Major investment by Castlereagh Council
This latest round of equipment, valued at close to £100,000, was purchased from local dealer, Cyril Johnson Ltd, who supplied a range of machinery from Wiedenmann UK and their sister company Sportsgrounds Ltd.
With 29 grass football pitches and one Gaelic football pitch plus the recently opened Castlereagh Hills Golf Club to maintain, Allister Hamilton, the Council's Sports Turf and Golf Course Manager, has a big job on his hands. Commenting recently he said,
"In 2001 the Council took the decision to upgrade the Gilnakirk course as it was then called and purchased a tract of land adjacent to the existing 9 holes. A new back 12 holes were built together with a superb club house complete with bar, restaurant and office facilities.
"To date we have deposited over 3,000 tons of sand around the course, mainly on the fairways, using a Pro-Cast PC5 top dresser. At times we've been spreading 80 tons a day and the PC has been superb. The distribution is so fine, that we don't have to brush in. For top dressing the greens we purchased a Wiedenmann Terra Top 400, which sits behind a tractor and does a fine job with both heavy and light dressings.
"Included in this latest round of purchasing have been two deep aerators both from Wiedenmann, an XP6 and an XP8. These are excellent for relieving compaction and improving the rootzone on the golf course and on our grass sports surfaces across the borough. They've been particularly busy as we aerated all the football pitches four times last season.
"The quality of the equipment was a primary concern, but the level of service support from the supplying dealer was also a consideration. In this respect Cyril Johnson's have been superb including the all important aspect of operator training."