I have had a wide vocational experience backed up with scientific qualifications and research. I have worked as an Estate Manager for large properties, as a golf greenkeeper atop UK golf courses, and progressed to Golf Course Manager. I have also held a position as Head Groundsman managing sports and cricket pitches. I also held post as a lecture for five years at a leading UK agricultural college, developing Apprenticeship, Further and Higher Education courses.
Since been in business, I have used my science qualifications (BSc. (Hons)) and knowledge to advise on golf courses around the world far apart in distance and climate: Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Germany and Nicaragua. I have had the privilege of advising at the highest level of UK Premiership and international football and rugby stadia.
Recent years have seen me advising farmers on growing grass for hay, grazing and silage.
Since 2007 I have been at the forefront of the development and use of biorational products for grass growth and management. These materials are not just “environmentally friendly”, but only have a positive effect on soil and plant health. I am currently researching the effects of low light on grass growth at Nottingham University, which will lead to reduced use of supplementary lighting in sports stadia and improved growth of grass in shade.
golf & sports turf
I have advised on golf courses in the UK, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Nicaragua, and South Africa, and also consulted on Premiership football pitches and international stadia. The heart of my consultancy work lies in my unique analysis of the rootzone conditions, with the resulting programmes designed to produce hard wearing and healthy surfaces that meet the high expectations of modern users and turfgrass managers.
Modern football stadia have little direct sunlight reaching the turf surface and expensive lighting rigs are used to provide light. I am currently carrying out research at Nottingham University on reducing the costs of operating lighting rigs by investigating which plant photosynthates and metabolites are missing in turfgrass grown in shade.
I have worked on the finest golf courses in the UK, and progressed to Golf Course Manager. Previous to my golf greenkeeping career, I was a Head Groundsman looking after football and rugby pitches, bowling greens and cricket pitches. I have been a lecturer for five years at a leading UK Agricultural college, developing Apprenticeship, Further and Higher Education courses.
Growing grass with a rich mineral and higher carbohydrate content results in healthier animals and more nutritious produce, e.g. meat and dairy products. Decades of spreading high nitrogen fertilisers is leading to reduced yields in cattle and sheep, but many farmers are now recognising the importance of providing more nutrition to their animals through growing mineral rich grass using targeted treatments. Animals are healthier and the produce, e.g. meat and milk, is far better for human health.
I advise on growing grass for hay and silage. This has been a neglected subject due to many farmers relying on an annual application of nitrogen. In these days of reducing allowance of nitrogen fertilisers I am helping farmers use other inputs that produce grass containing more minerals that are far healthier for animals.
country estates & Amenity landscapes
Estates open to the public require high standards of presentation of grassed/lawn areas that show off the property to its full potential. Large country estates need to finance themselves through public visitors and/or country fairs and other events, often leading to large areas of damaged grass. I advise on prevention of damage and on best methods of restoration. Ornamental areas deserve the best treatments and my expertise will ‘show off’ your lawns to present your buildings and grounds in the best light.
One highlight of Andrew’s expertise was helping Burghley House to feed their herd of deer and protect mature trees during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee visits. The deer had to be corralled in a small area and the concern was that, by fertilising the grass, the roots of the mature trees in and around the area could be damaged. Also, deer are used to foraging on low nitrogen vegetation and grass with high nitrogen content could cause digestive damage. Andrew was able to advise on the correct fertiliser to prevent both causes of concern.