Leicestershire have started work on a new outfield at Grace Road which they hope will improve the quality and appearance of the turf next season.
Concerns about the ball bobbling across the outfield had led Leicestershire to consider doing repair work over the winter months but they have now opted to completely reseed one of the largest playing areas in the country.
Work is already underway and Leicestershire have teamed up with local firm Hewitt Sportsturf on the project. Cosby-based Hewitt Sportsturf have already worked closely with a number of major sports clubs including Leicester City football and Leicester Tigers rugby.
So Hewitt Sportsturf’s tractors have been brought in and work has already started. Managing director John Hewitt is pleased to be able to help the club and explained the process which will provide a flatter, smoother outfield.
“I’m a Leicester guy and it is important to support everybody so I’m pleased to be working with Leicestershire,” he said. “It is clear there has been a gradual deterioration of the outfield over many years. There have been years and years of scarification and general maintenance but it is in desperate need of a stir-up and full rejuvenation.
“We’ve ripped the entire surface up now, buried all of the turf and removed the thatch layer. The thatch layer is a layer that naturally generates over a period of time. It increases year on year and doesn’t allow water to go through.
“There will now be a vigorous reseeding. We originally intended to scarify and clean but the scarification was too severe. We took a complete re-look at the whole thing and adopted a much more aggressive and devastating operation.
“The outfield will be smoother and flat; it won’t deviate. We have taken all of the undulations off it – there were lots of highs and lows on the outfield. All of those have been taken care of.
“We’re looking to start seeding this week and we’re going to apply a fairly heavy nutrient on a rolling programme. The seed will germinate and the outfield will be back green within two to three weeks. It will then bed in over the winter ready for the new season.”