The UK's top amenity sprayer operators have been recognised with this year's Amenity Sprayer Operator of the Year Awards (ASOY).
Sponsored by Syngenta and ICL, the winners of this prestigious competition were announced at the Amenity Forum Conference in Burton-on-Trent.
The Awards have highlighted the exceptional skills and experience of all those involved, to demonstrate best practice for effective results and, above all, safe spray application in amenity situations.
Winners and runners-up of the three categories judged were:
|Sports and Amenity Turf using a Boom Sprayer|
|Jason Garlick, JMG Amenity Ltd, Leicester||Liam Evans, Royal St Georges Golf Club, Sandwich|
|Sports and Amenity turf using hand held equipment|
|Hazel Johnson, Hortech Ltd, Lancashire||Gary Watts, Greenthumb Beverley, Hull|
|Hard and Porous Surfaces using Vehicle Mounted Equipment|
|Mark Sanders, JSD Rail, Workington|
|Hard and Porous Surfaces or Invasive Weed Species using Hand-Held Equipment|
|James Carter, DTMS Group, Yorkshire|
Winner of the sports and amenity turf using a boom sprayer category, Jason Garlick from JMG Amenity Limited in Quorn, Leicester, was praised by the judges for his broad knowledge of the sector spraying a range of amenity surfaces including golf courses, football pitches and treating a water based hockey pitch.
Jason is BASIS qualified in sports turf and invasive weeds as well as PA units, and taken this knowledge to develop his own recommendation sheets for each of his clients. The judges were particularly impressed with how Jason uses this knowledge to inform clients of the correct course to reduce chemical run off in to water courses and target weed infestations.
Winner of the sports and amenity turf using a handheld applicator category, Hazel Johnson from Hortech Limited, Lancashire, was complimented on how she stays up to date with internal training, and utilises cultural and mechanical control before using chemical controls.
The judges were impressed with Hazel commenting that she is a "very passionate operator whom welcomes internal or external audits to ensure everything is compliant and in line with client contract specification".
In the category for hard and porous surface application, winner Mark Sanders, of Yorkshire-based JSD R&D Ltd, the judges were impressed by the large closed transfer system on the spray train and by Mark's use of flowmeters to accurately measure volumes as well as him holding a BASIS Storekeeper's Certificate.
James Carter, of the DTMS Group and winner of the application using hand held equipment award, was complimented for his involvement in writing COSHH assessments and contingency plans, and liaising where necessary with BASIS advisors. James is fully on top of policies and procedures, being ISO 90001 and 40001 compliant. Hortech, DTMS and JSD R&D are members of the Amenity Assured scheme.
Amenity Forum Chairman, Professor John Moverley, said: "The ASOY Awards has judged all aspects of amenity spraying, to identify the UK's very best operators. It is designed to share their skills and expertise across the industry.
"It has been evident that all the entrants have consistently shown outstanding skills and work to very high standards, to achieve the best possible results. The selected finalists have proved worthy winners by demonstrating that best practice can deliver efficient, cost effective and accurate amenity spraying."
Daniel Lightfoot, Syngenta UK Business Manager, said: "We recognise that the skills of the operator are paramount in achieving the best possible results from every application. In almost every instance the ASOY entrants have instigated ideas and practices to make the spraying process easier, more accurate and, ultimately, safer.
"The Awards are a welcome way to recognise and reward the leading individuals and to learn from their experience."
ICL UK Landscape & Industrial Manager, Mark Pyrah, added: "We are delighted to support such an important cross-sector industry initiative, with a continued commitment to raise standards and improve results."
"Importantly it has identified and recognised the diversity of spray application techniques and the differing skills involved across the amenity sector. It will provide a unique and vitally important resource for all involved in spray application."
Awards launch for 2017
Furthermore, in addition to the ultimate accolade of Sprayer Operator of the Year in their category, the overall winner for 2017 will enjoy a trip to the US turf show, along with £250 of training vouchers for further CPD, from sponsors Syngenta and ICL, as well as a year's free membership of the BASIS Amenity Training Register.
The Sprayer Operator of the Year Awards has been entered for BASIS and BIGGA CPD scheme points. Application forms for the Amenity Forum Sprayer Operator of the Year 2017 are now available from the Amenity Forum and its industry members supporting the Awards, including ICL and Syngenta.