The Groundsman

April 2013

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the Groundsman April 2013 GET INTO GROUNDS 33 Markers and local turfcare contractor Collier Turfcare ��� embracing line marking, mowing, vertidraining, seeding, topdressing, slitting and raking. Despite the weather - ���it poured down during the outdoor demonstrations���, Andy recalled ��� the event was a great success and was attended by around 60 volunteer groundsmen from Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. ���Everyone���s feedback and comments were placed onto the ECRU website, and others were invited to comment on some of the common challenges,��� Andy said. ���As a result, I���ve had a few requests to visit other clubs and offer advice on various pitch care issues.��� The next meeting and ���in action��� day for the Eastern Counties Groundsman Association will probably be in the summer, adds Andy, ���and this will also be open to local authority groundsmen���. l Interested parties can contact Andy at Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club 01284 753920 The day was a great success, despite the weather Putting the plan in action ���Both the Eastern Counties Rugby Union (ECRU) and the IOG agreed that it was a good idea and I got together with the ECRU���s Andy Sarek and IOG regional adviser Andy Clarke, to brainstorm and decide the format of the first meeting. We discussed all manner of maintenance issues that could be put on the agenda; we also agreed that the forum should feature some live demonstrations of equipment and that the event should signpost the opportunities for education.��� The resulting agenda for the first meeting of the Eastern Counties Groundsman Association at Bury St Edmunds RFC focused on pitch maintenance ��� in-season work and endseason renovations: Turf Talk At this event Twickenham���s Keith Kent spoke about maintenance on a budget. His presentation concentrated on aspects of groundscare that the audience could really relate to, rather than a blow-by-blow account of work at Twickenham. Andy then outlined what had been achieved at Bury St Edmunds. Dr David Greenshields from Barenbrug explained the benefits of grass seed mixes and Andy Clarke outlined the costeffective training courses available from the IOG and their benefits. The afternoon session comprised equipment demonstrations by suppliers SCH Supplies, Tomlinson Groundscare (a local John Deere Dealer), Charterhouse Turf Machinery, Fleet Line If any member is inspired by this story to create a forum of their own, please contact your regional advisor or get in touch with the IOG ��� we���d be happy to help. Maintenance on a budget With 15 acres of rugby pitches plus a 60m by 40m 3G all-weather training pitch, the Bury St Edmunds RUFC ground is used constantly for training and competitive rugby ��� plus the club is also a community sports club with around 550 children and youth players, around 100 playing at senior level and West Suffolk College Rugby Academy use the natural turf pitches. The result is that anywhere between 100-120 games a season are played on three main pitches. In addition to rugby training the 3G all-weather training pitch also hosts 25 six-a-side football teams Andy has been managing the surfaces for the past eight years or so, and his current annual budget is around ��6,500. He adopts an ongoing programme of slitting and vertidraining, three and four times a year, respectively and careful management of playing and training times. Barenbrug BAR 7 is the grass of choice. Andy was also instrumental in introducing a pop-up water sprinkler system to two main pitches; the ��10,000 system saves ��5,000 a year in water rates and because of better germination rates and healthier deep rooting, seeding rates have been reduced from 35g to 15g/m2. Andy���s ���day job��� is national British Sugar TOPSOIL manager. Eddie Seaward at the AELTC Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions

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