The Turfgrass Growers Association (TGA) has expressed disappointment in the Secretary of State for the Environment’s Inspector’s decision to deny turf growers a 28 day exemption from the non-essential use ban granted to Sutton and East Surrey Water. The decision was taken following a hearing in Reigate in March, which Tim Fell from Tillers Turf attended in order state the association’s case for an exemption.
The Turfgrass Growers Association is dedicated to the advancement of quality turf production the UK and Ireland. Formed in 1994, it comprises some 39 members and 20 affiliates, collectively responsible for producing approximately 70% of the cultivated turf grown in the British Isles.
TGA chief executive Tim Mudge said he was still hopeful that individual water companies would allow growers to water newly laid turf: “It’s very unfortunate that the rainfall in the south east has not been sufficient to meet the demand from consumers and we accept that the ongoing provision of water to the community is critical. However, the inspector recognised in clause 118 of his report that water was “very likely to be required to establish new turf” and we would urge the water companies to use common sense when deciding how to implement the order.
“We put a strong case forward because turf helps the environment and we’ll continue to make sure that growers’ voices are heard. Working alongside other trade organisations who are affected by this issue, we’ll continue to lobby water companies who are proposing drought orders or hose pipe bans and make sure that they’re aware of our objections.
“On a practical level, we’ve produced documents that they can download from our website to help people with in water-restricted areas establish newly laid turf.”
A ten point guide to choosing, storing and laying turf in dry weather can be found on the TGA website at www.turfgrass.co.uk
Anyone within the affected area should make sure that they have the water resources to establish their turf. On a commercial level, growers might look to import water from other areas. Those in a domestic setting should consider using ‘grey’ water from their own household.