1 Wimbledon fights foxes, frost and pigeons for top lawns

Urinating vixens, greedy pigeons, May frost and idiosyncratic mowers are just a few of the problems facing Wimbledon's head groundsman in the run up to the world's most famous tennis championships.

Most tournaments, even if they once were played on grass, now use easier-to-manage hard or clay courts, but for Eddie Seaward the yearly cycle of growth and tending is part of the joy of his job, wildlife notwithstanding.

Foxes who roam freely round leafy and prosperous Wimbledon, in southwest London, are regular visitors to the All England Club, even seen creeping across the commentary boxes high on Center Court. They are welcome as long as they keep off the grass.

"We put an electric fence round here and the showcourts most of the year," Seaward told Reuters as his staff and an army of cleaners and contractors busied themselves round the pristine green sward of Center Court preparing for Roger Federer on Monday's opening day.

"It's the vixens that are the problem, if they urinate on the court it just kills the grass off," he added.

Centuries-old methods, in keeping with Wimbledon's love of tradition, are used to keep at bay the pigeons, who would otherwise gorge on newly sown seed.

See the rest of the article on the following link:-Reuters Canada

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