as opportunities to connect with their neighbours.

Fields in Trust Chief Executive, Helen Griffiths, said: “The last few weeks have reminded everyone that the UK’s parks and green spaces are highly valued parts of our local neighbourhoods and shown us just how sorely they’re missed when they are not easily accessible. During these changed and challenging times, we must adapt how we use and enjoy them, in line with Government guidance. We are all experiencing what life would be like without access to these much-loved local spaces. Thankfully right now the loss is temporary, but it serves as a reminder that many of these spaces are lost forever. We hope that bringing the park to you this spring will provide a little virtual wellbeing because green spaces are good, they do good and they need to be protected for good.”

The average amount of green space per person in Great Britain is just over 35 square metres, less than half the size of a six-yard box on a football pitch; however, only 5.7% of the park and green space provision in Great Britain is legally protected with Fields in Trust. It is up to all of us to act to stem the decline and disappearance of our nation’s cherished parks and green spaces. Fields in

Trust are calling for the current level of park and green space provision to be maintained and encouraging communities to fight for those green spaces vulnerable to loss or development.

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How to help rainfall rescue project

How to help rainfall rescue project: If you’ve some time on your hands, here’s a UK rainfall project that’s caught our eye at Rain Bird Golf.

The weather is always a topic of conversation for Brits.  Can you, your staff or family members take part in the Rainfall Rescue project and add to our UK rainfall know-how?

How to help rainfall rescue project

How to help rainfall rescue project

The UK has rainfall records dating back 200 years or so, but the vast majority of these are in handwritten form and can’t easily be used to analyse past periods of flooding and drought. Professor Ed Hawkins is a Reading University scientist who has run a number of “weather rescue” projects but this is the biggest yet.

The Rainfall Rescue Project is seeking volunteers to transfer hand-written data to online spreadsheets.

The project is looking to fill the yawning gap in UK digital rain gauge records between the 1820s and 1950s.

Each of the 65,000 scanned sheets contains monthly rainfall totals for a particular decade at a particular station, approximately three to five million data points in all. If Prof Hawkins’ team can convert this information to a digital format, it could lead to a much better understanding of the frequency and scale of big droughts and floods. And, that will assist with planning for future flood and water-resource infrastructure.

For example, many across the country had a sodden start to the year because of heavy rainfall. Meteorologists suspect October 1903 was just as bad, if not worse, but unfortunately, because all the rainfall data from that time was hand-written, it’s not possible to analyse this data. Likewise, there were some very dry springs and winters in the 1880s and 1890s. Britain had six or seven very dry winters and springs on the trot. If that happened today, it would probably cause serious problems for water companies because they rely on wet winters and wet springs to recharge reservoirs.

Prof Ed Hawkins explains, “Water companies have to plan for a one-in-100 or one-in-500-year drought but we’ve only got 60 years of very dense digital data, and so it’s very hard for them to come up with reliable estimates. We know there are periods in the past that, if they happened again, would probably break the system. The same is true for very heavy rainfall and floods.

You’re not required to rummage through old bound volumes; the Met Office has already scanned the necessary documents – all 65,000 sheets. You simply have to visit a website, read the scribbled rainfall amounts and enter the numbers into a series of boxes. If you do just a couple of minutes every now and then – that’s great,” said Prof Ed Hawkins. “If you want to spend an hour doing 30 or 40 columns – then that’ll be amazing. But any amount of time, it will all add up and be a tremendous help.”

This can literally take 5 minutes – why not use your tea-break?
Take part in the Rainfall Rescue project here.

If you choose a particular year to work on, why that year? Is it the year your golf course opened or the year you held your most memorable tournament? Share your story on Twitter with #rainfallrescueUK. Tag@rainbirdgolfuk and we’ll share your story too!

Jimmy Sandison – Regional Golf Sales Manager – UK, Ireland, Iceland and Scandinavia

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