Danny Negus Courts Success with MM50 at Devonshire Park

Danny Negus has been spearheading the grounds maintenance efforts at Devonshire Park in Eastbourne since 2016.
Danny Negus Courts Success with  MM50 at Devonshire Park

His journey to becoming Grounds Manager reflects a dedication to his craft that spans three decades, starting as a Greenkeeper in 1994 and transitioning into Groundsmanship in 2006 and steadily climbing the ranks.

"Every year is filled with challenges," Danny reflects. " Eastbourne Borough Council owns and operates Devonshire Park, so as a local authority, financial constraints are a reality. But with this monumental year ahead, it's an exciting challenge—a chance to showcase our capabilities."

Devonshire Park, a historic venue marking its 150th anniversary alongside the 50th year of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Rothesay International Eastbourne tournament, holds a special place in the world of tennis.

For Danny, one of the first significant changes upon assuming his role in 2016 was switching his grass seed to MM50.

"One of the first things I did when I took my role here in 2016 was that I gave MM50 one year of trial," Danny explains. "Because of the success we had with it, we have used the seed ever since. Even when we had a golf course that came under my remit, we used MM and that is because I believe in the MM products."

MM is one of the most respected brands in the UK amenity industry, with over 40 years of experience and knowledge. The extensive product portfolio is second to none with performance proven mixtures that are used at many leading venues in the UK and Europe.

MM50, in particular, is one of the UK’s biggest selling grass mixtures. The hard-wearing ryegrass mix is very fine leaved, has high shoot density, is tolerant to close mowing down to 4-5mm and produces a great colour all year round. It also has quick recovery from damage and play.

At Devonshire Park, where nearly all maintenance operations are liquid-based, the compatibility of MM50 with their approach is evident. "We are about 95% liquid only and rely on granulars solely during our renovation period," Danny elaborates. "I find that the MM50 responds fantastically to what we do, just real good synergy between the plant and the nutrition delivery—it works."

Danny emphasises the importance of creating a surface that not only meets the demands of the sport but also aligns with the venue's aesthetic standards. "One of the biggest challenges you always have is to create a surface that is fit for the sport that is being played," he notes.

"The main characteristic of MM50 is that it actually does both. It creates an exceptional performance surface while responding in such a way that, for the sake of the venue and the event, it looks as it should. There is no reason whatsoever to change from MM50."

Reflecting on his partnership with MM, Danny highlights the invaluable support provided by Matt Gresty, MM and Designer Sales and Brand Manager for DLF UK. "Matt is brilliant," Danny praises. "We have way too many nerd-offs together! He has the right outlook and a great understanding of the pressures of delivering a global event and the environmental pressures. He is an exceptional part of why you would choose MM Seed—he is Mr. MM in my view."

With MM50 as his trusted ally, Danny continues to elevate the grounds at Devonshire Park, ensuring world-class tennis courts, especially as the venue embarks on its monumental year ahead. The proven performance and reliability of MM50 will undoubtedly play a crucial role in meeting the heightened expectations during this significant milestone, reaffirming Danny's commitment to excellence in sports turf management.