Turfland turf from Scarisbrick adorns the BMX track in the Olympic park
PUBLISHED: 20:56 02 August 2012 | UPDATED: 21:42 20 February 2013
A Scarisbrick firm is sowing the seeds for glory in London and closer to home, as Paul Mackenzie reports
Much has been made by organisers of the Olympics of the claim that the Games are not just Londons. The football competition will include matches in Glasgow, Cardiff, Newcastle, Coventry and Manchester, the sailing will take place off the Weymouth coast and rowing and mountain bike events will also be held away from the capital. This outside influence can even be seen in the heart of the Olympic Park.
Crowds watching one of the most adrenalin-packed sports in the Olympic programme will be able to appreciate the somewhat more sedate contribution of a family firm based in west Lancashire.
The landscaping designed to soften the appearance of the concrete BMX track had its roots in the vast fields of Scarisbrick.
It was grown on Turflands 1100 acre estate and although the company has a 50 year pedigree in producing turf, they have recently developed two new wildflower products.
General manager Angie Mackay, whose parents founded the business, said: Bees, butterflies and other pollinators have really suffered in recent years and we hope that the new products will help them, and make customers gardens more attractive.
A wildflower garden won gold at Chelsea this year for the first time and there has been a real resurgence of interest in native wildflowers. The beauty of wild flowers is that if you can set aside a small area of the garden, it will look pretty and it will provide the perfect environment
for bees and butterflies.
Turflands new Meadowmat is a mix of native grasses and perennial wildflowers which can be laid like turf, while their Enviromat, which contains a mix of seven different species of sedum can be laid on top of a wall, on the roof of the garden shed, or a rabbit hutch
Wildflowers are very hard to establish in the garden but with Meadowmat they come up really well, Angie said. Enviromat gives great colour into Autumn and it can prolong the life of a roof, can insulate the shed in the winter and keep it cool in the summer.
The company was founded in Sussex in the early 1960s by Angies parents, Chris and Janet Watmore. They were the first people in the UK to grow turf for sale from seed and they uprooted the business in the 70s to move to land in Cheshire, before moving again, to the huge flat fields and nutrient rich soils of Scarisbrick.
Mum-of-three Angie added: When my parents asked if my husband and I would help run the business we were living in New Zealand, with a farm and about 8,000 sheep it was a very different life but we made the decision to come here and weve not regretted it at all. Although I suspect that one day we will return to New Zealand.
The business is going well. In spite of, or possibly because of, the recession, people seem to be beautifying their gardens. Maybe they are concentrating on making their home environment nicer rather than spending money on expensive foreign holidays. As for our garden, its is barely maintained at all all our efforts go into making sure our fields are beautifully manicured.