The Groundsman

November 2014

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His groundscare team – which also performs contract maintenance at certain private sports clubs - has a battery of turf care equipment at its disposal, from a central depot. This includes John Deere and Massey Ferguson tractors, Dakota turf topdresser, Imants Shockwave, Redexim Vertidrain, Omarv Firenze Z25 flail mower/collector , Ryetec C1800CH flail mower/collector, Vredo 222 overseeder, Campey Koro topdresser/recycler), as well as line markers (Fleet and Bowcom), Hardi and Gambetti sprayers plus a general grass seed/fertiliser store. In terms of fertilisers, everything is shipped onto the island in 20/25 kgs bags or as one-tonne loads "and is probably double the cost of what we would pay on the mainland", says Steve. This impressive portfolio complements a host of smaller equipment that is kept onsite at each of the venues, which include: Grainville Playing Fields Nigel Nerac has been head groundsman for the past two years; before that he was head groundsman at Les Quennevais for 19 years (succeeding Steve Landick). "I moved here because I love cricket; achieving a decent wicket is always a challenge," he says. Grainville has ten full- width strips, plus two 8ft strips, is the home of the Jersey Island CC and has hosted internationals. A Ransome triple mower is used on the outfields and Dennis FT series with cassettes on the wickets – a wicket is brushed, cut and rolled (following Cranfield's regimes) up to the day of the game. Nigel quotes a number of factors that have helped improve the ground, including automated pop-up sprinklers and advice from Lord's Mick Hunt who suggested that the height of cut be raised to 3/4mm rather than 2mm. Grainville also has a rugby pitch, four junior football pitches, bowls green and tennis courts. F B Playing Fields Five football pitches (a mixture of large, small and junior pitches), grass hockey pitch, one grass cricket square and three artificial wickets, plus athletics stadium with (re-laid) six-lane 400m track for the Island Games, plus two netball courts and a table tennis centre. Ian Le Marquard is the head groundsman, his 39th year in the role – and he says the fact that "we've got modern machinery has made all the difference to the way we work and the resulting playing surfaces". His attitude to the job is summed up: "These playing fields are my front garden; what happens affects me." Les Quennevais Playing Fields 15/20 hectares, eight football pitches (one floodlit), one sand-dressed artificial hockey pitch, two cricket pitches, one rugby pitch, four croquet lawns and eight tennis courts, as well as softball diamonds, cricket nets and cycle track. l I moved here because I love cricket; achieving a decent wicket is always a challenge " " Les Quennevais Playing Fields - Jersey's largest playing fields facility Nigel Nerac, head groundsman at Grainville Playing Fields Part of the machinery portfolio in the States' central equipment store GRASSROOTS 25 the Groundsman November 2014 Visit for more information and digital editions

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