My apologies for the lack of updates for over a week. This is largely because the progress has been so slow and uncertainty about what the next step will be. The problem has been excessive moisture in the soil, particularly at the southern end, which ahs made the use of machinery almost impossible. Either the soil has been too ‘claggy’ to work or the ground has been so soft that wheeled equipment ( which includes anything towed by a tractor) has created ruts. Consequently a great deal has been done by hand.
By Wednesday 11th the area was essentially level, minor adjustments being made using the stone rake (where the ground was firm enough) and hand raking, thus:
Our main man, Graham had been laid low with novovirus, so no work had been done on Monday or Tuesday and his replacement had not been able to start until after midday because of wetness, work being interrupted in the afternoon for more showers.
By Friday13th, with Graham back, this had been achieved.
The fruit of Friday’s labours
Not bad, but the southern end is not so pretty.
Work continued over the weekend, and now we were into fine tuning.
Checking levels with a laser theodolite
Monday saw a lot of activity. We had 5 contractors on site to spread the 60 tons of sand. Motorised track mounted ‘wheelbarrows’ were used to move the sand from the sand pile to the lawn area, the barrow being loaded by and excavator. The distribution of the sand was managed by Graham using the laser theodolite.
Spreading the sand
Delivering the sand to the lawn
A number of club members responded to a late call to arms to come and pick stones from the surface – many thanks to all of you.
Stone picking on Monday 16th
We had a visit from Talbot’s senior consultant who discussed the way forward with Graham and John. It was decided to bring in another 10 tons of sand to be used on the southern end to compensate for a slight drop in the level and the roughness of the surface, neither of which could be addressed with machinery because of the softness of the ground.
Following the application of the sand the ‘cultipac’, the machine which puts the grass seed into the ground, was to run over the whole area to compact and level the sand. Seeding should then be possible.
This is the Cultipac. The roller flattens the surface and creates grooves into which the seed drops. The seed is dispensed from the red hopper. A feature at the back pushes the ridges of soil or sand back over the seed.
This is what could be seen today (Wednesday 18th). The Cultipac has been run over the whole area, Graham and Rob are carrying out the final fine tuning before applying the seed tomorrow if everything goes to plan.
Here you can see the after effects of the Cultipac.
Tracks from the Cultipac