BURY'S team of four groundstaff picked up a top honour at the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) Industry Awards.

They were named professional football grounds team of the year – a category open to grounds teams from English Leagues One and Two, as well as non-league clubs at the National and National North/South level and the Scottish Championship and Leagues One and Two, as well as professional leagues in Ireland and Wales.

Geoff Webb, IOG chief executive, said: “With a record number of entries, this year’s awards continue to demonstrate the skills and passion of groundsmanship throughout the UK, at both voluntary and professional level.

“Winning an award is testament to the dedication of the grounds teams and individuals whose ability to produce and maintain ever-improving playing surfaces – which enables more games to take place – goes largely unnoticed.”

Bury's team was commended for completing the size and scale of their task with such a small team.

They manage a total of 45 acres, including the matchday pitch at the Energy Check Stadium, six pitches and accompanying shrub and flower beds at their Carrington training ground and 12 pitches at the Goshen community sports facility.

An accompanying statement released by the IOG put into context the level of activity at the three sites.

It listed: "At the stadium for the 2016/17 season there were 47 games for Bury FC, two youth matches, one ladies' game and 18 other events, while the training ground each week usually endures 24.5 hours of training sessions, 16 youth games and three or four games of academy football over 24 weekends.

"In addition, local league finals are hosted – approximately 45 games a day – plus corporate and media events.

"With such a busy fixture schedule symptomatic of the facilities being used all year round, and the fact that the team undertakes as much of the renovation work as possible at both the stadium and training ground, the four groundstaff certainly have their hands full."

The awards are judged by an independent panel on criteria that include effective use of resources, budgetary control, presentation and housekeeping standards, as well as environmental considerations.

They were handed out at a ceremony at the National Conference Centre in Birmingham hosted by talkSPORT radio presenter Mark Saggers and BBC football presenter Mark Clemmit, in front of an audience of almost 700 of the UK’s and Europe’s leading groundscare experts.