Reesink’s got you covered

Reesink’s got you covered: There are so many options for buying machinery these days and whichever way you choose to buy Reesink has you covered with demonstrations, machinery maintenance plans and a wide selection of used machinery. Put simply, Reesink has thought of everything.

Demonstrations have played a large part in turfcare machinery purchasing for some time. It gives customers the opportunity to test out machinery on their own playing field, pitch or golf course to determine if it’s the right fit, before making any final purchasing decisions. With so much work expected from your turfcare equipment, and with it often representing a significant investment, demonstrations are a must.

Reesink's got you covered

Reesink’s got you covered

If you’re looking to invest in a new machine or fleet, Reesink has a dedicated line-up of machinery for demonstrations, most of which come with all the attachments and features so you can test the machine to its full capability and find the right spec for you. The demonstration team will be able to talk you through how to use each machine before you get started and answer any questions comprehensively, all done onsite at your premises on a day that suits you.

Then, once you’ve chosen your machine/s and taken delivery, Reesink has three easy-care maintenance plans through its ReeAssure scheme to suit the needs of every customer, giving the best support at an affordable fixed price with no hidden surprises, perfect for efficient budgeting and cost control. Whether you choose the Bronze, Silver or Gold plan, all scheduled servicing is covered, and peace of mind is guaranteed.

Reassurance comes from knowing you can be assured your machines will perform to the best of their ability whichever package you have. A recurring theme in conversations with customers about their new machinery was extended warranty programmes and guarantees and there’s the option for all of that. And it means that buying Toro comes with buying into a support network like no other. The parts backup is second-to-none and as a Toro customer you are never more than a maximum 72-hours away from the part you need and minimum downtime and maximum productivity.

Reesink understands every budget is different. Hence the range of maintenance plans available, and now the new website Ree.Own is providing access to the best used Toro machinery available in the UK via an online nationwide network.

Now more than ever, there are so many reasons to buy used machinery but this type of machinery access in this sector had been all but unobtainable. Ree.Own, the newly launched service accessible online at gives customers the chance to browse, compare prices and match budgets on a range of machines have less than 3000 hours use on the clock, have been used for less than seven years and been through a multipoint check by trained technicians. All machines listed have been certified for sale through a network of authorised Toro dealers and Reesink branch locations and all have had a multipoint check by trained technicians and come under warranty.

Three initiatives from Reesink giving multiple options for buying and maintaining machinery that couldn’t be more suited to the times. Call 01480 226800 or go online at to find out more.

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‘I’m much more worried about you’

‘I’m much more worried about you’: Jim Dawson speaks candidly about how stress got too much – and how support was quickly forthcoming.

Jim Dawson has been a Liverpool supporter since he was a boy growing up on the Isle of Bute. He’d taken his dad’s advice not to align himself to either of the Old Firm, and with Kenny Dalglish having recently moved to Liverpool it was the Reds who became his team from then on.

2’I’m much more worried about you’

So there was huge excitement when his beloved team, recently crowned European and World Champions, were scheduled to play a friendly match against Napoli at BT Murrayfield in July 2019.

BT Murrayfield got the call as a result of the pitch at Anfield being renovated, and delays to the completion of the second option, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

“I was one of the most excited people at BT Murrayfield when it was announced,” recalls Jim, the IOG Groundsman of the Year in 2015

There was just one issue. A Spice Girls concert was due to be held at the Stadium, and then the pitch was going to be renovated by Premier Pitches, with the big match five and a half weeks later.

So, while The Spice Girls were doing their stuff on the stage what Jim wanted, what he really, really wanted, was a bit more time to ensure that the pitch was in perfect shape for his heroes.

“Premier Pitches did a first class job, but I was so keen that the pitch be perfect that I was checking the pitch every day and, to me, the seed wasn’t coming through fast enough.

“We had a couple of weeks when it was dark and overcast with hardly any sunshine and it wasn’t coming on strong enough. Well, to me it wasn’t coming on strongly enough… because I was looking at it every day.”

