The Groundsman

March 2014

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COMMENT 3 the Groundsman March 2014 Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions ccording to the Met Office, a succession of weather systems tracking across the UK from the Atlantic has brought an unprecedented number of gale force winds and persistent rain to the UK during the winter months. In fact, for the period from 12 December to the end of January, some weather stations in the south of England recorded over five months' worth of rainfall. The UK mean temperature was 4.8 °C, which is 1.1 °C above the 1981-2010 average. The UK overall received 151 per cent of average rainfall, and a broad region from east Devon to Kent and up to the central Midlands received well in excess of 200 per cent – while some more localised regions were closer to three times the average. Parts of eastern Scotland were also similarly wet, with in excess of twice the normal rainfall. South East and central south England beat its January rainfall record by a large margin and it was the wettest calendar month for that region since 1910. It was also the wettest January in England and Wales since 1766, with January 1948 being the closest comparable to January 2014. However, it was not wet everywhere and parts of Northern Scotland were significantly drier than average. There was a general division in sunshine across the country; despite being so wet the south east was sunnier than average while the north west was duller than average. The UK overall received 95 per cent of average sunshine hours. So there is a silver lining: despite everything, the sun still shines. During this time, groundsmen across the UK have been tested and probably the demand for 'chainsaw management' has hit a new peak. While the media often focuses on the number of games cancelled - and those advocating synthetic turf use the opportunity of the worst weather in 300 years to push the cause - groundsmen quietly and diligently go about their work and get the game on. In fact, it would be very interesting to see how many matches have been saved rather than lost. The IOG salutes all our members during this trying time. Some conditions may have grabbed the media attention more than others – for example, recent focus has been on Murrayfield - but we know they will turn the situation around and they have the support of the IOG and the industry who understand the complexities of managing turf in stadium environments. The IOG has cause to celebrate the many great examples of excellent sports surfaces produced in all weathers, often against the odds, by the many hard working volunteers and professional members, often working unsociable hours with little appreciation. We salute and thank you for continuing to get the game on – whatever the weather. Geoff Webb, Chief Executive, The Institute of Groundsmanship What is going on with the weather? A The IOG has cause to celebrate the many great examples of excellent sports surfaces produced in all weathers, often against the odds, by the many hard working volunteers and professional members, often working unsociable hours with little appreciation " " Contributors Colin Hoskins Features editor Dr David Greenshields Barenbrug research & development manager Chris Grey IOG head of education Dr Sid Sullivan Parks and amenity consultant Richard Fry Rigby Taylor marketing director

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