I just wanted to write a quick blog about the clearing and tidying up of the leaves!
This is a non stop task for the team from October until the new year.
Last year we spent over 900 man hours clearing leaves from the course.
This year we have an even bigger challenge. Not only have all the trees on the course got bigger (remember the trees are constantly growing year on year) but due to the mild wet winter last year we have an even bigger amount of leaves on the trees. Why? Because the mild winter meant the trees metabolism never slowed down add to this the extra sunshine of 2016 meaning the tree was able to photosynthesis more. Speaking to different arboriculturists this year I was told they had really noticed and the difference is huge!
I have mentioned this before but the average Oak tree has 300,000 leaves, we have hundreds and hundreds of Oaks on the course and this is a 'bumper year' for leaves so imagine how many we need to remove... Answers on postcard please!
We have added new machinery to our existing leaf clearing fleet over the last 12 months. These include- 3x back pack blowers, 1x Pro force blower (like jet engines), 1x big tractor mounted blowers, 1x SG400 Trilo vacuum
The new Grillo cut and collect system (above:- used for Heather and long roughs) also can be used as a small vacuum system.
Our aim everyday now is to clear the main playing surfaces by hand (note picture above shows we are now hand mowing greens too).
These are then blown into lines or back into play (sounds mad I know) but these can then be vacuumed up!
Once we have cleared the main playing surfaces our attention will turn to the ditches, woodlands and Heather areas. These all need to be cleared for different reasons, firstly the ditches are needed to dry the course out in the depths of winter.
Secondly leaf mulch will suppress some of amazing flora and forna we have during the season in our woodlands and Heather areas. Getting leaves out of Heather is a very time consuming effort but is worth it.
The high winds of late and the frosty mornings are just what we need to get the leaves down and down quickly is how we prefer it because we can then get a good clean up completed.
So please bare with us in the coming few weeks why we do our best to stay on top of this huge task, it only takes one gust of wind to undo hours of work. The team are working hard to clear the leaves for you!
That's enough from me... We have leaves to collect.
See you soon