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EQUESTRIAN


During the season, we will go through sixty to eighty tonnes of soil and use three bags of seed per race meeting


the stables to generate 20-30 tonnes of compost material. Any excess goes to the local allotments and, currently, we are converting shed roofs to green roofs with immediate success.”


“All the plants are produced on-site from seeds or plugs, with around 4,000- 6,000 for spring planting and 12,000 for summer schemes. The use of more perennial planting recently has given us the opportunity to lessen the impact of annual plant production, whilst retaining interest and colour.”


Carl explains the soil profile and construction of the racecourse (which was actually a farm up until 1900). “It is silty/clay based (56% sand, 31% silt and 13% clay), on top of a natural gravel bed layer - which is common around this area. If you look at an aerial picture of the site, we are surrounded by water. The river Ure is over the road and we have a canal that runs down one side,


we also have a lake in the middle of the course, and then the old quarry which is now wetland. When I first started here, I was told the river flooding was a hundred-year occurrence, then someone else said fifty years and, in the ten seasons I have been here, we have been flooded three times. When it floods, we have eighteen inches of water over the site and, with the way land management is now, the last time it flooded it stayed here for a week.”


Carl tells me that, although flooding is mainly through the autumn, the course is free draining and generally, within a few hours, everything will disappear. They only have sand slits and drains in their most problematic areas around the track. Carl makes full use of the fully automatic pop-up irrigation system when required, which is supplied via a borehole. “The Trident system was put in twenty years ago and has since been refreshed to be


112 PC August/September 2019





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