The Groundsman

March 2015

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aintaining a stadium pitch for 30 to 35 rugby games a season would test the mettle of any groundsman. But when you add 81 training sessions to that (season 2013/14), plus the maintenance of an additional 19 pitches and all other grass areas across a 55-acre site, the challenge is immense. However, it's a challenge Martin Knight and Stuart Lambert rise to every season at Worcester Warriors RFC. The fact that they continually excel in their role and manage the work, on a conservative budget compared to their football counterparts, has been recognised by their 2014 IOG Award for Professional Rugby Union Grounds Team of the Year. Dealing with drainage and renovation That said, Martin admits: "In an ideal world, the stadium pitch would be taken up and M Worcester's dynamic duo The ever-demanding usage of pitches at Worcester Warriors RFC creates a weighty workload for the club's groundscare duo - Martin Knight and Stuart Lambert, who consistently rise to the challenges By: Colin Hoskins rebuilt. It's clay based and the original drains were very poorly constructed. In the past it tended to hold water although we have managed to achieve a decent root zone in the top four inches. But we don't live in an ideal world and we have to make the best of what we've got." The installation of a new drainage system at the end of the 2012/13 season at a considerable cost saw a massive improvement, he says, when the original main drains across the pitch were changed to being lengthways at 5m centres, plus the addition of gravel bands at 1m centres and extensive sand banding as well as the use of 100 tonnes of sand at every end-of- season. "The plan now is to, hopefully, install additional gravel bands, effectively installing them at 50cm centres and Koroing the surface before over seeding and top dressing." A drainage system was installed into the clay-based pitch after the 2012/13 season IOG BEST PRACTICE 14 the Groundsman March 2015 Martin Knight (right) and Stuart Lambert

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