LANDSCAPING AT BALLYEARL ARTS & LEISURE CENTRE

NBC Ballyearl landscaping Jun2014

Ballyearl Arts and Leisure Centre is a unique council facility within the Newtownabbey Borough Council area. Ballyearl offers a broad mix of sporting and arts activities including a theatre, golf course, squash courts and conference facilities.

We were tasked with landscaping the public areas to improve their aesthetic appearance and minimise maintenance time and associated costs.

As a result we used decorative gravel in sandy tones, with planters to display flowers and shrubs.

The stoned areas resulted in a clean and organised look for the popular facility and the work met well with the criteria and stipulations as set out by Newtownabbey Borough Council.

THE WORK IS FEATURED IN THE GALLERY BELOW.
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FFIS (FARMING & FORESTRY IMPROVEMENT SCHEME) – DON’T DELAY!

FFIS Grants available now!

Farming & Forestry Improvement Scheme – ACT NOW

>>>FFIS – ROUND THREE – 4TH FEB 2014 TO 4TH APRIL 2014

WHAT IS FFIS?

FFIS is a grant scheme from RDPE (Rural Development Programme for England) Network, aimed at helping foresters and woodland owners in England to improve competitiveness through investment. If your project falls into one of the two themes below you may be able to apply for a FFIS grant:

1) Reduce energy usage & energy efficiency or

2) Forestry & improve the use of forestry resources.

WHO CAN APPLY?……..

The types of rural businesses and organisations in England (micro small or medium sized enterprises only) who may be eligible under FFIS include:
• Foresters
• Woodland owners

HOW MUCH GRANT FUNDING IS AVAILABLE?…….

For applicants in non-upland areas (where less than 50% of the land is within a Severely Disadvantaged Area (SDA)…) the maximum grant rate available from FFIS is up to 40% of eligible costs.
Forestry/contracting businesses based within a SDA, the maximum grant rate available from FFIS is up to 50% of eligible costs.

IS THERE A MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF GRANT?…….

Yes, the maximum amount of grant which can be applied for is £35,000.

IS THERE A MINIMUM AMOUNT OF GRANT?……..

Yes, the minimum amount of grant which can be applied for is £2,500.
FFIS grant is for capital expenditure and associated supplier installation costs only; the use of own labour or benefits in-kind to install or construct any aspect of the proposed equipment is not eligible for funding under this scheme.

WHAT IS NOT ELIGIBLE?…….

FFIS cannot be used to fund project items that are: Direct replacements, Standard agricultural equipment or a legislative requirement

The Following May be Considered for Grant Aid…….

The items listed are only available to woodland owners or forestry contractors. The wood you are processing as a result of your project must be sourced from woods and forests and must not be from waste wood products e.g. sawmill waste or arboriculture arisings.
• Tractor mounted forestry grabs
• Forestry trailers and cranes
• Tractor mounted wood chippers
• Self-propelled wood chippers
• Tractor mounted firewood processors
• Associated processing equipment for firewood processors
• Mobile saw bench/saw mill
• Firewood and cone splitters
• Winches
• Static chippers
• Static firewood processors
• Kindling machines
• Static saw bench

HOW TO APPLY?……..

The opening date for applications for Round Three is 04 February 2014. The closing date for the receipt of applications for Round Three is 04 April 2014. Your completed electronic Application Form, signed hard copy Declaration and supporting documentation must be received by 04 April 2014.

IMPORTANT NOTE……..

These are heavily edited extracts provided for initial information only relating to Fuelwood products and customers – please refer to the full government web pages and related documents for precise details as many eligibility conditions apply. We have provided a link to download the Handbook and Application form for the FFIS grant scheme.

HANDBOOK

Download documents

 

 

APPLICATION FORM

Download documents

Go to www.gov.uk/defraweb site for further information.

The above information is provided to encourage Forestry & Woodland owners to further investigate their eligibility under this scheme. There are eligibility criteria and terms and conditions not covered in the document. Please visit the www.gov.uk/defra web site and follow links to the appropriate pages and full documentation.

