It was pleasing to see England's cricket team win an incredible match in the second Test over New Zealand at Trent Bridge. The Three Lions secured an astonishing victory after they chased down a fourth innings target of 299 set by the Kiwis, in just 50 overs, to seal their first Test series victory in 18 months.
The final session saw Johnny Bairstow smash a 77-ball century and captain Ben Stokes hit 75 off 70 balls, to see England home.
However, for me the real heroes of the Test, apart from the players who managed to perform unbelievably on that last day, were without a doubt the Trent Bridge grounds team led by head groundsman Steve Birks - who this year celebrates 25 years working at Trent Bridge.
I came across a video interview with Steve regarding the work he and his team do to prepare pitches at Trent Bridge that's well worth a view.
Let’s hope the England cricket team can be inspired to win further Tests for the remainder of the summer.
Tomorrow sees us celebrating the longest day (June 21st) and we may have witnessed some of the hottest days of this summer already with temperatures reaching an incredible 35 degrees C on Friday.
Drought stressed bowling green
These high temperatures will surely lead to some issues when maintaining natural turf playing facilities. In the main it will be about the ability to irrigate the turf to keep it alive.
Some clubs are even experiencing drought conditions already and there could even be a drought forecast if these dry conditions prevail. Some parts of the country have only had 3-4mm of rainfall compared to their normal average of 30 plus mm for the month. A recent article I penned (Irrigation is Vital) spoke about understanding the soil plant water relationships and how to maximise the use of water resources during drought conditions.
The month of June also signals the start of the egg laying season for Chafer Grubs and is a critical time for turf professionals to start a programme of Chafer grub control, we now have only one chemical insecticide product approved for use on chafers.
You can read a recent article about the emergency authorisation for chafer grub control that has been granted for this year, on TurfPro’s website.
Campey opening celebration
Last Friday I, along with over 100 plus Campey Turf Care Systems customers, friends and work colleagues, attended the official opening of their new depot in Bosley, Cheshire - a mere half an hour from their HQ in Marton Hall Lane, Macclesfield.
Speaking to Richard about the new depot, he said, “This is a new venture for us. We are expanding into new areas of agriculture, horticulture, and professional landscaping with new product ranges to appeal to a wider, more diverse user. Having this new depot allows us to grow the business and it gives us opportunities to take on more new staff and to hold more stock”.
Richard has spent over 40 years building a successful company, developing and supplying quality machinery for natural turf renovation and maintenance. Equally important is his pro-active approach to educating groundsmen and women in promoting a strategy of best practice. He is a great advocate for promoting the best possible sports surfaces across all walks of life and all levels of sport, collaborating particularly closely with his local clubs and local authorities in the Cheshire and surrounding areas.
Ian Howard and Andy Walker
Invited guests in attendance on the included Ian Howard md of Dennis SISIS, along with Toby Clarke and Andy Walker, who brought along some of their products. I had a chat with Toby who was in fact on his way to Australia to oversee some sales in Melbourne. He said this year had been one of their best years for sales, and they are looking forward to supporting the World Cup in Qatar when it kicks off on Monday November 21 at the Al Thumama Stadium.
L-R: Jim Croxton, Richard Campey Linda and Dean Cleaver
Also in attendance was Jim Croxton, CEO of BIGGA and Dean Clever, executive officer for FEGGA -both of whom stated they were having a busy year sorting out golfing relating issues, especially on the need to recruit and retain greenkeeping professionals.
On the football front I met up with a couple of high profile head groundsmen, namely Steve Speed from Port Vale and Tony Sinclaire from Man Utd. Both were looking forward to the new season that begins in August.
Steve Speed, centre, next to Richard Campey, left
It will be Steve’s forty third season at Port Vale and no doubt will be another busy season for one of the longest serving head groundsman in the football League. The Valiants were promoted to League One after beating Mansfield Town in the League Two play-off final. It has been a few years since I last visited Vale Park - so not wanting to miss a chance, I have arranged to go and see Steve in July ahead of the new playing season.
I would like to thank Richard and Julia Campey for inviting me to their special opening day where we were blessed with plenty of sunshine, ice cream, refreshments and food to celebrate a new milestone in the Campey story.