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EDUCATIONAL ESTABLISHMENTS The whole estates


department numbers over one hundred, ensuring that QE is pretty well self- sufficient. One of the philosophies of QE is that ‘The Team’ should be able to do everything in house!


” Rain Bird system in action Line marking for senior football


Mark, third from left on the team shot, has a close working relationship with Ben and his team and, on occasions, the teams help each other on large jobs necessitating greater numbers. The whole estates department, however, numbers over one hundred and includes builders, electricians, plumbers, carpenters and those with other skills, ensuring that QE is pretty well self- sufficient. As Ben said: “One of the philosophies of QE is that ‘The Team’ should be able to do everything in house!” Ben’s team, therefore, require little extra help normally as, mentioned above, the Estates Department can be called on for this and advice. They have access to individuals on site responsible for Health & Safety, HR, environmental matters, etc., and there is even medical facilities for pupils and all staff. From an agronomy standpoint however, Ben said that ICL have been particularly helpful. The soil profile is generally loamy in the surrounding area, but renovation work on pitches has meant changes by the addition of other materials. Ben enlightened me: “We


We now have much better understanding of pitch profiles here. We need balanced aeration and I guess we were overdoing it. Linear aeration now takes precedence





Looking from the MUGAs and basketball area over the senior grass and sand based synthetic and athletic running track to the pool and gym


90 PC April/May 2019


wanted to create higher performing pitches, especially as there was winter saturation; not enough fixtures and training lessons were being held! We went to iTurf for advice and they made recommendations based on work carried out by Premier Pitches.” “The work involved removing 5” of native soil to expose existing drainage. We added primary drainage and gravel banding and then replaced the rootzone. We went for 80% sand, 10% peat and 10% topsoil.” Ben explained that they had previously been given permission to half stitch (SIS pitches) but now, having followed the advice of iTurf which has worked so well, this is unnecessary. “The pitch is performing so well now and probably better than a fibre pitch” said Ben. “We now have much better understanding of pitch profiles here. We need balanced aeration and I guess we were overdoing it. Linear aeration now takes precedence.” remarked Ben. Another investment, proving indispensable, is full Rain Bird irrigation systems now operating throughout the


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