The Groundsman

March 2014

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GROW WITH THE IOG 27 the Groundsman March 2014 Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions References [9] Kirby, E.C. & Baker, S.W. (1995) 'Earthworm populations, casting and control in sports turf areas: A review', Journal of the Sports Turf Research Institute, Vol.71, pp84-98 [10] Mann, R.L. (2004) 'A review of the main turfgrass pests in Europe and their best management practices at present', Journal of Turfgrass and Sports Surface Science, Vol.80, pp2-7 [11] Baldwin, N.A. (1988) 'Technical Note. Identification and control of algal slime on turf', Journal of the Sports Turf Research Institute, Vol.64, pp177-180 [12] Adams, W.A. & Gibbs, R.J. (1994) 'Natural Turf for Sport and Amenity: Science and Practice', CAB International, p165 [13] Green, B. (1981) 'Countryside Conservation. The protection and management of amenity ecosystems' (2nd Edition), Unwin Hyman, p186 [14] Pollard, E., Hooper, M.D. & Moore, N.W. (1974) 'Hedges', The New Naturalist, Collins, pp109-110 Systematic approach to managing grounds sustainably Active and informed management of a grass surface is needed if the ecological capacity of the surface is not to be exceeded. A reduction in healthy growing conditions and surface quality can reduce carrying capacity and increase the potential need for the use of pesticides. Carrying capacity can, however, have three different meanings and each of these should be considered when undertaking a systems approach to managing grounds: 1. Physical carrying capacity is the maximum amount of use that can occur at any one time; 2. Perceptual carrying capacity is the maximum amount of use that can occur before overcrowding reduces the level of enjoyment, or a minimum amount of use required, to instil a sense of safety within users; 3. Ecological carrying capacity is the maximum amount of use that can occur without reducing the ecological attributes of a site. [13] A sustainable management plan will involve the asking of searching questions. Examples of these may include: • If pesticides are used, what impact will they have on the carrying capacity of a surface? Will the main positive impact be from an improvement in playing quality and/or visual appearance? • Have stakeholders been identified and involved? How will stakeholders be engaged and what influence will they have on the decision-making process? • What local issues should be considered before pesticides are used? • What impact might the use of pesticides have on resident and transient wildlife? Recording and monitoring wildlife and their activity levels within the site boundary is one part of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), but it plays a more prominent role in a systems and sustainable approach to managing grounds. • What impact might the use of pesticides have on the environment which is beyond the local area that surrounds the ground? IPM focuses on the specific target crop so consider the wider implications. • Should all weeds be controlled? Weeds may support a diversity of invertebrates. For example, Stinging nettle ( Urtica dioica ) is traditionally a weed that would be previously controlled in peripheral areas. However, at least 27 insect species rely on this plant as, more or less, their sole source of food, while 17 also used it as a food source along with other plant species. [14] • What are the regional, national, international or global concerns that you can positively contribute to in addressing the sustainability agenda? Climate change? Social inequality? Responsible resource use? Biodiversity? Health concerns? Economic viability? Conclusion IPM provides an effective and focused approach to minimising pesticide use, however, this should be seen as one component and stage of developing a wider systematic sustainable grounds management plan. l Deers can also be a problem for some groundsmen

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