Hazlegrove Prep School takes on challenge of poor sports surfaces with Headlands’ help – and wins!

Sport plays an integral part of the school day to pupils at Hazlegrove Preparatory School in Somerset, with the indoor complex and outdoor grounds capable of hosting most sports imaginable. Working with Head of Grounds Graham Kitley to maintain nearly 200 acres of parkland grounds and facilities is a team of four who between them have completely transformed the site in under 18 months. A complete Headland Amenity nutritional programme was key to Grahams approach, leaving sports surfaces and lawns healthy, strong and looking better than ever.

“When I joined Hazlegrove in January 2017 the site was in need of considerable work, we had a problem with weeds and our cricket squares were four inches long. It was clear I had a challenge on my hands” explains Graham, who spent almost a year dealing with inherited issues before turning to Alex Hawkes of Headland Amenity to start developing the fine turf areas. “I’ve been working with Alex and Headland products for the last five or six years so we sat down together and, following some soil samples, formulated a plan.”

Alex suggested a programme which included a number of multi-tasking products which could be used across various surfaces at the site, helping to reduce the complexity of the regime as well as the overall cost. In the autumn of 2017 Graham began a programme of Headland’s 20-20-30 enhanced plant health strategy across the six golf greens, four cricket squares, outfields and five rugby pitches. “We also apply, amongst others, Multigreen Granular on our winter sports pitches and cricket outfields as the temperatures rise, and C-Complex on the squares. Our ornamental lawns and gardens which line the entrance to the school are a real showpiece which we work hard on. Here we use a tankmix of Elevate Fe, a clean source of iron, with Clipless NT helping to maintain the presentation without the need to cut every day.”

Whilst well established in the golf environment, the effectiveness of the Headland products in use at Hazlegrove illustrate their ability to also perform in a multi-sport environment. “With the 20-20-30 mix we saw results in less than 2 months and as we went into winter and the temperatures dropped, the areas held up against the cold, moisture and disease. As we came out into spring, surfaces were strong and we had a massive reduction in Red Thread occurrence which had been an issue in previous years. Across the site the results are speaking for themselves and now with regular good practice and a comprehensive nutritional programme, they’ll only continue to improve.”

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