Maintenance

Training

Tree Felling
Operatives of POS Landcare have attended a week long training course at Mere Sands Nature Reserve in Rufford run by Millhouse Training. The course in tree felling and cross cutting was a Lantra approved course and the assessment undertaken was NPTC accredited allowing the operatives to fell trees up to 380mm which is larger than the majority of trees on the relatively young areas of public open space owned or managed by the company.

Play Equipment Inspections
A large number of sites owned by the company have equipped areas of play which are currently inspected by our own operatives who have attended the Operational Inspectors course run by ROSPA.

The company supports the Register of Play Inspectors, RPII and at all times at least one member of staff is registered with them, which adds to our capability of being able to manage and maintain the playgrounds in good operational order.

Asbestos
Fly tipping is not an unusual occurrence on land owned by the company and is considered an eyesore, an inconvenience, but also a hazard to the public. We are normally able to respond to reports of fly tipping the next day and whilst the majority is household waste needlessly deposited in areas of open space, some is more dangerous and can contain asbestos in the form of an old dismantled garage or ceiling tiles.

The company has trained operatives experienced in asbestos awareness and handling which ensures that any kind of asbestos, can be dealt with in house. They have learned to take a sample for analysis and then to safely handle it by double bagging and removing it in specially constructed covered skips where it is disposed of at one of the company’s waste sites that is licenced to accept hazardous material.

Pesticides
The spread of common weeds and invasive species, such as Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed is a problem on many sites which are regularly monitored. The company has operatives who are trained in the identification of the plants and the safe spraying of pesticides using hand held applicators and a program of spraying and logging of visits is undertaken.

Working at Height
Two operatives have recently attended training courses in the safe operation of mobile elevating work platforms and booms, cherry pickers to use a more recognisable name. Their training allows them to use categories 1b and 3b which increases our ability to cut and lop tree branches which may be causing a nuisance to buildings or telephone wires.

Fencing and Pathways

Fences are an important element of any area of open space providing boundaries for aesthetic or safety reasons and are inspected regularly and treated, repaired or replaced as necessary. Below is selection of ‘before and after’ pictures of projects underway or recently completed.

Church Road, Thornton
This narrow strip of amenity grassland was showing signs of wear as people were cutting the corner and worn tracks were becoming visible in the grass. A low two rail fence was erected and the grass has started to recover.
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Glossop
This area of open space was located adjacent to steep banking to the river with dangerous sheet steel and barbed wire present. The dangerous elements were removed and a sturdy attractive fence erected along the top of the bank.
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Tan House Drive, Winstanley
This fence had come to the end of its useful life through a combination of rotting and vandalism, but was positioned on the back of footpath where the land fell away steeply towards a surface water outfall and was important for safety reasons. The old fence was removed and a new section erected adjacent to the outfall.
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Meres Edge, Helsby
The railings had suffered from vandalism and on handover the missing or broken sections were replaced.
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Unfenced grassed areas adjacent to the highway provide an open attractive aspect but allow motor vehicles to park partly on the highway and partly on the grass causing damage to the grass and soils beneath. Improvements are currently being undertaken to try to stop this practice which is a problem on most areas of open space adjacent to the highway.

 

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