Turfsoil are delighted to announce their recent BALI success, they have won an award for their outstanding Grounds Maintenance Services at Greenwich Park. The most historic of all Royal Parks, Greenwich Park covers some 73 Hectares (183 acres) and was the first Royal Park to be enclosed in 1433. From the statue of General Wolfe the park offers a famous view of the Thames and the city beyond all the way to St. Pauls Cathedral. The Park is part of the Greenwich Maritime World Heritage Site and listed Grade 1 on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.
The Royal Parks enjoy a reputation for horticultural excellence and for nature conservation. The intention is to maintain and improve the already high standards. Turfsoil are required to work to a detailed client specification and are expected to maintain the present, rigorously enforced, standards of site cleanliness that the public has come to expect, and which have become part of The Royal Parks culture, closely monitored by the Park Manager. Turfsoil ensure that all green waste from the park is shredded and composted for re-use.
The Park is perhaps most widely known as the home of the Old Royal Observatory and in more recent years as the venue for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Equestrian and Olympic Modern Pentathlon events, as well as being the start of the London Marathon. The Park contains a small number of deer in an area known as the Wilderness which is alongside the enclosed Flower Garden with its seasonal bedding displays and ornamental pond with waterfowl. There is a range of sports facilities including cricket and tennis facilities.
Greenwich Park attracts visitors 7 days a week throughout the year. It is open from 6am all year round, with closing times varying throughout the year because of this many routine operations have to be carried early in the morning. These operations may include grass cutting, Litter & Refuse (Scavenging), pesticide application, activities associated with events, work in the play area and irrigation. Maintenance operations other than Litter & Refuse (Scavenging) are not normally allowed on Saturday afternoons, Sundays, Bank Holidays and weekday evenings when the gardens are at their busiest.
The Park attracts approximately 4 million visitors each year (many of them from abroad) and our staff are expected to be in smart uniform and can expected to be asked questions relating to horticulture, directions, Park features and other related matters which they handle courteously at all times.
The Royal Parks runs an Apprenticeship Scheme for the Park which works as a partnership between The Royal Parks, Turfsoil and the Educational establishments providing the courses. The Scheme is overseen by The Royal Parks chaired Apprenticeship Board with contractor representation which meets quarterly. The Scheme receives volunteer support from The Royal Parks Guild who provide and manage an awards scheme and can provide mentoring support to individual apprentices. Apprentices are engaged and employed by us, we are expected to provide support and some onsite training for apprentices, the Royal Parks oversees and coordinates all activities within the Scheme with the Educational establishments providing the training. The park is permanently staffed with a management and operational team including 2 apprentices of 20.
The nature of the Park and its usage makes it impossible to pre-plan a high proportion of the work. A significant number of instructions are given within a few days of the work needing to be done and in some cases a matter of hours. This is particularly so in relation to filming and some events.
The Royal Parks participates in volunteer activities in the Park and Turfsoil have engaged with and assisted the volunteers for the benefit of the Park and its users.
Turfsoil were heavily involved in the preparation and site presentation for the London 2012 practice event and Olympics and also undertook the subsequent reinstatement work involving laying 35,000m² of turf during incredibly difficult weather conditions during the autumn/winter of 2012/13 to meet the client’s deadline of March 2013 for the park to be fully restored.
One of the most challenging events held annually at the park is the iconic London Marathon that starts from the park. As the last runner leaves Blackheath Avenue, Turfsoil have the mammoth task of collecting all the resultant litter and discarded clothing in order to open the park for the public by mid-day.