PFM 21 6 - Page 11



NEWS
news
this can be expensive and will
need conditions such as
experienced this year to be
repeated more frequently to
deliver a return on investment.

Consider incorporating
watering programs into plans
and specifications for grounds
maintenance. These should
dictate when additional
watering for various different
types of foliage on site should
be triggered and how this
should be monitored.
Research and budget for
emergency plans for extreme
conditions when additional
water may need to be brought
on site and stored.

Warmer conditions will aid the
spread of pests and diseases
that will require more intensive
activity to manage.

Timing and use of fertilisers
will need to adapt to the
extreme rainfall that washed
out nutrients and releases
nitrogen more quickly from the
soil.

Closer attention to organic
matter proportions in the soil –
high organic matter makes for
more resilient soil structures as
it aids moisture retention and
aeration. Higher temperatures
speed up the breakdown of
organic matter and rapid
changes in temperature and
soil moisture also result in
rapid release of carbon from
the soil into the atmosphere.
Ultimately,
more
environmentally
sustainable
ways
of
Grounds
Management and water management
will need to become the norm and
forward planning will need to extend
beyond the season ahead to span longer
periods.
Yet while planning for the worst
consequences of climate change, it is
worth thinking about how organisations
can play an active role in using their
green spaces to address environmental
challenges - and work proactively to help
mitigate some of the challenges outlined
above. In the Grounds Maintenance
industry, we have seen an increasing
emphasis on the concept of ‘Green
Infrastructure’. This is the move away
from seeing green spaces as an
overhead, towards understanding how
they can be an asset that can help
contribute towards health and wellbeing. In business, this outlook goes
beyond corporate virtue signaling and is
increasingly being understood to be fully
compatible with strategic goals by
helping businesses create more
productive environments for employees
or customers. Undeniably, a driver for
change is the CSR agenda and the
desire to become more sustainable
businesses, yet this too is an effective
part of being an attractive and
marketable business.
As well as changing how we manage
green spaces, it is therefore important
when planning new developments or
redeveloping sites to consider how these
sites can help to play an active role in
minimising their environmental impact.
Better planning of landscapes can play
an important role in reducing water use,
alleviating flood risks, mitigating urban
heat islands and in contributing to
carbon capture for cleaner air.
There are a wealth of compelling
arguments
for
viewing
your
organisation’s green spaces as an asset
and working with your grounds
maintenance contractor can be a good
way to develop this strategy. A good first
step is to commission a green audit or
survey that can be used to develop
intelligent maintenance regimes that will
maximise the potential of green
infrastructure. Doing so will let you plan
ahead and introduce gradual changes
to the style and function of green spaces
to ensure they consume less valuable
natural resources and contribute more
to your organisation’s environmental
performance.
For more info on managing your grounds
year round call GRITIT Grounds
Maintenance on 0800 0432 911 or visit
www.gritit.com or Email: info@gritit.com
Reader Reply: 216006
11

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