Keeping the grass in tip top condition is always a challenge for grounds staff and with parks also getting a funding boost for restorations and improvements the facilities are seeing increased activity.
In August 2008, St James' Park in London held the Olympic handover ceremony concert. As a result the grass areas of the park were left with severe compaction caused by foot traffic, the stage area and vehicles used for delivering staging and outside broadcasting units.
Six thousand square metres of the park grass areas were effected and suffered considerable compaction.
Terrain Aeration was called in by support services company Enterprise plc to treat turf areas compacted during concert.
Assistant Park Manager David Ellis said: “After the concert we were left with severe compaction in the area behind the temporary stage.”
“This area had been used as a ‘bone yard’ to store staging equipment while the stage was being erected and later, as a lorry park for production units as the concert got under way.
"We had several BBC outside broadcast vehicles on site during the performance, which following the stage set-up activity meant the area withstood a substantial amount of weight.”
We utilised Airforce One - the largest machine in our fleet - for the larger open areas and our smaller, more nimble and therefore much lighter, Airforce Scamper was used to treat the the peripheral grass.
The severely compacted soil was injected with compressed air at spacings of two metres adopting a staggered grid pattern.
This ensures that compaction is broken up over the whole underground area and fractures and fissures are created providing air channels from one metre depth to the surface.
Dried milled seaweed was injected on the final air blast, (which, as it swells when wet keeps the fracturing open) and the probe holes were filled with Lytag aggregate.