The 80 years of the Institute of Groundsmanship (IoG) were celebrated this year, with a special visit to Eton College’s grounds and a talk about the work that goes into maintaining and enhancing them.

Bill Bowles, a former head of the grounds and pitches at Eton was one of the founders of the IoG, which now has members worldwide. Bill worked for Eton for 50 years.

Today’s Grounds Manager John Taylor hosted the spring tour for IoG members. He also spoke about his role and that of his 29-strong team at their dinner earlier this month.

“It was a real honour to be able to host the IoG because it plays an important role in bringing groundsmen and women together to share best practice. Learning from others is incredibly valuable as we all strive to produce top playing surfaces and beautiful grounds, “ said John.

“Bill Bowles was very keen to establish the IoG and so it was a real honour to take part in some of the 80th anniversary celebrations and speak about the work that takes place at Eton today.”

John is only the fourth grounds manager at Eton since 1887, with Bill Bowles and Matt Wright each working there for half a century.

The Eton team looks after 1,000 acres of grounds, including football and rugby pitches, cricket squares, the grounds surrounding Eton Dorney Olympic rowing lake and more than 10,000 trees.