Take advantage of the heatwave to clean up property!

The prolonged weather has had a dramatic effect on the shrubs, grass and trees which would normally be lush and green at this time of year, along roads, pathways, parks, residential streets and council land. Instead, growth has slowed right down and foliage has turned yellow and very dry.

Now is a good time to take advantage of that, by cleaning up areas that would otherwise be overgrown and difficult to reach. In many areas, litter and debris may be more visible because there is less growth, so tidying up now will keep areas clear before autumn arrives.

Billy Goat’s Outdoor Vacuums, with models designed for domestic, commercial and industrial use, will make light work of lifting debris and litter, as well as leaves and foliage that have dropped earlier than usual thanks to the lack of rain.

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Each of the wheeled vacuums can be used on hard surfaces as well as grass, so cleaning up car parks, city streets, school grounds, churches, hotel grounds and festival sites can all be done easily and in less time than you might think. Bottles, cans, general litter and even small tree branches are not a problem for the commercial models – and each come with an attached refuse bag for easy collection of rubbish, making disposal a breeze. There is also the QV QuietVac Contractor, noted as the “world’s quietest”, ideal for use on residential streets or hospital car parks!

For more information about Billy Goat’s vacuums, visit: http://www.billygoat.co.uk/Wheeled%20Vacs.html

 

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Cleaning Up After Summer

It might still be summer (and we’ve definitely been lucky with the weather so far this year), but it pays to plan ahead when you’re thinking about clearing up large areas in the autumn.

Rough grass, overgrowth and brush can take hold in any location and conditions. Whether it’s an unused field, overgrown scrubland or a dense orchard, a heavy-duty brushcutter makes light work of a big job. It is often easier to cut down dense growth after the flowering period, so late summer and early autumn is the perfect time to tackle it.

They plough through dense brush up to 6’ high, as well as grass and weeds as tall as 8”. Even saplings don’t stand a chance! These powerful brushcutters are unfazed by hidden items lurking in the grass. They make clearing vast areas, meadows and fields a breeze, as well as also being handy for clearing paths and tackling overgrowth that has perhaps got a little out of hand.

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Another consideration is autumn leaves and how you might clear them. Piles of damp leaves can pose a health and safety risk on paths and public walkways, not to mention that they look unsightly, so vacuuming them up in one go makes a daunting task quick and easy. We offer a range of vacuums that suitable for domestic and professional usage and can be used on different surfaces.

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Our Favourite Picks from RHS Chelsea 2018

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show this week did not disappoint, with plenty of gardens embracing design ideas that you can apply in your own garden, as well as championing the benefits of green space for health and wellbeing.

RHS Feel Good Garden

che1One of our favourites exhibits this year was the RHS Feel Good Garden designed by Matt Keightley and built by Rosebank Landscaping. The positive effect of gardening and being in a therapeutic, tranquil green space to relax are the central focus of this garden.

Earlier this year, we wrote a blog highlighting recent research by Fields in Trust which stated a clear link between mental wellbeing and exposure to green spaces. Spending just a few minutes around nature, plants and fresh air can dramatically reduce stress, anxiety and increases levels of calm.

The RHS Feel Good Garden has been designed to deliberately draw visitors in and has plenty of seating where people can pause for a moment to relax and admire the largely yellow and purple planting schemes.

The Silent Pool Gin Garden

chel2For us, the Silent Pool Gin Garden, designed by David Neale and built by Neale Richards Garden Design, was one of the best examples of a garden that could easily be created at home.

It combined hard landscaping in the form of lots of decking, pathways, sculptures and stone walling, with soft planting, water and beautiful copper pots.

The many textures of this exhibit helped to create a serene setting that could easily be recreated in an urban domestic garden.

The Pearlfisher Garden

chel3We loved the Pearlfisher Garden designed by Karen Welman and John Warland and built by The Garden Builders, for its unique message about the oceans’ vast underwater garden and its precious eco-system.

The beautiful glass ceiling over the garden helped to create a dappled shade effect, mimicking the movement of water. Most of the planting was made up of cacti and succulents to echo the look and structure of underwater plants and coral.

We think there is plenty of inspiration and ideas to be taken from RHS Chelsea year after year, both for your own garden and public open spaces to benefit entire communities.

Celebrating a Landscaping Project that Benefits Everyone

At Billy Goat, we’re always delighted to read about another successful landscaping project completed in the UK. As manufacturers of heavy-duty, no nonsense cleanup equipment for residential, commercial and municipal needs, we’re all for transforming a disused area of open space into something beneficial for the local community, and that’s exactly what the residents of Tunbridge Wells and Friends of Calverley Grounds have done.

The Calverley Adventure Grounds landscape project in Tunbridge Wells was completed in September 2017 after several years of trying to organise and get the plans off the ground. Jennette Emery-Wallis from LUC, an environmental consultancy, is an experienced landscape designer and a local resident of Tunbridge Wells. When the Friends of Calverley Grounds carried out a survey and determined that the majority of residents wanted to see a disused space turned into a playground, Jennette offered to sketch out a design for them pro bono to get the wheels in motion.

From then on, a small group of volunteers got together to take on the challenge of raising the required £225,000 budget to complete the playground. By creating and organising local events and campaigns, such as an Easter fun day, a Black-Tie auction and activities such as sponsored walks and raffles, as well as spreading the word to locals through social and traditional media, the target was easily reached.  Local companies also got involved to sponsor the project, and play manufacturer Timberplay donated much of the equipment needed for the playground.

