The Groundsman

April 2013

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Page 34 of 55

TECHNICAL UPDATE 35 the Groundsman April 2013 In regard to the maintenance of sports surfaces, we need to exercise great care - especially where operating within urban areas to reduce pollution and also when controlling weeds and pests close to water courses or where run off across hard surfaces is a particular issue. Going forward Already there are requirements for operators and advisers to be qualified and trained but these need taking further to ensure all involved commit to continuous professional development through schemes such as NaSOR operated by City and Guilds or the Amenity register by BASIS. The sector has recently launched the Amenity Assured Standard, something that can demonstrate commitment by users and organisations to set standards. Having that recognition and demonstrating support to the Amenity Forum is a good way of keeping fully informed and also, heaven forbid, if there were an incident, helping show that those involved were following best practice. As Barak Obama said in one of his speeches - ���Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time��� . We must adapt and grasp the opportunity. On October 17 2013, the Amenity Forum is holding an important national conference addressing many of these issues. More information can be found on the website l Driving up standards The Amenity Forum is a voluntary initiative, funded entirely by the sector and fully run by its members including the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG). The forum seeks to show to the public, government and other stakeholders that we can police ourselves and drive up standards. Voluntary action is seen as far preferable to compliance and the resulting threat that we might lose some of the current tools available, especially in terms of pesticide availability. The forum is the voice of the sector on such issues and publishes guidance notes freely available on the website on various aspects of good practice. It is currently preparing a note specifically relating to sportsturf and the practical implications of changes and this will shortly be available on the website. Some examples of change So let us look at some specific changes which may apply. Firstly there has been an extension of the need for regular external testing of sprayer equipment. This now covers all equipment where the spray operator is mounted, whatever the boom width ��� rather a crude definition perhaps but accurate. There are also tightened guidelines on spraying in sensitive areas introducing new controls on the amount and frequency of pesticide usage and with the onus on operators and those specifying the work being able to demonstrate fully that these factors have been taken into account. In terms of spraying near any area of water, all involved must be able to demonstrate that every precaution had been taken before spraying and that a clear decision process can be documented to show the right choice of control. That means documenting this prior to operation as for risk assessments. Users are required to give preference to particular types of products where the use represents a risk to the aquatic environment and/or drinking water supplies and there is more than one product authorised for a particular situation. They are also to ensure that the amount of pesticide used and the frequency of use is as low as reasonably practicable in a number of specific situations. These situations include areas used by the general public and in conservation areas. Pesticides also need to be stored in areas that are constructed correctly as to prevent unwanted releases. By the end of 2015, anyone who is purchasing a pesticide authorised for professional use must ensure the product will be used by someone who holds a training certificate or who will be working under the direct supervision of someone who holds one. Operators who have previously relied on, so called, grandfather rights to demonstrate their competence will again need now to hold appropriate certificates of training and such requirements on all operators will apply to those who use vertebrate control products from 2015. Throughout there is emphasis on protecting human health and the environment and the need to always look at possibilities of nonchemical solutions as and if appropriate. These are some examples but what is clear is that we all need to continue to step up our game. OUR GROUNDCARE RANGE IS VERY WIDE GROUNDCARE : COVERED 00800 64 111 111 | The call is free from a land line. Check in advance with your Mobile Operator if you will be charged. Join us on Facebook! Visit for more information and digital editions

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