Myerscough sportsturf tutor leads international conference

Dave Salmonin Training & Education

Delegates from around the world have gathered for an international conference led by a University Centre Myerscough sportsturf tutor.

Dr Stewart Brown is the President of the European Turfgrass Society, who recently held their 6th Research Conference in Manchester. This was the first time this prestigious event has been held in the UK with past conferences in Italy (2008), France (2010), Norway (2012), Germany (2014) and Portugal (2016).

The ETS Conferences are the forum par excellence for scientists, lecturers, consultants, companies and practitioners to discuss technical research and issues related with the study of turfgrass and amenity landscape areas.

The Organising Committee, led by Stewart Brown, organised this international congress under the theme: "Different Shades of Green" to reflect the many, varied sports surfaces, and amenity facilities the industry encompasses.

Delegates attended from around the world including countries in Europe, and the USA, Canada, China and Australia. In total 19 different countries were represented at the 3-day conference comprising of two days of research presentations and a third day for a technical tour to sports turf facilities. Delegates had presentations from keynote speakers: Steve Isaac (Director of Sustainability for the R&A), Dr Micah Woods (Asian Turfgrass Center), Dr Ruth Mann and Dr Tom Young (Sports Turf Research Institute) and Professor Mike Richardson (University of Arkansas, USA). 43 research papers and posters were presented on a variety of turfgrass and landscape management topics from authors. Most delegates also attended the technical field day with visits to the Sports Turf Research Institute, Manchester City FC (CFA) and Campey Turf Care Systems.

Senior HE Lecturer, Stewart Brown, will hold the prestigious post of President of the ETA for the next two years after being voted into the role at the Research Conference in 2016.

Stewart heads up the board of the society and sit alongside experts from other European bodies including the University of Copenhagen, the Italian Golf Federation and the Norwegian Institute of Bio-Economy Research.

He said: ''I'm keen to see Myerscough as the centre for Turfgrass Research & Education in Europe. I believe there is great potential for student recruitment for our Higher Education programmes but also opportunities for research and development with partners in Europe."

''The aims of the ETS fit in perfectly with what we offer in terms of sportsturf education at Myerscough. I want us to encourage a systems-based approach to the study of turfgrass through multi-disciplinary groups working at different levels, and to consider turfgrass knowledge in the broadest sense, including its use in sport and leisure, its role in improving urban quality and its importance in the mitigation of environmental effects such as soil erosion.''

The European Turfgrass Society (ETS) was founded in Pisa, Italy, in 2007, and came on the back of another group that linked together many European scientists and specialists of turf.

The objectives of the ETS include the spread of innovative applications and encouragement of a holistic view of turf, particularly with respect to its influence on urban and environmental quality. The organisation provides a forum for scientists, consultants, companies and practitioners to discuss technical issues related to the provision of turf surfaces.