I am pleased to report that Letchworth First Garden City Heritage Foundation have agreed a grant of over £7000 which is 50% of the cost of constructing and project management of two new lawns.
We have employed the services of Dr Tim Lodge of the Sports Turf Research Institute. He carried out the initial feasibility study, drew up the detailed specification and has supervised the tendering process. He will act as Consulting Engineer for the project right through to the hand over stage. It is an excellent site and although sheltered has no overhanging trees. The new lawns will be within the grounds of a £1.5 million Tennis and Squash Club development which has been supported by the LTA to the tune of £500k plus a huge grant from the Heritage Foundation. There is a "state of the art" club house with club house management and franchised catering, three indoor and seven outdoor tennis courts and two excellent squash courts.
The croquet lawn construction involves the removal of top soil, laser levelling of sub soil, replacement and levelling of top soil with two stone removal stages. 50mm of sand will be incorporated into the surface levels (a staggering 156 tons) to provide a very smooth surface. The lawns will mature for 12 months before use so that the grass roots can grow through the sandy layer into the soil thus forming a solid mat. We have been promised very flat and very smooth lawns - worth a visit when we are open.
We do not intend to install automatic watering because, having surveyed players, we found that most prefer to take on the challenge of the seasons.
The lawns will be constructed this spring - they will be open for business in 2006.