IOG SALTEX, Europe's annual flagship event for the open space management industry being held on 6-8 September at Windsor Racecourse, Berks, is to once again stage the national finals of the UK LandscapeSkills Competition.
This year, five teams from a series of regional finals will each be completing a pre-determined 7 metres by 7 metres landscape project, from scratch, in just three days during the show.
The winners - adjudged by a high-profile panel - will then go on to compete next year to represent the UK in the prestigious bi-annual WorldSkills Competition being held in Japan in 2007. Last year, three teams took part in the final at IOG SALTEX and the winners, from Plumpton College, East Sussex, will be competing at the WorldSkills event in Helsinki this May.
With the backing of IOG SALTEX organisers, The Institute of Groundmanship, as well as the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) and the National Proficiency Test Council, the competition also has a number of commercial sponsors: Build Center, Bulldog Garden Tools, Crowders Nurseries, Glendale, Hanson Building Products, Hire Center, Makita UK, Marshalls and Q Lawn Turf.
Commenting that this year's much expanded competition is "yet another example of how IOG SALTEX is continually striving to add value to the time spent by visitors at the show", Patrick Gosset, chief executive of The Institute of Groundsmanship, said: "The landscaping industry has always been an important element of the show, and this year's enlarged competition is testament to the success of last year's final. It was a very popular attraction and created much interest.
"Again, this year we welcome the opportunity to be able to host such an important event. We are sure that both the many landscape contractors, and the companies that supply them with the necessary equipment, who will be attending this year's IOG SALTEX will again be enthralled by the competition."*
Log onto www.iogsaltex.co.uk for more details of this year's event or call 020 8232 1600.
* Following its 66-year tradition, IOG SALTEX 2005 will again embrace fine turf and sports, turf maintenance equipment, children's play and safety surfacing, contractors, commercial vehicles, leisure and facilities management and software as well as security equipment, and is aimed at everyone involved in open space management - from groundsmen and greenkeepers through to architects, designers and surveyors as well as local authority and leisure facility managers.