For more information on how FFIS grants can fund help fund firewood businesses and machinery purchases, contact M.Large here.

USING AIRSPADING TO GET TO ROOT ISSUES AT STORMONT

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 PROJECT:USING “AIRSPADE” TO GET TO ROOT ISSUES IN STORMONT.

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Stormont estate is a glorious example of a well maintained public park, made picturesque by the mature trees lined up in a “guard of honour” fashion.

The trees are lime trees and while impressive and strong in appearance a few are showing early signs of potential issues due to waterlogging.

Stormont Estate immediately involved our arboricultural tree survey team to assess the situation and recommend a course of action to prevent any further degradation.

What was revealed was that the ground around tree roots was suffering from soil compaction  and some waterlogging, thus starving some of the roots of air.

 

 

Our team elected to use an innovative but proven technique known as airspading as used for similar situations kew gardens old sign on mlarge.com blogin the world famous Kew Gardens.

Airspading uses a high pressure air hose to loosen soil particles and “dig” around the root structures of trees without damaging or disturbing the roots.

The air spade was used initially to survey the trees, assess the state of their health and diagnose what issues existed. In addition the airspade was also used as part of the remedy by digging a number of trenches around the finer roots and feeding them with a suitable propogating mixture.

Airspading Stormont lime trees

Using the Airspade to make inspection holes.

airspading-trench-at-stormont

Using the Airspade to dig feeding trench.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

airspading completed on Stormont estate lime trees

Airspading done….remedy completed, and ground surface restored.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Such regard is placed upon these trees and their aesthetic appeal that essentially Stormont Estate stipulated that they were to be preserved and maintained at all costs, hence the need for an innovative and unusual course of action The air spade enabled an invasive investigation and remedial work to be carried out without affecting or damaging the tree structure.

– See more at: http://mlarge.com/using-airspading-to-get-to-root-issues-at-stormont/#sthash.82MIgpRH.dpuf

STORMS, TREE DAMAGE AND PREVENTION

tree in storm on m.large.com

When the wind blows, trees have a habit of suffering the worst of it. With their low centre of gravity and flexing structures, strong wind gusts can push a tree over with ease, and where it lands can suffer damage, disruption, chaos, and of course injury.

M.Large are able to assist in a number of ways.

TREE SURVEYS:

Tree Survey by M.Large

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ensure your trees or those near areas of concern are stable, safe and disease free. Get specialist advice. Our resident arboricultural team can advise on the health, position and most important, risk relating to trees prior to unforeseen weather or environmental circumstances causing them to topple. If in any doubt, lift the phone, call +442890342838 and get some peace of mind.

 

EMERGENCY TREE WORK:

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When the unfortunate happens, it can be a very distressing time. Fallen trees can block traffic routes, access paths and driveways and even hamper access to business and domestic premises. The good news is that dealing with it usually means only a few short hours of disruption as our tree surgeons and tree works staff begin the removal process. We’ve done it many times, in fact, there’s few out there with the level of experience we have built up here at M.Large…so don’t panic, because we know well that the only words you’ll want to hear at a time like this are:

“yes, it happens, and of course it’s fixable…”

CRANE HIRE:

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Technically a core part of our tree work involves the use of all sorts of specific and highly capable machines. It is comforting then to know that M.Large have our own in house crane hire division which includes a 27m HIAB knuckle crane capable of lifting even the biggest of trees in the event of them falling or damaging property.

The HIAB’s are unique in that  they operate like a normal fixed boom to extend up, but they can also extend out without rising to gain access over buildings, structures or obstacles but without the need to elevate high…including operating inside and even reaching into buildings or warehouses!

Crane Hire

 

 

 

 

M.Large’s crane hire comes with highly skilled operators on hand to advise and deal with fallen tree problems should they arise.

The cleaning up from the harsh weather has begun, for those who need us, we’re here, for those who remained largely unaffected, the next time the elements bite,

….WE CAN HELP YOU STAY THAT WAY.