Even the reassuring words of his Deputy, Alex Latto, weren’t helping, and Jim was just getting himself more and more worked up.

“It all came to a head. I think it was week three. To me, it wasn’t coming through and thickening up and we were having the Champions of Europe – World Champions – my team, coming to play on my pitch. People like Virgil Van Dijk and Andy Robertson.

“So many thoughts were going through my head. It was just building and building. Normally, I’d go in and make myself and Kenny Scott, the Facilities Manager, a coffee and we’d go through to the bothy,” recalled Jim.

“On this day, I just went through to my office and shut the door. Kenny asked if I was ok and I said that, no I was struggling. So, we had a chat and then a walk over the pitch.”

Kenny reassured him that his pitch was fantastic, while, at the same time, Jim was explaining where he could see all the faults.

“We then sat in the stand and I talked through everything with him. I was in tears,” Kenny, an ex-Army man, explained to Jim that it was as though he was on a march, carrying a rucksack, and picking up everyone else’s troubles.

“He said that I just wasn’t flinging them back off again. It was a good thought.” What happened next is a gold-plated example of best practice for any mental health sufferer and any organisation with an employee who comes to them with a mental health issue.

Jim decided to speak with the HR (Human Resources) Department, where, again, he broke down in tears. He was taken into the Board room where he explained everything and how it was affecting him.

He then asked if he could speak with Dominic McKay, Scottish Rugby’s Chief Operating Officer.

“Within five minutes Dom was with me, and I told him all my worries about the pitch and my concerns about whether it was going to be ready.

“The one thing that really changed my thinking was what Dom said to me.

“He said that they could play on sand for all he cared and that he was much more worried about me and your mental health. He then asked what he could do to help,” revealed Jim.

“That one sentence took the rucksack off my back and I was able to calm myself down. Dom has a great manner, and an ability to make you believe that your problem is his problem. He has a way of talking to you which makes you feel good.”

After talking to Dom, Jim returned to HR where he was asked if he felt that he needed to see a specialist.

“I said that I thought that I still needed some help so within an hour I was sitting in a consultation with a psychiatrist. That’s how fast it was from me breaking the news to them and me seeing someone. That was the level of support that I had,” said Jim, who had his only other episode in 2014, equally well dealt with by Scottish Rugby, when the catalyst was the nematode infestation on the BT Murrayfield pitch.

Once he’d had his talk with HR and Dom, Jim then went to his own team and explained everything and what was going to be happening.

“They were right behind me. The whole team here at BT Murrayfield have each other’s backs which is a big thing. We are always there for each other. Even young Callum, who has come through our ranks wonderfully, often asks if I’m alright and if there is anything he can do for me.”

Scottish Rugby booked Jim a series of consultations, where he was able to talk through how he could better manage his feelings.

“Some people need to take medication for mental health, but I was one of those who didn’t. Talking to people helps me get through my mental health issues,” explained Jim.

To assist with the process, he went to Turkey on holiday for two weeks, leaving Alex to tend the pitch towards its inevitable high standard in time for the match.

“I didn’t take my phone and didn’t have any contact with work while I was away. I flew back into Scotland on the Wednesday before the Saturday match and Alex had done a fantastic job while I was away. The pitch had come together at the last minute.”

The day of the match is something that Jim will remember for the rest of his career.

“It was an absolute pleasure to go out and cut that pitch for those guys, knowing the quality of player who was going to be playing on it.”

The cherry on top came after the game while Jim and the team were doing their divoting.

“I was radioed and asked to go to the tunnel. When I arrived there was Dom, along with one of the Liverpool executives, and I was presented with a football, signed by Jurgen Klopp, to thank me for my efforts.”

Jim continued his consultations after the game, but the specialist said that they could see a change in him.

“They saw a happier human being. But I already knew that I was feeling a whole lot better with the pressure of the match over.”

