Grounds maintenance services to all parks and open spaces, Borough wide, forms a major part of this contract, with works including the stripping and planting of floral bedding schemes and herbaceous borders. Like many of our high quality grounds maintenance contracts, deadheading, feeding and weeding on these parks is required on a daily basis to maintain the high standards upheld by the Group. Additional works include extensive hedge and tree management, as well as the maintenance of hanging baskets and planters Borough-wide.
The Landscape Group idverde have assisted the Client with the design of annual bedding schemes and have introduced a rolling programme of bedding where the Client selects an annual programme of design which TLG idverde then facilitates and is fully responsible for the maintenance to provide optimum performance. This also includes assessing and rectifying, such as applying farm yard manure or alternative if necessary, beds prior to planting.
Solutions for herbaceous beds and borders are bespoke but examples will include a resident Park keeper at Russell gardens taking ownership of the herbaceous plants in situ, where as other areas will be picked up be area teams.
During the winter some plants will be split in order to promote growth and give the bed a better appearance for the coming season. Shrub bed maintenance is carried out via regular visits programmed via the shared work programme. TLG idverde take responsibility for the timing of pruning operations to ensure that the right shrubs are pruned at the correct time in order to allow for the flowering of certain shrubs to give a good colour through out the year and promote general plant health. We will carry out the re edging of the beds during the winter period to ensure a good straight edge to the beds where needed. Shrubs are given a feed during the spring and then in the winter the beds are mulched. This we assess through the winter to ensure that we can keep a good covering on the beds.
Hedge cutting on the contract is carried out on 2 occasions a year, although in some of the higher profiled sites such as the Marines Memorial Garden, the box hedging is trimmed as needed through the year and especially prior to the service on the anniversary of the bombing. A lot of the other hedges throughout the District have been reduced or removed as part of the Clients drive to reduce. The hedges that have been removed have been identified by TLG idverde for the client, using our experience to identify appropriate and suitable locations. TLG idverde have re-measured all other hedges to enable the Client to program in to their satisfaction the staggered reduction in height and width or removal.
Other services across the four contracts include the inspection, maintenance and repair of children’s play areas, as well as the maintenance, repair and marking of sports pitches. This includes works to artificial surfaces and several football pitches; fine turf works to cricket pitches, bowling greens, putting greens, pitch and putt and multiple tennis courts. The scope of the contract also extends to cemetery maintenance, including grave digging and all associated burial ground services. The Landscape Group idverde also carries out the maintenance of all four areas’ highways and housing areas, and covers all other arboricultural works whilst also operating an emergency call out service.
As part of the partnership agreement in 2006, we developed a new online sports booking system for Dover District Council, which at the time was the first of its kind in Kent. The system allows users to check the availability of pitches by location or facility, book up to five time slots, and make payments securely online. The development and introduction of this system underlines our long-term commitment to building on the partnership we already have with Dover District Council. A recent example of working with our client at Dover District Council would be in relation to dog fouling. As a result of the persistent problem which has consistently been raised as a concern by the Council , Dover District Councils Members took the decision to step up the Councils approach to tackling environmental crime such as littering and dog fouling.
In February of this year a new initiative was launched whereby Fixed Penalty Notices will be issued to anyone found to be littering or not picking up after their dog has fouled. This scheme will be complimented by a number of educational and promotional activities to ensure the greatest impact in terms of changing individuals behaviour and improving the cleanliness of the District
TLG idverde staff have undergone a 2 day training course to enable them participate in the new ‘Incident Book Scheme’ and have now become an integral part of the push to improve this difficult problem, facilitating them to be part of the eyes and ears of the Council on the ground. The Incident Report Book Scheme has provided TLG idverde staff, together with Civil Enforcement Officers, members of the neighborhood policing teams and KCC community wardens, the ability to record incidents of littering and dog fouling offences as they witness these whilst conducting their normal everyday work duties outside of the office. Two years ago, we had major problems with the bowling green at Dover. Rooks were pecking large holes in the green. Our research showed they were trying to get at the leatherjackets which are the pupae stage of craneflies. We sourced a chemical called Crossfire (now Clobber). We now treat the green twice a year (April and October) and have not had any problems since.
The Landscape Group idverde have worked with the Dover District Client over a number of years to manage the service and improve effectiveness. A key example would be in relation to grass cutting regimes. Following the 2010 season, The Landscape Group idverde and Dover District Council reviewed the effectiveness of the grass cutting regime as a result of climate change and how it had affected the suitability and effectiveness of the service. It was jointly agreed to reduce the number of grass cuts to meet the changing climate which had been particularly dry during the summer month on the East coast. As a result, ahead of the forthcoming 2011 season, TLG idverde reduced the core numbers of staff. This required undertaking a comprehensive redundancy programme which was undertaken in the Winter of 2010. The required changes to the fleet, plant and machinery were considerable and this was facilitated and completed in line with the agreed new regime. Specifically mowing machinery needed to be changed to rotary cutting form cylinder cutting to address the longer length of grass. However, such is the nature of climate change and the green environment following the 2011 and 2012 seasons, the later being the wettest for some considerable time, it was again discussed and agreed between TLG idverde, the Client and other stakeholders to revert to the original grass cutting regime.
We got together with the client (Dover District Council) to create various woodland walks in the largest park in Dover. We were able to produce large amounts of chippings through various tree works. It was agreed all wood chippings would be recycled and spread throughout the woodland walks, rather than the waste going to landfill. Due to such a bad winter with the snow and freezing temperatures, Dover Sunday Football League have not been able to play all of their fixtures within the normal timescale (for the winter season we use Elms Vale and The Danes Recreation Grounds, which ends at the end of April). Dover Sunday League asked if both recreation grounds could be extended into May. We could not extend The Danes availability as we are contracted to make this available for cricket from the first week of May. However we agreed to extend the availability of football pitches at Elms Vale Recreation Ground for them, the last date they require being 19th May 2013. Due to severe cuts to their budget, Dover Town Council found themselves in a difficult situation regarding their annual bedding. A meeting was held between The Landscape Group idverde and Dover Town Council. The outcome was that Dover Town Council would purchase their summer bedding. The Landscape Group idverde agreed to have their flowers planted to keep Dover High Street looking its best.
Every year, we chip up 2 Christmas trees for Deal Hospital free of charge at the request of the Treasurer of the Deal Sunday Football League, who also sits on the Committee for Deal Hospital.
We had a recent incident where the Friends of St Georges Church in Deal formed a volunteer group to clear overgrown shrubs in front of the church hall, which also happens to be in a prominent place in Deal town High Street. The charity contacted Dover District Council to see if they could assist in the clearance of cut trees and shrubs, but DDC were unable to help. They passed on Dan Johnson’s contact details. The charity then contacted Dan. TLG idverde were only too happy to help and sent a van, 2 men and a chipper to the site to clear. Within the bill of quantities was an area next to a residents property, we cut the area and the resident complained that it was not on our contract and could we not cut it in the future. We checked the contract documents and also with the client and it was part of the contract. So we liaised with the client and the resident and it was decided that we would no longer cut the area in future and leave it for the resident.