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Alcester and Ragley Park CC Groundcare Diary April

Firstly, this is obviously a tough time for everyone associated with cricket, however at Alcester and Ragley Park CC we are trying to think of the positives and look at how we can utilise the current situation to our advantage. We have a small team of amazing volunteers led by myself who maintain the ground at ARPCC, we have been working hard over the past few weeks and utilising the spare time we all have to persevere with some tasks that we would never normally be able to get done. We have been following all the relevant guidelines and there are no more than two club members at the club at any one time and even then we plan so that we are working at opposite ends of the ground.

 As a club we don't normally do a lot of pre season rolling, mainly due to the time factor. The time it can take to do the rolling, we have a 10 wicket square and can take an hour to do 1 pass of the square. Also because our outfield has a lot of moss and thatch in it, it holds a lot of water therefore the window between being able to get a roller to the square and the start of the season is normally very small. So we have come up with a rota via our ground staff what's app group and have completed multiple passes on the square. Starting with our honda rotary mower, then the Dennis FT, then the Dennis G860 as a club we have a 3 drum roller that only weighs about a tonne and finally this weekend we have been donated for the weekend a 3 tonne road roller by NTB Hire Services who the owner Nick Bird is a close friend of the club and supports us in anyway he can through his business. The square is in the best position it has been in for years and we are very confident that when we get the go ahead to play cricket we will be able to produce some of the best pitches the club has seen in recent years.

 As previously mentioned the outfield is an issue, the club last year invested in a second hand Dennis G860 with an 8 bladed cylinder and a verti cut cassette. The plan is to verti cut the outfield in two or three directions with the G860. I have so far done a very light verti cut in one direction. We also have a scarification cassette for our FT which we will use on the outfield in one direction to help cut into some of the thatch. all of these operations take a long time and a lot of walking! However we now have nothing else to do with out time so may as well be productive and do some tasks that we would normally never have time to do but will greatly benefit the long term condition of the ground. Subject to budgets depending on how much cricket we get this season I would like to lightly overseed the outfield.

 I am very lucky at my club that, I have the support of other club members (who are not groundsman by trade) and also the support of my committee to improve the ground and maintain it to the level we would like. Currently there is no cricket because of COVID-19! If clubs and the ECB don't support the great work that club groundsman are doing all over the country then there is no cricket. Without groundsman there is no cricket!

Many thanks and i look forward to keeping you updated with out progress on the grounds at ARPCC.

Brad Jefferies

Head Groundsman

© Alcester and Ragley Park CC