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Turf Consultancy

 

Event Courses

Event course organisers are becoming more aware of the need to have a sound surface for their horses.  

 

The development of a sound root mat will give the versatility of an event course that will stand up to high entry numbers in the wet months of winter and a great grass cover to give the best cushion surface for the spring and summer months.


There is widely documented evidence that a consistent grass surface is by far the safest surface for horses to work on.  The softer the going, the fewer leg injuries sustained.

 

Greener Pastures have previously worked with the Burghley Event course and saw an enormous improvement in the resilience and composition of the turf over the years we've worked there.

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Race Tracks

The health of the turf on a racetrack is paramount.

The ever increasing tendency of race courses to try and have that one extra race meeting or in the Point to Point scene, the high number of runners causing the races to be split puts the surface of the course (particularly at the take offs and landings of the jumps) under immense pressure.  

If the fertility of the soil is not at it's optimum then the development of a sound root mat will not happen.

 

Through the process of soil testing and measuring grass growth with an electronic pasture probe, turf can be improved.  The pasture probe will electronically measure kgsDM/Ha giving an accurate assessment of grass growth.

 

This process, in turn coupled with correct weed spraying, topping and rolling will stimulate root development.

 

Pony Fields

One of the most common weeds we deal with is Ragwort, - Senecio jacobaea. It is widely spread throughout the area and it's control is made all the more difficult by the lack of effort put in by local authorities and councils to control Ragwort on the roadsides and public areas.


Common Ragwort contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are poisonous to horses, other farm animals such as sheep and cattle and also to wild animals such as hare and deer. It is important for horse owners and horse pasture owners to recognize and control this potentially fatal plant.

Unfortunately, some horse-keepers do not control ragwort growth and spread as they do not expect their horses to eat the plant and probably don't appreciate the reality of the suffering their animals could be caused. It is true that ragwort does have a bitter taste which often deters horses from eating it. However, if grass becomes sparse (e.g. following a period of hot dry weather) horses may resort to eating plants they wouldn't normally eat, including ragwort if it is present. Some horses develop a liking for the bitter taste and may choose to eat it even when there is sufficient palatable grass available to graze on. If eaten, as little as 2lb of fresh ragwort can be sufficient to cause fatal damage. Uncontrolled ragwort left growing in and around horse pastures exposes horses and ponies to poisoning and possibly death, and the infestation will increase each year as plants set seed.

The Ragwort Control Act enables the Secretary of State to make a Code of Practice to prevent the spread of Ragwort. Rural Affairs Minister and Minister for the Horse, Alun Michael, launched the Code of Practice on How to Prevent the Spread of Ragwort at the Royal Show on 4 July 2004. By promoting good practice and good neighborliness the code aims to reduce significantly the risk posed by ragwort poisoning to horses and other animals. The Code is particularly relevant for large scale organizations, including local authorities and public bodies.

 

Under the Ragwort Control Act, the Code will be admissible in enforcement proceedings under the Weeds Act, which will make it easier to prosecute those who disregard the need to control Ragwort. Similarly, those who have followed the guidance laid down in the Code, would be able to use this in their defense in any Court proceedings.

We offer a full obligation free consultation service for owners of fields that have a ragwort problem.  We have had a great deal of experience with it's control and eradication.  Please don't hesitate to contact us for weed spraying or any further pasture consultancy.

 

Golf Courses

Our machinery is especially designed for amenity areas and golf courses.  

 

We used low pressure tyres, low drift nozzles and computer controlled equipment resulting in an accurate dose rate.

 

Work is performed with the minimum of disruption to the golfers and green keepers daily routine.

 

Because we specialize in pesticide application and adhere to the various codes of practice as required by The Control of Pesticides Act 1986 we can assure you that the job will be done to meet all safety requirements and to meet your satisfaction.

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Lawns & Amenities

Greener Pastures offer a bespoke lawn care service that will leave you with a lawn your neighbors will envy.

 

Soil testing and analysis will show us the chemical balance of your soil, and from there we can formulate a program of weed spraying and fertilizer application that will rejuvenate your lawn.

 

Our fully qualified staff use large droplet low drift spray application that will avoid any drift and meet all safety requirements laid down by The Control of Pesticides Act 1986.  

 

All work is fully guaranteed and completed to the highest standard. Please contact us for an obligation free quote.  

 

Doug Harkin

Greener Pastures

Blackgrounds Farm
Culworth Road
Chipping Warden
Oxfordshire
OX17 1LZ

07890 294377