The standard of entry for a new industry innovation awards scheme was so high this year that the judges decided to name runners-up as well as winners.
Launched by four of Europe's leading open space show organisers - IOG SALTEX (Great Britain), Demo Dagen (Netherlands), SalonVert (France) and Demo Groen (Belgium) - the EDGE (Expo Demo Green Europe) Awards are designed to offer exhibitors a share of international exposure.
Nationally, the four shows each present two Innovation awards - Construction and Maintenance of Open Spaces and Design and Supply of Amenities - to companies that specialise in offering the market a product or service for the maintenance, design, management and supply of sport, play, recreation and environmental facilities, with "a clearly innovative character and a demonstrable added value for the user and the customer".
Runner-up in the Design and Supply of Amenities category was baseguard, a wet-pour mix made from recycled car tyres and designed to stop compaction, weed growth and litter build-up around trees by creating an attractive flexible and highly porous pad.
Supplied and fitted in the UK and Ireland by leading weed control specialists Complete Weed Control, baseguard is available in a range of colours and in two textures to offer a highly adaptable application for differing environments, including turf.
It can be retrofitted to existing installations such as cast iron grilles to help transform the streetscape, enhancing the built environment, while enabling sites to retain a strong `green` emphasis.
"The Awards attracted a particularly strong field and there was little to choose between the entrants," said Jane Merriman, the Institute of Groundsmanship's SALTEX Marketing Director, who co-ordinated the launch awards at SALTEX this year.
She added: "We wanted to acknowledge the big effort that everybody had made, which was why we decided to name runners-up as well as winners. The judging panel of industry experts certainly had a tough task and I hope that such a high standard of product innovation will be maintained in the years ahead."
Ian Graham, Managing Director of Complete Weed Control, said: "I am delighted that baseguard has been recognised in this, the first year of the EDGE awards. We have always been excited about this new generation of products but to see the industry recognise what is a great step forward is highly satisfying."