The Groundsman

August 2016

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Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions TECHNICAL UPDATE 32 the Groundsman August 2016 of articles and available on our website www.amenityforum.co.uk . The Amenity Forum provides the vehicle for that single voice and it needs all involved to get behind it so that we can influence and evidence the importance of our sector. The Forum only exists to promote and demonstrate the sector's commitment to best practice. We have made substantial progress as a sector in recent years but it requires everyone to adopt the standards. We can then truly provide the assurance required by the public and ensure we can continue to operate with all the tools currently available to us. Increasing public understanding In political and stakeholder discussions, the importance of amenity can be undervalued because of a lack of public understanding of what we do and a less easily identified benefit compared to say agriculture. We are doing all we can to correct this but we also need your input. In weed, pest and disease control, the amenity sector already has far less approved pesticides available to it compared to agriculture and all are vital. We all have a part to play in delivering that message and ensuring we operate at the highest standards. Over the next few months, the Forum will be releasing a series of information documents and infographics aimed at the public and the sector. Through these and accompanying material such as video clips, we seek to drive up awareness and emphasise why such work is so vital. We will also be working with politicians and others involved in creating new approaches and policy following the referendum outcome. This is the time to influence and work alongside them and drive the message of amenity and how well maintained amenity areas are essential both for a safe, sustainable and healthy environment and fit for purpose as recreational and business spaces. Professor John Moverley is independent chair of the Amenity Forum. Further information on the activities of the Forum and its role in promoting best practice and guidance can be found on its website at www.amenityforum.co.uk l The Amenity Forum is driving the message of how well maintained amenity areas are essential for a safe, sustainable and healthy environment as well as being fit for purpose as recreational spaces The quality of UK sports surfaces is well known and respected across the world. We need to step up our voice and present this with pride. Operating at the highest standards The recent debates and delays around the re-approval of glyphosate have not been good. They certainly do not portray EU processes in a good light and we would hope that more UK control in the future will help simplify this, certainly something we will seek. However the situation also demonstrated the real impact of public opinion. The sad truth is that comment on this matter moved away from the science and evidence to one of opinion. It is easy for those directly involved to pour scorn on such views but surely it is up to us to articulate even more why we do what we do and address these concerns. We must operate at the highest standards and demonstrate our commitment to best practice. We should strive to ensure that all adopt Amenity Assured standards, work together and follow the Golden Rules referred to previously in this series

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