Compacted, waterlogged playing fields are a thing of the past for one Norfolk school after it invested in a Toro ProCore 648 aerator.
Town Close House Preparatory School in Norwich bought its grounds maintenance in-house after head groundsman, Chris King, joined in mid-2010. As part of his drive to reduce compaction and waterlogging across the playing fields and grounds in general, Chris chose the ProCore 648 to bring about some dramatic improvements.
As Chris explains: "We had a limited budget, but I've used Toro throughout my career and felt the 648 was ideal. We have three rugby pitches and a cricket square, which had been poorly maintained over the years.
The first rugby pitch is particularly prone to compaction and gets quite wet, but now we've started aerating it's as dry as a bone. We've been using it on our main lawn, too, which gets a hammering throughout the year and even has a bouncy castle put on it in summer, causing compaction."
Sport plays a major part of school life at Town Close, whose pupils are aged between three and 13. Having invested in specialist cricket and rugby coaches to enthuse the children, Chris' keenness to invest in grounds maintenance was fully supported by bursar Benita Ogg, who gave the Toro deal the green light.
"Rugby and cricket are very important to the school," Chris reveals. "But there's no point in investing in the playing standard unless you invest in the facilities, too. The ProCore will pay for itself in two to three years and bring long-term savings. Sports teachers have already noticed a difference and said how dry the field is. We often have problems turning our rugby pitches around in time for use as cricket outfields because they're still wet and then get a lot of wear and tear in the summer. But the ProCore will solve that. We couldn't be happier with it."
The school also has a Toro Greensmaster 1000 pedestrian mower.
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