The LDCA has been developing its educational role by working with Merrist Wood Campus, part of Guildford College, to provide practical sessions on sportsturf drainage to students on the college's National Award Level 3 Sportsturf Course.
The sessions were spread over two weeks and included a site visit to provide the students with the opportunity to see drainage actually being installed at a nearby sports pitch under construction.
Here the students were taken through some of the pre construction procedures for such things as CDM regulations, detection of underground services, and inspection of materials, and were given instruction in how to survey a site and take levels for setting up grade control.
The students saw lateral piped drains being installed in a one pass operation with a chain trenching machine excavating the trench, excavated soil being carted away, the pipe being placed in the trench, and the trench being filled with permeable backfill all in one continuous operation. The key features which affect the quality of installation were shown to the students whilst the drainage was being installed.
Sessions back at the college included explanations of the principles of sportsturf drainage and the different systems for primary and secondary drainage for sports pitches and for golf. The emphasis in these sessions was to highlight the factors which affect the performance of drainage systems particularly the aftercare and maintenance required for drainage schemes. Students also undertook design exercises to produce drainage layouts for a golf course fairway, and calculation of quantities of materials required.
Richard Evans, student on National Award Level 3 Sportsturf and Head Groundsman at Shiplake College quoted, "Both sessions were very informative and the onsite visit and practical elements kept it interesting. Sessions were well planned and delivered."
Philip Mayes, Course Team Leader and Tutor in Sports Turf at Merrist Wood stated, "Both sessions enabled learners to discuss techniques with industry specialists increasing learner's knowledge and understanding. Also, the input from the LDCA ensured that the drainage unit maintained its realism and provided learners with an insight into the practical application of theory."
LDCA Secretary Bruce Brockway, who ran the sessions together with LDCA Chairman Nigel Wyatt, said the Association was pleased with the positive response from the college and students to the LDCA's input to the course.
He said that because the LDCA is a contractors organisation it has accumulated a wealth of information based on practical experience which it can bring to sportsturf education to compliment the tuition at colleges.
The LDCA seeks to encourage 'good current practice' in drainage and working with Merrist Wood in this way shows how the LDCA can use its practical experience to make a useful contribution to the industry.
The LDCA is keen to partner with other colleges and industry bodies to develop its training and educational activities. Those interested should contact Bruce Brockway on 01327 263264 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image1: Students watch drainage being installed on a sports pitch under construction
Image 2: Drainage materials being explained
Image 3: Students plan drainage layouts on a golf course