Latest News

COVID-19 impacts weather forecasts

Accurate weather forecasts are crucial for delivering a timely and effective gritting service, but the impact of COVID-19 has reduced the reliability of predictions requiring GP teams to be extra vigilant.

The precision of the weather forecast relies on meteorological observations, many of which are reported by aircraft, but according to Geophysical Research Letters  the COVID-19 pandemic has eliminated 50-75% of this data.

What’s more, the report written in July, predicted that with extended lockdowns it was likely that the dependability of weather forecasts would deteriorate further.

GP Plantscape have been providing a gritting and snow clearing service for almost 20 years, subscribing to Met Office Open Road forecasting which provides site specific road forecasts for gritting contactors.

Workplaces including, hospitals, distribution centres, office buildings, factories, and shopping centres, rely on GP Plantscape to make sure staff and visitors can gain safe access.

Please pass on our sincere thanks to G P Plantscape on the sterling service they provided/are providing at Canderside throughout the night and this morning snow clearing and gritting the site which has ensured deliveries and staff have been able to come and go from the site as normal. Their efforts are hugely appreciated.’ George Sinclair, estates officer, National Services Scotland

However, weather forecasting is notoriously difficult and this winter season it has proven more variable forcing the winter team to adjust the provision.

Andrew Bell, Exterior Operations Manager, said: “There have been occasions when we have had staff out to cover for poor weather that didn’t arrive or snow falling when it hadn’t been predicted, so we are constantly monitoring the weather and have teams standing by to work at short notice.

“It’s been even more tricky because the weather has been so cold over the past six weeks and with many of our customers working from home, we have had to work extra hard to inspect site conditions regularly and feed that back to our clients.”

Lying snow and low temperatures created treacherous conditions, with compact surfaces more problematic to clear if left unattended between visits.

Normally, customers sites would have a gritting visit in the early hours of the morning in preparation for the arrival of staff, but GP Plantscape have been providing  an additional pre-grit visit, early in the evening,  to customers if they request an extra visit.

COVID-19 effects don’t stop here.

The effectiveness of salt on road surfaces is greatly increased by the traction of vehicles on the road surface, but with more people working from home, there is a reduction in site traffic and GP teams have had to reassess gritting schedules to tackle weather conditions.

The exterior operations manager explained that when the temperature falls below -12 degrees centigrade, white rock salt becomes ineffective as the salts melting action slows as the temperature drops.

Andrew Bell said: “When it becomes hard packed, the snow becomes much more difficult to move if left for 24 hours and it also becomes a challenge to see the hard packed ice if more snow falls on top.”

He said: “In recent, extreme conditions, we have had to use a small amount of red salt which is a bit more aggressive, provides better traction for the tractors and when the tyres grip the ice it starts to break up the ice.”

 

With this cold snap and lockdown look set to continue in the short term, it seems GP’s winter services will be relied upon to ensure that operations and services can continue to run unhampered by the effects of the weather.

A huge thank you to you and your team for clearing the UHW (University Hospital Wishaw) site overnight and being able to have the site safe this morning for staff to gain access to the car parks and the buildings.  Bruce Shepherd, assistant contracts manager, NHS.

For more information on GP Plantscape’s winter services click here.

 

Latest News

Our latest news,thoughts
and plant care tips.
  • September 29, 2023
    Biodiversity in freefall
    Read More
  • September 19, 2023
    5 reasons to choose artificial this Christmas
    Read More
  • September 15, 2023
    Early arrival of gritting season
    Read More
  • September 11, 2023
    National Landscape Awards success
    Read More
  • July 4, 2023
    Seeing red – a jab of colour for big impact
    Read More
  • June 30, 2023
    5 ways to maximise wellbeing benefits from your exterior landscape
    Read More
  • June 30, 2023
    Taming a T.rex
    Read More
  • June 9, 2023
    Bedding in sustainability
    Read More
  • May 31, 2023
    Landscaping apprenticeship success
    Read More
  • May 31, 2023
    Why it’s important to manage ash trees
    Read More
  • May 5, 2023
    Growing wild habitats
    Read More
  • April 25, 2023
    Faux plants no faux pas
    Read More
What Our Clients Say
“GP Plantscape provided a professional service from start to finish. the service was top notch through and through.”
Kevin Stewart, Facilities Manager , Registers of Scotland
“We have worked with GP for many years as a business therefore when selecting a supplier it was a natural selection and the service has been excellent.”
Caroline Hammond, Office Manager , LSPIM
“If a contractor turns up and they are not booked in it makes my life very stressful and difficult, but with GP we know when the team is arriving, we know what day they are arriving, what time they are arriving and its normally always the same people, but if it has to change, we know in advance.”
Sandy Fraser, Facility Management , Glenmorangie
“Nine out of ten people comment on the displays. The plants are simple but effective. Elaine [contracts manager] is very efficient and very knowledgeable and the installations guys were excellent, so helpful and particularly pleasant. We deal with delivery guys every day and it’s good to find quality guys like that doing deliveries and a really good job.”
Gordon Anthony, General Manager , Park Hotel
“Incorporating biophilia in a recent hybrid pilot workspace for a client in Glasgow was such an important part of the jigsaw. The project included large trees, standing planters in various designs, shelf planters and two bespoke moss walls. The exterior courtyard also underwent a transformation including power washing the paving, sanding and painting of the exterior furniture, new gravel, a new Astro turf putting green and various planters with lovely biophilia displays. The feedback has been fantastic and people have been raving about it from a senior level. A big thanks to all the team at GP who were a great support and pulled out all the stops to ensure completion on time.”
Susan Houston, Sales Support Manager , Apleona
“We pride ourselves on being a very culture orientated company where employee’s welfare is at the forefront of every decision. I want the office to be a welcoming and happy space for everyone who comes in and getting plants put in was the next obvious decision for this. We love our plants and couldn’t be without them now.”
Nikki Thng, CEO & Founder , Class for Kids
“The greenery creates a calm and tranquil environment in which to work and are conducive to the design process.”
Mette Møller, Urban Designer , HarrisonStevens
“UWS are delighted with the end result, GP Plantscape excelled from start to finish working closely with us carrying out several reviews and provided multiple options for us to consider. ”
John MacFarlane , Facilities and Maintenance Manager, UWS
client logo client logo client logo client logo client logo client logo client logo client logo client logo client logo