STRI (Sports Turf Research institute) has signed a global framework agreement with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).
The deal will see STRI appointed as turf consultants to CWGC, providing advisory, research and event support during the centenary anniversary years of World War I.
The agreement also requires STRI’s involvement in 100th anniversary events planned between now and the end of 2018.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission honours the 1,700,000 men and women of the forces of the Commonwealth who died in the two world wars and ensures that their memory is never forgotten.
The Commission cares for cemeteries and memorials at 23,000 locations in 153 countries.
Gordon McKillop, CEO at STRI, said:
“In this centenary year of the First World War it is an honour for STRI to have been appointed to work with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission during such an important period in its history.
“This is a very exciting and high profile partnership with international interest and STRI is delighted to be working so closely with the CWGC.
“With cemeteries located in over 150 countries, we have already developed a comprehensive work programme for the coming year and beyond.”
STRI’s work will involve a team of its agronomy experts working closely with CWGC staff to ensure that the turf in the cemeteries and memorials is in the best possible condition and will also assist in identifying and implementing the most effective means of delivering consistently good quality turf.
In addition, during 2014 the STRI research team will provide support to the technical experts in the CWGC on pesticide legislation and also conduct onsite research in France.
Steve Gingell, agronomist with STRI, said:
“STRI is widely recognised as the world’s leading authority for research and advice on sports turf
“design and management at a wide range of sporting venues. Our work with the CWGC represents an exciting new direction for STRI and one that is extremely important.
“This is an extensive programme covering a large number of sites with visits to a variety of cemeteries located in both warm and cool season climates.
“As part of the project, we will also be reviewing the CWGC turf manual to support staff knowledge and training.
“This is a significant area of work for STRI with the potential to lead to further diversification within the turf industry.”
The last two decades have seen rapid growth within STRI (established in the UK in 1929), with the opening of their new research and consultancy offices in Australia and their team of 75 staff delivering a range of services across an international client base of around 2,100 sports clubs and facilities each year.