Despite a recent spate of scare stories in the media about the problems caused by Japanese knotweed, organisations and homeowners should have nothing to fear providing they choose a competent and professional treatment specialist. With early identification, plus protection of the affected site, knotweed can still be relatively easy and cost effective to manage, according to Japanese Knotweed Control (JKC), as it seeks to redress several alarming press reports.
"We have seen this summer that not all headlines are helpful, and again we will use IoG Saltex to reassure customers that providing they seek out reliable treatment specialists, much of the fear factor that goes with Japanese knotweed can be eliminated," says JKC joint managing director David Leyland.
Among JKC's recommendations is the need to check companies are Amenity Assured and BACCS registered as the minimum requirement. At IoG Saltex, the company will also promote its support for the Invasive Non-Native Specialists Association.
Elsewhere on the showground, artificial grass company Trulawn will launch its trade partnership scheme offering installation training, a dedicated account manager, next-day delivery, technical support and a range of products. "Our trade business has seen phenomenal growth in the past year, since the launch of our number-one grass for landscapers, Regal, and we want to continue to support the trade," says trade manager Mike Burton. "Our trade partnership scheme gives landscapers, designers and architects a guarantee that we will work alongside them to provide the highest-quality grass at the right price, in the volume they need and when they need it."
IoG Saltex promises plenty of machinery and equipment for landscapers. Avant Tecno will be launching the R-Series of compact loaders, which places the operator on the rear portion of the articulated chassis, making it easier to negotiate tight turns and to reverse with accuracy and safety.
For working soils, BLEC Global is showing its Box Rake. Available for pedestrian, two-wheel tractors and also in tractor-mounting versions, the Box Rake is equipped with a carbide-toothed rotor that pulverises the soil and separates out the debris, while fold-down end plates allow the power box rake to bulk move material. The hydraulic angling rotor then rakes and windrows soil and debris. Rear castor wheels give depth control.
For those in the construction and hard-landscaping sectors, STIHL has introduced its most advanced 30cm cut-off saw. The TS 480i features a genuine breakthrough in technology: STIHL's two-stroke engine with electronic fuel injection.
And the world's first four-stroke disc cutter - a 76cc tool with a 30cm blade - will be on show at Makita's stand.
Fit for purpose
Encouraging the nation to keep fit has always been integral to Wicksteed Playscape's agenda and its slogan, "R U FIT 4 DIN", carries a significant message. On its stand, the company will showcase the redesigned Fitness Legacy Zone, which conforms to the DIN79000 - the German national safety standard for outdoor fitness equipment. It is on this DIN standard that the ultimate European Safety Standard EN16630 will be based, and adopted by the UK in mid-2014.
The Fitness Legacy Zone can be produced in any colour combination. Expert help in the correct use of each piece is provided, courtesy of smartphone technology and QR codes, giving users their own virtual personal trainer.
Back by popular demand, the Funding Doctors will be on the Wicksteed stand again this year. Individual appointments can be made with these experts, who make finding funding that little bit easier.
Kompan's stand will feature a new range for children between the ages of one and three, while AE Evans will showcase additions to the Clamber Stock range.
STIHL has launched its first concrete saw. The GS 461 model cuts up to 40cm deep, making it suitable for wet-cutting window and door openings, and concrete pipes.
If you are looking to make up soil levels and provide rootzones on a project, IoG Saltex offers the opportunity to check out Earth Cycle topsoils from the Woodhorn Group and Landscape20 from British Sugar.
From EverEdge, the EverEdge Planter is made to order and can be specified in any size. It is available in a variety of materials including painted or unpainted galvanised steel, Cor-Ten steel, stainless steel or a natural weathering steel.
Stem Injection Systems, now approaching its 10th anniversary, has continued to develop an improved range of equipment for tackling Japanese knotweed. Latest developments include a range of workwear and personal protection equipment, plus mobile and static chemical safes.