'Flying farmers' mark 20 per cent spring sales upturn for turf business

A group of farmers and land owners with their own light aircraft landed in force last week as part of a promotional stunt for a turf company enjoying record sales.

The 'flying farmers' touched down in 18 planes at the World War II Full Sutton Airfield in the East Riding of Yorkshire to be met by Inturf joint managing director Stephen Edwards.

Edwards gave a short talk on the history of the airfield during the war and since before taking them on a tour of his company's turf production fields.

Inturf is one of the UK’s largest turf producers, supplying sporting venues in including Carnoustie and Celtic Manor golf clubs, premiership football clubs, and leading racecourses.

Turf is also specified by prominent landscape designers and contractors working in the public realm. Inturf grows 4m sqm of turf at sites near York and in Grantham in Lincolnshire.

"Last year was amazing for breaking records and this year is even better, said Edwards. "This spring we are 20 per cent up on sales on last year and average 80,000sqm of sales a week – that's 10 Wembley stadiums."

Landscapers were "raising their game" and using more turf while the gradually improving house-building market was also pushing work his way, he said.

"And the lastminute.com nature of society puts turf centre stage, as people want instant results without having to plant seed and prepare ground.

"We were lucky with the weather: dreadful conditions have affected turf growers in the west and north who haven't been able to access fields.

"Growers in the east have probably benefited, and we grow on sandy-loamy soils that drain well. We have a lot of stock in the ground and spent £500,000 on wide-area mowers, forklifts, tractors and other kit last year."

Edwards said: "The trip was organised by one of our longest-serving Inturf stockists from Hampshire. Many flew considerable distances for the day followed by a dinner at the National Railway Museum."

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