Leading grass seed breeder Barenbrug has received a significant accolade for its unique Rhizomatous Tall Fescue (RTF). The grass seed variety is the first to gain the prestigious Waterwise Marque.
It was one of 15 products to be awarded the Waterwise Marque at a special awards ceremony at Oxford University. The Waterwise Marque is the first scheme in the UK to highlight water efficient products.
The Marque is awarded annually to products which reduce water wastage or raise the awareness of water efficiency. RTF was included in the list of winning products, which included dishwashers, an aerated showerhead, water storing gels for the garden, a waterless urinal, a new dual flush toilet and a waterless carwash. Joanna Yarrow, director of Beyond Green, presented the awards.
RTF has been included in the company's BAR range for the first time this year. It features in BAR 10 with RTF and BAR 30 with RTF. These two new grass seed mixtures have both been designed to provide greenkeepers and groundsmen with mixtures capable of withstanding the toughest weather conditions - from drought to waterlogging. RTF is aggressively rhizomatous for high tensile strength and unrivalled recovery and has a deep rooting capability down to 1.5m.
BAR 10 with RTF is specially formulated to provide excellent wear tolerance on heavy wear areas such as golf course walkways and for heavy-duty sports pitches, polo pitches and racecourses.
BAR 30 with RTF is the ultimate mixture for drought recovery combined with low input requirements. It is ideal for golf course tees, fairways, bunker surrounds and landscaping.
In addition RTF features in RTF Turf. The four members of the RTF Turf Group, who are accredited to grow RTF turf in the UK, all have been impressed with its ability to withstand drought conditions and its amazing recovery after harvest. Its self-repairing capability and fast establishment are seen as key attributes. RTF has shown how well it can cope with the drought, maintaining growth and colour even in the hottest and driest spells.
RTF is also included in a special Water Saver lawn seed mixture available direct from Barenbrug or via its consumer website www.the-perfect-lawn.co.uk.
Environment Minister, Ian Pearson welcomed the Waterwise Marque: "It will raise the profile of water efficiency, help the consumer to make informed choices in product selection, and reward those manufacturers who are taking a lead in water saving. It is good for the environment, good for consumers and good for business."
Director of Waterwise Jacob Tompkins said: "This is the first scheme in the UK to highlight water efficient products. We have a fantastic range of products for use both in the home and garden. The Waterwise Marque will empower buyers to make more informed choices on which water using products to purchase.
"Despite the recent rainfall it is still imperative that we continue to use water wisely. The UK's fresh water supplies are not limitless. Climate change, along with population growth and shift mean that we can't simply continue to use a third more than many of our European neighbours. The most effective long term way to stop future water shortages is for all of us to make small behavioural changes and to choose water efficient products."
Receiving the award Barenbrug UK managing director Paul Johnson said: "It is wonderful to receive recognition for RTF. We always knew that it had great potential for helping both professional users and consumers save water and now we have some heavyweight independent backing for our claim."
Tall fescues have always been suitable for lawns because they have a popular dark green colour and they are very hard wearing and can withstand periods of dry conditions. But RTF with its rhizomes has the additional benefit of being able to fill in areas of lawn that may have been weakened/damaged by wear/stress.
Another feature that helps RTF survive is its broad leaf, which makes it tougher than some of the more fine leafed cultivars that are commonly included in lawn seed mixtures.
To substantiate the claims made for RTF Barenbrug has undertaken a series of trials at its European headquarters in Holland. The trials include wear and shade tolerance, salt tolerance and rooting weight.
The rooting weight trials substantiate the rooting strength and ability of RTF when compared to perennial ryegrass. The salt tolerance trial has specific relevance for users looking to use salt or recycled water that may contain higher levels of sodium and other contaminants. By being more salt tolerant this encourages users to use recycled water. The wear and shade trials show how RTF handles stress of all types far better than other varieties and continues to thrive where other mixtures may need irrigation or other forms of support to help them survive.
Barenbrug UK headquarters is based at Rougham Industrial Estate, Rougham, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP30 9ND. Telephone: 01359 272000, fax: 01359 272001, email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.barenbrug.co.uk
Photo caption: Barenbrug's unique RTF will now proudly carry the Waterwise Marque.