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EQUESTRIAN


Ripon Racecourse


 A


Ripon is known as Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse, due to its most pleasant surroundings and well-kept bedding areas which are often entered into the Yorkshire in Bloom awards. Lee Williams met Carl Tonks, forty-six-year-old, Head Groundsman to find out more


fter a warm welcome from Carl outside the racecourse, we walk through to the paddock. The first thing you see is the lovely well-kept bedding areas


and lawns, including old telephone boxes transformed into beautiful displays. Carl explains; “The founding directors of the company had a vision of a friendly place to visit, in nice surroundings. Now, over one hundred years later, that same ethos continues, and we proudly have the title of Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse. At the forefront of our minds is to present a welcoming feeling when visitors enter the course and we feel the numerous planting projects on display achieve this.” “We are long term entrants into Yorkshire in Bloom and have gained many gold


awards in a very strong field and have been category winners. We also assist in the presentation of Ripon City in their applications for Britain in Bloom. When we are posed with an issue, we have the term “Fix it with Flowers” and try to reuse old materials for solving problems. For instance, we continually had visitors driving into areas they shouldn’t, so we used old wine barrels filled as planters to make bollards and used old stable feed troughs as planters. Also, our redundant telephone boxes have been vertical planters for several years now and we generally theme the planting scheme colours to events or winning owner’s silks of the year.”


“With an eye on the environment, the arisings from the lawns and track strip are mixed with the used bedding from


Head Groundsman Carl Tonks 110 PC August/September 2019


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