From Cow Field to Cricket Pitch!

Alan Hamilton in Cricket

Herm cricket pitchFollowing an approach from the Lord Taverner's asking if Herm would be interested in hosting their annual fundraising cricket match the search began for a suitable location on the tiny Channel Island.

It was soon narrowed down to a field partly used by campers but mainly used by cows for grazing, so some imagination was required to see the potential.

Fortunately, when the Lord Taverner's representatives visited the island they loved the location with its stunning views across Shell beach and the Humps north of Herm. They agreed that this was indeed the perfect location.

So, in October 2010 led by the island's Head Gardener Brett Moore a small team began work on converting a cow field into a cricket pitch in 10 months.

First, the grass was topped and then it was gradually shortened using the islands' ride- on Countax rotary mower.

Mowing continued throughout the mild winter, Herm didn't have any snow, with generally one cut per month.

De-thatching also took place over several weeks, to remove the large amount of dead grass on the site. Some old fencing was also taken down to give the outfield.

For the wicket a 30m x 2m area was dug out and 32 tonnes of granite and dust was shipped in from Guernsey to create the foundations.

Finally, the astro turf wicket which was funded by the Lord Taverner's arrived and was laid with the expert help of Alan Hamilton the grounds man from Guernsey's KG5 sports ground.

So, the pitch is almost ready despite the extremely dry weather giving some cause for concern with little water available to be spared from the islands' borehole supply. Let's just hope Sunday 17th July is a fine day for the inaugural Lord Taverner's cricket match in Herm.

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