Get set for Saltex 2017

This year's Saltex show at the NEC in Birmingham offers something for everyone, says Sally Drury.

Saltex: many leading brands will be unveiling their latest equipment and products - image: Reesink
Saltex: many leading brands will be unveiling their latest equipment and products - image: Reesink

Do you look after pitches or racecourses, golf facilities or cricket pitches; manage landscaped or urban space or maintain the grounds around schools and colleges? If the answer is yes, then Saltex is the place for you.

Now in its third year at the NEC, it is an event with something for everyone. It does not matter whether you run a business, are employed full-time, a volunteer, apprentice or student, there will be plenty to see and do.

Show details

Saltex Sports Amenities Landscaping Trade Exhibition

When 1-2 November
Where NEC, Birmingham B40 1NT
Website (register online)


Knowledge transfer essential for industry to maintain high reputation

Latest equipment

For starters, many of the leading brands will be displaying their latest equipment and products, talking about services and research results, helping to solve problems and booking demonstrations — be sure to take your diary to the show.

You can expect in excess of 250 exhibitors and their displays will cover everything from aerators to zeolite. There will be big names — Ransomes, Toro, John Deere and Rigby Taylor among them. There will also be a few new names, such as arboriculture clothing specialist Solidur from France.

Of course, there will be lots of metal — tractors, mowers and turf-maintenance kit. You can also expect to see an increase in battery powered equipment, including ride-on mowers.

While most of the machinery will be displayed indoors, directly outside the halls there will be outdoor demonstrations to provide an opportunity to see a number of products in action. Should you have problems with weeds or want to try different fertilisers, you will have plenty of choice at Saltex. Our preview details many of the new products and it highlights some of the not-to-be-missed stands.

Visitors will find Saltex bursting with information. Knowledge transfer is essential if the industry is to maintain its high ranking and recognition throughout the world. The "Learning LIVE" programme of free-to-attend seminars and debates will be delivered by high-profile speakers covering issues such as funding the future of natural turf. With around 23,000 FA-affiliated natural grass pitches, funding is a crucial topic.

There will also be practical advice from Essex CCC head groundsman Stuart Kerrison and Harrow School head of estates and grounds Danny Beckley. See the website ( for a full list of seminars. Attending the talks will rack up your continuing professional development points.

There will be plenty more education and assistance on offer. "Ask the Experts" one-to-one advice will be available once again with Institute of Groundsmanship (IoG) advisers including Leicester City FC former assistant groundsman Tom Rowley and Lancashire Cricket Board ECB county pitch adviser Ian Mather-Brewster.

If you want to know more about fungi and plant parasitic nematodes, renowned turf consultant Alex Vickers and Turf Disease Centre managing director Kate Entwistle will be in the area designated "Pathology & Soil Science LIVE".

Rewarding excellence

Saltex is also about rewarding the best. Hosted by talkSPORT’s Mark Saggers, the ninth annual IoG Industry Awards event will be held at the National Conference Centre, near the NEC, on the evening of
1 November.

These awards are the biggest celebration of groundsmanship, recognising talent and hard work
at all levels — from volunteers at grass-roots community clubs to professional grounds teams.

Finally, Saltex will also stage the Young Groundsmen’s Conference for those looking to develop a rewarding career in groundsmanship. Sponsored by Rigby Taylor and Top Green, the conference is organised by the IoG’s young board of directors and will be hosted by BBC football/sports presenter and reporter Mark Clemmit. New this year is the careers advice area.

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