Compressed air de-compaction beats heavy traffic

Carol Duttonin Industry News
terrain aeration Heavy traffic on two golf courses in the north of the U.K. has taken Suffolk based Terrain Aeration over 400 miles away from home.

Ballochmyle golf course in Ayreshire, just south of Glasgow suffered from severe compaction on approaches to selective heavy traffic areas, and also on the 6th, 8th and 13th greens.

"We're an 18 hole, private members parkland course built on heavy clay," says Course Manager Ronnie Bunting. "I've always been interested in aerating from underneath rather than just simply treating the soil from the surface. Prior to Terrain Aeration's arrival we'd vertidrained the compacted areas and when they used their Airforce terralift machine to inject air under pressure one metre down this linked our own aeration channels with theirs. I've never used them before - years ago I used the Robin Dagger - but I was interested in the use of dried, milled seaweed to keep the channels open."

Terrain Aeration's Steve Oates spent two days working with Airforce Scamper, inserting the probe one metre down and injecting compressed air into the compacted ground at two metre spacings on a staggered grid pattern. Dried, milled seaweed was injected on the final air blast, which will swell on contact with moisture, keeping the newly created fractures and fissures open.

Just over a week later, Ronnie Bunting could already see a difference. "We had 22mms of rain yesterday and the treated areas are all back in play," he reports. "There's been a very obvious improvement, not just with drainage but the health and vigour of the plant following the increased air, nutrient and water flow."

Over 100 miles further south, the low lying nine hole Tyne Green course on the banks of the River Tyne at Hexham, Northumberland had suffered heavy traffic from a variety of machines, culminating in a 65 tonne crane. Heavy flooding the Christmas before last had caused damage to Northumbrian Waters' supply pipe under the Tyne and since then their contractors had been obliged to use an access road across part of the course to perform repairs. Michael Swinburn of Swinburn Horticultural Services, a contractor for Byzak who are managing the work for Northumbrian Water says that they needed to dig two bore holes one either side of the river, 17 metres and 25 metres deep in order to install new pipes.

Steve Oates arrived for Terrain Aeration, with instructions to aerate the access road, an adjoining green, plus one of the fairways. "I worked along the wheel ruts of the road, inserting the probe every two metres and injecting compressed air with dried milled seaweed on the final air blast," he recalls. "Compaction was very severe at the top end, near the river."

Following aeration and the completion of repairs to the pipeline, Tyne Green will re-seed.

For further information on the de-compaction treatment offered by Terrain Aeration, contact the company on Tel: 01449 673783 or visit their website at

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