It's tough being a public green space in a summer like the one we have had - too little rainfall, too much footfall! Fortunately Bourne Sport are there to help restore the lawns, scarifying, re-seeding, top-dressing and generally repairing things. On contract to IdVerde, we are working throughout the London Borough of Camden at present.
Here you can see Richard and Jason unloading various kit at Fortune Green in West Hampstead. In fact, the centre of the small park was still baked so hard that it was really only possible to work the edges - but they got well and truly scarified and overseeded.
The BBC highlighted a number of issues arising out of the FA's evidence to a parliamentary hearing last Wednesday about the possible sale of Wembley Stadium:
- 150,000 matches were called off last season due to poor facilities
- One in six matches are called off due to poor pitch quality
- 33 of 50 county FAs are without their own 3G pitch
- Cancelled matches account for the equivalent of 5,000,000 playing opportunities lost this year because of poor facilities
These problems were very noticeable last winter and were repeatedly brought up, not least at the time of our Sevenoaks Town event in February. The answer lies in 3G (artificial) pitches, proper maintenance and the right drainage, but all of these things cost money. At our Sevenoaks event, the finances were addressed by STFC Chairman Paul Lansdale - and now it seems funding is moving up on the FA's agenda too, with part of the potential sale price for Wembley being aimed at "investment into community football facilities".
The new 3G pitch we installed last year for STFC is now in daily use, as it was throughout the winter, and regular maintenance should keep it going for 10-15 years before it needs renewing. No cancellations were necessary, which leads to a virtuous circle of improved cashflow, better players and better football for all.
We are hoping to repeat the Sevenoaks event in other locations next winter - perhaps the FA's thinking will have solidified by then?
Took a trip to the Withdean Stadium in Brighton yesterday, to see the Bourne Sport track washer in action and get some pictures and videos.
It is an interesting piece of machinery, built around a Kubota L5040 51hp tractor. Clean water is sprayed on to the track via the front-mounted cleaning aggregate, which also contains rotary brushes. These dislodge the dirt and other debris and the dirty water is then vacuumed away into a 400 litre waste-water tank. This vacuuming process is driven by a separate Briggs & Stratton engine with a large pump. The cleaning process has a relatively low water consumption, requiring about 1 litre per linear metre - so the machine can complete one circuit of the track before having to be emptied and re-filled with clean water.
Although the track at Withdean is said to be relatively new, impressive amounts of dirt were removed by the machine - regular maintenance of this kind will clearly prolong the usable life of the surface.
Withdean stadium - the site hosted Brighton Zoo from 1920 - is now primarily used for athletics, but there is a grass pitch for football as well, which was the temporary home for Brighton and Hove Albion between 1999 and 2011. Next to the stadium is a big sports complex for indoor activities.
Bourne Sport unleashed its new custom built track washer on the Julie Rose stadium in Ashford on Friday.
The track washer was built in our own workshops and designed to improve further on some of the proprietary machines currently on the market. After extensive testing and final adjustments to our initial design the machine performed excellently. It will next appear at the Guildford Spectrum and the Withdean Stadium, Brighton.
The machine is built around a Kubota 50hp compact tractor and comprises a high pressure washer mounted on the front and a high output vacuum pump with clean and dirty water tanks located on the back.
It is designed for cleaning polymeric running tracks but can also address any artificial surface where high pressure washing and removal of dirty water is required.
Where tractor access is restricted, the machine can be used with two high pressure lances on long reels and pedestrian vacuuming units.
Regular washing not only makes the surface look good, but also ensures its longevity and performance. An opportunity for our customers to liven up their summer playing surfaces!
Constructing a new sports pitch for a school during term time presents its own special problems - like access to the site. Obviously, eight-wheeler lorries and schoolchildren should never mix. That's when a grab lorry comes in handy - here we are delivering topsoil for a project in North Kent. Interestingly, part of the soil is being re-purposed from another project where the re-modelling of the site left us with vast amounts of great soil. Reduce, reuse, recycle!