Friday, February 5th, 2016

Packwood’s Positive News On New Road Square And Nets After Flooding

Packwood’s Positive News On New Road Square And Nets After Flooding

It's about two weeks now since the last of the water from the January flood disappeared off the outfield at New Road.

The ground was covered in water for around two and a half weeks, briefly receding to leave part of the outfield and square uncovered before returning for a second time during the second week of January.

But the good news is head groundsman Tim Packwood and his team have been able to resume working this week in the middle and in the net areas.

And the long serving Packwood has positive news about how the condition of the square and nets where the players and coaches will begin working next month after returning from the pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi.

Here Tim gives the Worcestershire CCC website an update on the latest situation as we enter the early part of February.

Question: Did the floods cause a lot of damage to the square?

Tim Packwood: "Not particularly. It was basically two floods rolled into one. When the first one came on New Year's Eve, as it started to go off the water was very clean, nowhere near as dirty as your usual flood so we thought we wouldn't even need to mat the square like we normally do.

"The water left about the top quarter of the outfield and probably seven wickets on the square but it started to come back up again in the second week of January and it's been off the ground now for just over a fortnight.

"Even the second time, it still didn't look particularly dirty but, as that one dropped out, we suddenly got a couple of frosts that we had been wanting for a couple of months to check all the rivers back.

"It did just hold a little bit of silt in a couple of places but on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week the lads were out there with the mowers and the silt that was just on the top, we've managed to start to cut that out and it does start to look like a cricket ground again.

"Normally, weather permitting, you need a fortnight to at least dry out to be able to go on the ground because the temptation is always there to go on as quickly as you can.

"But from past experience, the longer you leave it and go on in the right conditions the better, otherwise you end up doing more harm than good."

Question: The good thing is it looks like the flood hasn't done any great damage?

Tim Packwood: "Not that I'm aware of. There might be a couple of little areas that we might just have to over-seed. It took the top off one of the drains just behind the square and that will just need levelling.

"But even if it hadn't flooded, we would probably have had to over-seed a few areas anyway and fill parts in.

"We've already started to prepare the first block of nets that the lads will be using in March. We managed to get those cut down this week to about 18 millimetres yesterday so the net area looks even better than the main square at the moment because the water stayed on the main square for two and a half weeks and only stayed on the net area for about four days."

Question: It's good you are able to start working on the square?

Tim Packwood: "It is. Starting now, we've cut the top of the square for the first time since the first week of December because it's obviously been too wet or we've been under water and the same on the outfield.

"By the end of this week, all of the outfield would have been cut, the square would have been cut, the net areas are all cut and with a bit of rain coming this weekend, we will start to cover the first block of nets this weekend and get some fertilizer onto the rest just to give it all a perk-up."

Question: "Presumably a flood like that should not cause too many problems when looking at the big picture?

Tim Packwood: "As I say, it can be a dirty flood with the amount of silt left behind but for some reason the water was pretty clean. On the car parks, there is silt that needs to be cleaned up but on the actual square it doesn't seem to have left anything that will be detrimental to anything this season.

"Hopefully it's all systems go, aiming for at least part of the outfield to be ready for when the players are back after their pre-season tour and everything else for the first game."