Local authorities will no doubt be using IoG Saltex to look for multi-purpose machinery and easy-to- maintain plant and equipment that can withstand the unpredictability of the UK climate.
Supervisor of grounds maintenance for New Forest District Council, Byron McGrail, is keen to find machines that offer value for money. "It is vital to make landscaping projects as money-saving as we can as tax-payers become particularly angry if they think we're wasting money," he says. "Machinery-wise, we have found it is sometimes more cost-effective long-term to make a large investment."
The exhibition offers a plethora of ideas but this year the local authority is on the lookout for a collection flail mowers. "And plant-wise, we have watering issues so we are looking for varieties that are easy to maintain and have bright colours that last," says McGrail.
Featuring a spaceship the size of a small car on its stand, British Wild Flower Plants highlights the threat of invasive foreign plant species. Marketing manager Ian Forster explains: "Groundsmen should be aware that plants like Japanese knotweed and pond weed from Australia are threatening our natural wildflower population and invading our ponds and waterways." Encouraging the planting of British wildflowers, he adds: "This exhibition is an ideal opportunity to spotlight this significant threat."
S2T Grass Reinforcement comes to the show with its roll-in grass-reinforcement tiles made from recycled hard plastic. Used for car parking, footpaths and grass verges, individual tiles are supplied and are clipped together on site to form mats. These are then rolled into the grass with the knife-edge on the tiles biting into the existing turf. The surface can be used immediately and grass will continue to grow through to provide a "green" reinforced area.
Perfo tiles offer a 50 per cent open structure while the Terra-Grid tiles allow even more grass to grow through with a 75 per cent open structure. Both tiles are said by the company to be suitable for use as part of a sustainable drainage system.
RMB Craftscapes will debut one of the new hydroseeding machines it recently imported from North America and which is the first of its kind in the UK. The company will also be unveiling its new name and relaunching its updated website, www.hydroseeding.co.uk.
First-time exhibitor Barbecue Lodges will be featuring a range of sloping-sided Kotas and six- to eight-sided log cabins from Finland. Constructed from slow-growing Arctic timber, the multi-functional lodges come complete with a central barbecue and will last more than 20 years with minimal maintenance, according to the company. Suitable for use after sporting activities or business events, with the barbecue removed the lodges can be used for small group meetings at schools or clubs. Seating from 10 to 30 people, the cabins will comfortably sleep three on benches and there is additional space on the floor in larger models.
Metal Masters West Wales introduces its latest line in street furniture with a bench for three and a solo seat. Both sturdily constructed in 316 stainless steel and hardwood, as an optional extra soft lights can be built into the framework.
The largest and smallest machines in its compact loader range will be making their first appearance via Bobcat - with the T320 compact tracked loader and the S70 skid-steer loader taking prime position on the stand. Featuring the highest power-to-weight ratio in its class, the T320 is driven by a 67.6kW Kubota diesel engine and is designed to meet market demand for increased productivity and enhanced capability to run a wider range of attachments. Complementing these products will be the new high-performance E08 and E10 micro-excavators together with a new compact multi-functional T2250 telehandler.
Dig A Crusher will be showing a comprehensive range of excavator-mounted screening buckets suitable for the 10- to 35-tonne class, complementing its range of crusher bucket attachments. New to IoG Saltex will be Dig A Screeners to suit small machines in the range of two to 10 tonnes. Fitting small excavators, they can also be used with backhoe loaders, wheel loaders, telehandlers and skid steers, opening up opportunities for screening, backfilling and composting applications.
Proving the versatility of Red Rhino Crushers, one of its customers, Rubble Monkey, crushed Corian worktops into decorative stone for a show garden at Chelsea, using its 4000 series crusher set at 5mm. The worktops were 90 per cent granite and weighed up to 400kg each.
The show is set to offer local authority and landscape contractors plenty of new products and solutions.