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Work begins on the pitches

The first load of sand arrives

The remedial work to repair the pitches has begun this morning (Monday).  The first lorry load of sand has arrived on site and Brett King and his team are already at work scarifying the surface so that the fissures, made by mole drilling the pitches earlier in the summer, are fully revealed and ready for filling.

At the risk of repeating myself, the pitches at Minety, so long beset by serious drainage problems, were mole drilled as soon as last season ended.  This process made a series of deep fissures in the surfaces of the three pitches, just to break up the compaction that hinders drainage.  In a usual summer, these fissures would have gently closed over the summer and given us respite from waterlogging for a couple of years at least.  Except, we didn’t have a usual summer and the extraordinary heat allied to the complete lack of rain meant that the clay in the ground shrank and the fissures, rather than gently closing, actually opened up quite alarmingly.

Scarifying begins

However, Minety is turning a potential disaster into a potential success.  Brett King and his team of expert groundsmen (Bath rugby club etc.) are going to fill the fissures with a special sand, one that doesn’t clog or bind in wet conditions, over the next week.  This will actually give us a drainage system recognised by the RFU no less.  It should also improve the quality of the pitches enormously and go some way to avoiding the pattern of previous seasons when Minety have been forced to move fixtures to other venues and try to cope with training indoors or far afield.

As the week’s work continues we hope to keep you up to date with a steady stream of photographs, care of our ace lensman, Andrew O’Dell.

Click on a thumbnail to reveal the full sized picture.

And what progress!  These are images, care of Andrew O’Dell and Brett King, that show how much was achieved on Day 1.

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