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The design of the playground was carefully thought out to respect the history and nature of the site. Volunteers had a clear vision from the start and wanted the playground to become a local attraction for all, and not simply a square space with standard play equipment dotted around.

Once a spa town, it was decided that the playground should incorporate water in some way. An ‘S’ shaped sand pit snakes its way through the site to replicate a stream, with small water features and water tables added. Herbaceous planting in blues, purples and lots of grasses gives the feeling of being close to water and the site is split into different areas for both younger and older children.

We love this design project for several reasons; namely because it shows what is possible when a local community bands together to create something that benefits all. Secondly, because it demonstrates how a disused site can be transformed into a space that improves the look and feel of the local area, and offers a green, open place for all to enjoy. We have written before about the importance of pubic green areas in the UK, and we hope more local communities can be become inspired by stories like this one.

Give the Grass a Spring Clean

Finally, the lighter mornings and warmer days are here – spring has sprung!

Work to get lawns and turf looking its best can begin once again – it’s time to get rid of moss and aerate the ground to promote strong spring growth.

Using a Power Rake can make light work of removing moss and thatch from turf. Its rugged design allows for the most demanding use, and its flails propel the machine forwards, making it self-propelled and less tiring to push.

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Thatch is a build-up of dead grass and debris, that can accumulate over the winter months, and forms a layer between new grass growth and the soil beneath. Removing it helps to improve the air flow around the blades of grass, and lets moisture find its way to the soil.

Aerating the ground is also important to improve drainage and reduce compaction. Over the winter months, rainfall and freezing conditions can cause the ground to become hard, stopping moisture and air from reaching the soil. Aeration is the process of adding lots of small holes into the ground, a few centimetres deep, to let in air and moisture. This can be done by hand simply with a garden fork, or, for large areas, the job can be done much more quickly with an Aerator, designed to cover large areas with the back-breaking fatigue of doing it without a machine.

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Billy Goat has a wide range of models, including Tow Behind Aerators for large properties, commercial and municipal use, and its Plugr range includes self-propelled options, ideal for both domestic gardeners with large lawns.

Whichever way you decide to spring clean your lawn this spring, the difference will be noticeable within a few weeks as the weather gets warmer and the grass turns greener!

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Do You Live Near One of Britain’s Best Parks?

Fields in Trust, a UK charity which currently safeguards more than 28,000 acres of green space and park land across the country, is campaigning for more local parks to be protected.

A recent survey carried out by Fields in Trust found that nearly one in five people have said their local park has come under threat from being lost or built on. Over two thirds said the loss of parks would be detrimental to childrens’ development, and nearly half of all respondents said that they would be less active if their local green space was lost.

To celebrate our public green spaces, the charity announced Stanley Park in Blackpool as winner of the 2017 UK’s Best Park awards. The competition allowed members of the public to nominate their local parks and vote for their favourite.

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Stanley Park is a Grade II heritage park which was designed in the 1920s by Thomas Mawson. It has plenty of features including a boating lake, a café, sports pitches and a bandstand. Not to mentioned immaculately maintained flower beds, borders, an Italian marble fountain and lawns.

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The park is maintained by a grounds crew of five people for Blackpool Council. Local residents, ‘the Friends of Stanley Park’ also pitch in to help as much as possible. The site is incredibly important to the community, as well as being considered the ‘lungs of the city’.

Not surprisingly, hundreds of UK parks were nominated for the awards across the country. Take a look at all the nominations and winners here to see if your local park made it to the list! Fields in Trust will also be running the competition again this year, so make sure you nominate your favourite and get voting!

Rejuvenating the Landscape After Winter

It’s the time of year when we can almost say goodbye to winter and work can once again begin to rejuvenate lawns, green spaces and pitches ready for the season ahead.

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When grass is dormant during the winter months, a build-up of thatch (dead grass) can restrict light, air and moisture from reaching the roots.

Scarifying is very beneficial lawn treatment which is most effective when done ‘little and often’, rather than when a thatch problem has been allowed to become troublesome.

Billy Goat’s range of petrol powered lawn scarifiers manoeuvre effortlessly around both small and larger properties, removing matted thatch from any type of turf. The Billy Goat Power Rake (Scarifier), with its rugged design, can withstand the most demanding use. The PR’s flails propel the machine forwards, making it self-propelled and minimising fatigue for the user.

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Repair

Lawns and pitches may well have developed patches during winter and these can be overseeded and brought back to life this season.

Billy’s Goat Series Push Overseeder conserves seed with Billy Goat’s exclusive Auto Drop feature by automatically starting or stopping seed drop with bale engagement. Capable of covering 13,000sq.ft/hr, this machine will make light work of any turf space!

Tidy Up

Leaves that fell in autumn and winter may have built up on property grounds and in public areas such as car parks. The leaves are likely to have become mixed up with other debris into damp, compacted piles, making areas look very untidy.

To tackle a big job like this, Billy Goat’s range of lawn and leaf vacuums are available for use in residential gardens, as well as any and all large-scale industrial, commercial and municipal clean-up projects. Self-propelled and designed for use on hard and soft surfaces, Billy Goat’s machines can pick up debris ranging from bottles, litter, branches and leaves.