Firstly this week, I read with interest a thought provoking article about the current state of parks which considered mowing grass policies and regimes by a parks professional Known as 'The Pramulator'. A London-based gardener, the piece was published on the Parks Management Association website and is well worth a read.
He talks about how park budgets have been slashed over many years, with local authorities now facing further budget cuts that will change the way local authorities must manage these public assets. I can concur with his thoughts, having myself witnessed over thirty years of budgets cuts working as a parks professional and currently as a Green Flag judge. Every year we continue to see an eroding of parks standards.
So, as he says, it’s time to ask can parks continue to provide what, at their best, they have always provided? Or are we entering a new world where parks, or rather councils, can no longer provide for us in the way we have come to expect?
Moving on, September sees a number of trade shows planned for the industry. I personally will be attending this year’s inaugural GroundFest at the Stoneleigh Showground, Warwickshire on the 20th and 21st September. In its publicity the organisers promise the show will feature outdoor demonstrations, indoor zones, education, interactive workstations, machinery workshops, a wellbeing hub and a live music festival.
It will be certainly interesting to see how well attended this new show will be, especially as September is usually a very busy month for many grounds professionals and dealers.
The next show I am due to attend is The Landscape Show at the NEC on the 27th and 28th September, where I will be conducting a talk on lawn maintenance.
We then have to wait until November 1st and 2nd for the next major show, SALTEX held at the NEC and run by the GMA. The event is known for the quality, range and breadth of professional development opportunities it provides through its established Learning LIVE programme. This year, over 20 presenters will speak across three stages in two days.
We then have FutureScape 2023 on the 21st and 22nd of November, another must-attend landscaping event. For the past eight years, it has been a vital addition to the calendar for anyone within the industry.
And finally we must not forget the popular greenkeeping show at Harrogate in January 2024, BTME. Dates are 23rd 24th and 25th January 2024 with their educational events beginning on the 21st and running until the 24th.
So, we have plenty of opportunities to keep up to speed with the latest developments, products and educational opportunities within our industry. I hope to catch up with as many TurfPro readers and supporters as possible across all these upcoming events.