Biggest ever outfield renovation at Swindon Cricket Club

Biggest ever outfield renovation at Swindon Cricket Club

Ecosolve Turfcare is proud to be the main contractor for Swindon Cricket Club’s current grounds renovation - the biggest investment in its County Ground outfield for 40 years.

“The project is part of the Club’s commitment to continually improve its facilities for members and users”, said Kevin Thompson, grounds manager at the Club. The outfield was planted as far back as 1946 and was full of unwanted grass species and thatch. During the works we even recovered two substantial metal spikes, believed to be remnants of the ground’s time as a WW2 prisoner of war camp!

Adds Kevin, “It was uneven ground which was difficult to run on. The thatch was so heavy that grass was only growing on the surface and not deep rooting. We are aiming to have a level playing surface, growing the right kind of grass and which is worth investment for the future”

With the days closing in and summer weather seemingly ending, work carried on early, late and at weekends as our pictures show –“Ecosol Turfcare worked tirelessly almost night and day to complete the work and get the grass seed sown before the Autumn rain,” says Kevin.

The 15,000 sq m  marked off area was first sprayed off with a non-selective herbicide and  rotovated with the BLEC power harrow to create a fine tilth. At that point we installed a new irrigation line reaching from the outfield to the square so that the Club knows exactly where it is and that it’s deep enough not to be damaged by machinery.

The box grader and rake were then employed to achieve a level surface without high points and depressions and initially cultivate the seed bed. The outfield was also graded to make a smooth transition to the edge of the square and finally cultivated to create an optimum seed bed.

A special pre-seeding fertiliser was then applied to the area before overseeding with two passes of the Turfmaker seed drill. Grass seed was a bespoke cricket outfield blend drilled at 48g/sq m. The plan is to support this with autumn fertiliser and then in spring 2021 it will be rolled to consolidate ,Verti-drained twice and re-fertilised to encourage good spring growth.

“After being a couple of years in the making it is great to see the progress made in a short time by contractor Ecosol Turfcare and it shows the scale of the task in hand”, says Daniel Harris, Swindon CC’s digital marketing manager.

“A project of this scale is not possible without financial support, in this case thanks must go to Sport England and main club sponsor Coe Capital Wealth Management and of course, our members and supporters.

“Given the challenges Covid 19 has put on us, it’s great to end our truncated season with a positive eye on 2021 and we are grateful to Ecosol Turfcare who have moved the project along as fast as possible” concludes Daniel.