The Groundsman

December 2014

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IOG BEST PRACTICE 16 the Groundsman December 2014 Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions "With such high usage the challenge is to keep all the pitches playable," says Martin. "That's one reason why we like to keep the sward for both rugby and football maintained at 25mm, and it's why we employ constant spiking/aeration to relieve compaction and to get the air into the pitches. Thankfully, in March this year we had the drainage completely re- modelled, by Turfcare Specialists with a Sport England grant, and this has made a big difference by eliminating the pooling we used to endure during heavy rain." Well informed Another regular part of the job is the need for constant communication with the Ashbrooke committee and its trustees – "keeping them informed and up-to-date on what's happening and why it is happening, always with an eye on the budget, is a necessity". But, he says: "All the hard work is worth it when players come off after a game and say 'the pitch was good'. There's a lot of satisfaction in that, though like most groundsmen I'm always looking for perfection in both the presentation and the playability of the surfaces." He adds: "I must say that my achievements have been steered by the continual mentoring of IOG life member Bert Boston, previously head groundsman at Ashbrooke, and the daily rapport I have with Ron. Indeed, Bert remains a regular visitor to the ground – he's a constant source of good advice - and he is currently laying plans for a money-saving rainwater harvesting scheme for pitch irrigation." For the future, in addition to the Foundation Degree qualification, Martin is adamant that his mission is to achieve perfection in his playing surface maintenance. "They say it's impossible to achieve perfection, but that's no reason for not trying." l All the hard work is worth it when players come off after a game and say 'the pitch was good' " " Dennis FT 510 Fleet Arnold 3inch line marker Fleming outfield roller Foton tractor estate 2500+2 Groundsman Industries 460 HD turf aerator Poweroll Club cricket roller Ransomes Super Certes Ransomes Jacobsen Fairway 250 Ransomes Mastiff 32inch SISIS Twinplay brush SISIS Auto-Rotorake SISIS Quadraplay SISIS 21-1D compact tractor SISIS Multi-Tiner SISIS Lawnman SISIS Multi-Slit. Machinery Matters Martin credits former Ashbrooke Sports Club's head groundsman and IOG LifeTime member Bert Boston for his achievements at the site

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