For a man who is used to his pitch being played on by rugby superstars and seen by 67,000 supporters and millions on television it does seem strange that the change in ball shape resulted in such stress.

“Doing international rugby matches is just second nature to me and those people who come and lend a hand on match day are just blown away by the experience but having my own football team – Champions of Europe and Champions of the World – come to BT Murrayfield, meant everything came together and I just couldn’t handle.”

So, having been through the experience and come through the other side what advice does Jim have for other groundsmen or greenkeepers who might be struggling to cope?

“The hardest thing is to acknowledge that you have an issue, because you can think that you are admitting defeat. Sometimes you just have to say to yourself that you need help.

“People deal with things differently and some are able to manage their own aspirations, but I think it is always good to talk to somebody. It might be that you are the one helping them the next time,” explained Jim.

Eighteen months on Jim is feeling back to his best and getting ready for another Guinness 6 Nations where he will be preparing the BT Murrayfield pitch for the visit of Wales, Ireland and Italy.

And that Jurgen Klopp signed football? Well, that has pride of place in the Dawson home – sitting proudly above the fish tank.

Thank you, NHS

Thank you, NHS: Phil Isherwood Turfcare of Clitheroe, Lancashire, has used his Rigby Taylor TinyLineMarker (TLM) robotic line marking machine and Impact paint to mark a ‘Thank you, NHS’ message on Clitheroe Rugby Club’s pitch.

Phil provides a range of services to the turf industry – including work at the rugby club – and he has created the message to thank the NHS.

Thank you, NHS

Thank you, NHS

“They do amazing work,” he says in an interview with the Lancashire Telegraph, “and deserve the recognition and applause they are getting. I just want to say thank you for working on the front line and helping save lives.”

To see the TLM creating the message, go to:

And visit: for the full interview.

Used to create this special ‘thank you, NHS’ message, Rigby Taylor’s TLM utilises the latest GPS technology with RTK receiver and antenna that connects with global satellites and mobile network connections. It takes the input of pitch line dimensions and multiple pitches via an App and re-positions them to best fit the site using Google Maps. Once stored, the lines are never lost, even if they disappear if a pitch is not used for any length of time.

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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 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

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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Could you be the new BASIS FACTS Chairperson?

Could you be the new BASIS FACTS Chairperson?: BASIS is seeking to recruit a new Chairperson for the BASIS FACTS Advisory Committee, starting in March 2020.

The FACTS Committee comprises of representatives from a range of academic, advisory and commercial organisations, which the new Chair will oversee.

Could you be the new BASIS FACTS Chairperson?

BASIS CEO, Stephen Jacob, explains the FACTS Committee is taking forward some important changes to the FACTS scheme, to ensure professional standards are kept up to date and aligned with developments in the technical, regulatory and policy environment.

“We’re looking for a Chair that can manage robust debate around the ever-changing landscape and gain buy-in from members, as well as the bodies they represent,” says Stephen.

“The Chair will be responsible for setting the agenda, liaising with the BASIS team and ensuring that Committee members views are heard and acted upon.”

He says the Board is looking for an independent candidate who is not involved in the industries which BASIS serves.

“The new Chair needs to be an experienced manager who can demonstrate being a team player. It would also be beneficial to have experience of land-based or related industries, but this isn’t vital,” he adds.

The role requires chairing a minimum of two meetings a year, which are held in Peterborough, but the candidate can be based anywhere in the UK. In addition, the successful individual will be appointed as a Trustee of BASIS. This involves joining a further three Board meetings each year.

The FACTS Chair will be appointed by the BASIS Board of Trustees for an initial three-year term, which can be renewed annually for a further four years.

Outgoing FACTS Chair, Susannah Bolton, says she has thoroughly enjoyed the role.

“I have relished working with an engaged, expert Committee and a dedicated team at BASIS, in an area where I feel we can really make a difference and build trust in our industry,” says Susannah.

For an informal and confidential discussion to learn more about the position, please email Stephen Jacob on to arrange a mutually convenient time.

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