Final preparations for the Grand National are under way

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Mark Aynsley, from Ormskirk, said his team of seven groundsmen and two greenkeepers have been battling freezing temperatures to put the finishing touches to the track at Aintree.

He said: "Snow's never the best. Last year it was warm, sunny and beautiful so this has been a bit of an inconvenience, but it's nothing we can't deal with."

In the run up to the festival Mark's team will be making the final preparations, including mowing the grass and striping it.

Iron and magnesium sprays will be used on the grass to make sure it's just the right shade of green.

The work is the culmination of weeks of getting ready.

Mark said: "By Sunday, April 7 it will have been seven straight weeks of work."

This year has seen a new kind of fence for the course.

The extra-safe EasyFix fences are filled with birch and use foam rather than timber.

Mark said: "Of the 16 jumps, 15 are a brand new construction.

"All of the plain fences have been made with synthetic bases and a plastic internal core which is far more horse-friendly.

"Then there is a 14 inch layer of spruce so for all intents and purposes they're exactly the same."

The fences with ditches have been filled with birch and topped with 16 inches of spruce.

Mark said: "If anything bumps into the middle of the fences it'll just bounce off.

"I'm really proud of the effort the lads have made with the construction."

The team's work doesn't finish once the racing starts - after each day the team will be back on the course to move the fences.

Mark said: "It's quite strategic how we plan where we race, we move the running rail so there's always fresh, brand new turf to ride on.

"Basically for the three different days we provide three different race tracks."

Read more: Liverpool Echo

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