THE MOST IMPORTANT CHRISTMAS TREE IN THE COUNTRY

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A lovely mild winters morning was the backdrop for the installation of the most important and celebrated Christmas tree in the country, the tree at Stormont.

M.Large arrived to the site shortly before 8 am with 2 x mobile lorry mounted HIAB knuckle cranes and a crew of 2 operators and an arborist.

The 15m giant tree selected by our highly qualified arboriculturalist team dwarfed the crane truck delivering it, so it was clear from the off this would be an impressive specimen.

M.Large trucks arrive to install christmas tree at stormont

M.Large trucks arrive to install christmas tree at stormont

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stormont's 15m christmas tree dwarfs M.Large crane truck.

Stormont’s 15m Christmas tree dwarfs M.Large crane truck.

 

The crane’s worked on a “top n tail” basis with precision to lift the tree, bring it to a standing position and carefully drop it into the installation hole, positioned just  to the right of the famous steps.

M.Large crane hire operators work top n tail to install Stormont Christmas Tree

M.Large crane hire operators work top n tail to install Stormont Christmas Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M.Large crane hire operators work top n tail to install Stormont Christmas Tree

M.Large crane hire operators work top n tail to install Stormont Christmas Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once into the hole, further precise corrections by the skilled crane operators were made in rotating, tilting and even taking just an inch or 2 of bark off the bottom to make it fit…amazing how just a few inches makes all the difference even working with a huge example like this, (food for thought for us all when the home trees are being put up.)

 

Trimming the base of Stormont Christmas tree

Trimming the base of Stormont Christmas tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once straight and into position the tree was supported by a series of wedges sledgehammered into place on all sides to create a solid immovable installation.

 

 

A little off the side?

A little off the side?

 

And that was just about it.

Send the climbing arborist up to grab the crane lifting tackle, retract the cranes….and now it’s the turn of the sparks with the lights.

One hour of work=one month of seasonal cheer at the houses of power.

one hours work  =  one month of seasonal cheer for all at Stormont

one hours work = one month of seasonal cheer for all at Stormont

 

FEATURED TREE WORKS: LOUGH SHORE CARAVAN PARK

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Our arboricultural team assisted Newtownabbey Borough Council with surveying and confirming that a number of chestnut trees were dead as a result of an increasing prevalence of Bleeding Canker, a fungal related condition that our tree survey experts have identified as affecting a growing number of chestnut trees in recent months.

M.Large were asked by long time client, Newtownabbey Borough Council to survey a number of trees suspected of being at risk in terms of their position overhanging a main carriageway and their state of health.

As part of the project a further approx 20 trees, some up to 60ft were also felled to allow the council to progress plans to develop the aesthetic appearance of the site for future visitors.

Once the project was defined M.Large deployed a range of equipment to make the job more efficient and to remain acutely aware of the prevailing conditions of the site.

The tree works team made a short journey by road to the site with a rubber wheeled 16ton excavator equipped with an LMS Scorpion 440 Tree Shear attachment.

m.large tree shear at loughshore caravan park

The shear with a cutting capacity of up to 440mm (developed and marketed through M.Large’s machinery division), was able to cut through most trees without the need or labour costs of a large chainsaw squad or climbers or any associated health and safety implications. The Scorpion 440 shear’s built in grapple function proved most useful in maneuvering sheared sections and even whole trees for further processing.

Using the shear had the added advantage of reducing ground damage from felling as with shearing, the tree is cut clean, gripped and carried from site in a controlled manner without impact.

The rubber wheel excavator was used due to the need to move it across an asphalt area without damage. This care for customer property was continued further in the deployment of a number of newly acquired grass guards for the heavy plant to rest on without damaging the important concerned grass areas,as used for caravan pitches for the council’s tourism business.

The large sheared wood sections were removed from site by timber lorry and smaller sections were chipped on the site using a Greenmech 1928 chipper.

m.large use greenmech 19-28 chipper at loughshore caravan park

It is this day to day use of robust forestry and firewood machinery that places M.Large in a unique position of being able to stand testament over the durability, reliability and overall quality of the machines we recommend and market to customers from our machinery division.