The DITCH PROJECT 22/23
UPDATE 9 APRIL 2023
The work to replace ditches, Banks and level the edge of the green is now largely complete, Hooray!!
As outlined below Club volunteers undertook lots of preparatory work before the contractors came on site early in 2023. The contractors levelled around the edge of the green, installed the new concrete ditch profiles, covered the banks with artificial grass, levelled the edge of the green and finally laid new quality turf around the green edges.
When the contractors left volunteers could return to the green. Jobs undertaken included backfill the gap between the new ditch profiles and the existing slabs surrounding the green. In mid March we were able to undertake the first cut of the new turf, we have slowly reduced the height of cut, but it is likely be the middle of May before the new turf can be reduced to normal season playing length.
Ashley completed adjustment of the metal steps to suit the new banks etc. Boxing has been prepared to surround the irrigation sprinkler heads ( these were adjusted to suit the height of the new banks and are new several inches above the existing slabs) These should make the surrounds safe to use although all players will need to take care when getting on and off the green. and preferably use the STEPS
The only significant work to be done are to mark out the green with 2 and 25 M markers and three sets of rinks to allow regular moving to ensure even wear on the green
Update ~Autumn 2022
At last this big project is underway. For many seasons our ditches have been collapsing and the grass edges of the green have been sloping down to the ditch. Stopping a bowl within a metre of the ditch has become virtually impossible. But from April 2023 this will be no more.
The fund raising has happened, options identified and on Monday 28th November the actual work began.
Message from project manager, Paul "As you will be aware from previous communications and the update at the recent Club AGM we are moving forward with the project to replace ditches, banks and level the outside edge of the green. We need to undertake quite a lot of preparatory work (to save costs) before the contractor comes on site. We need to remove the existing artificial grass etc from the banks, remove the concrete ditch profiles and lift some turf around the edge of the green."
Concrete ditches to be stacked ready for use as hardcore in future projects/refurbs. Good turf to be reused e.g.to fill patches on the green (e.g. clover removal) with poorer bits composted in new compost bins.
Here is the onsite report on day one 29th November 2022(SS)
"The Ditch Project is underway. Lots of willing hands gathered at the green. Ralph had to carry out some rehoming of wildlife. Amazing what 65 plus year olds can do when playing bowls is the carrot! There was mist rising as time was called on an excellent effort by all those who turned up. Made me recall that old country saying….'Mist in the hollows good weather follows.' Well done everyone."
Onsite report 5th December 2022 (KB)
Today we saw the turf cutter clear approximately 1m of turf (and muddy bits) around the green. Turf then rolled where possible or lifted. Poorer bits filling the back of Oak Tree Corner and other points around the surrounds, better bits filling patches left by removal of clover on the green. Sounds simple but was hard work done by a great team. Final touches being done 6th December.
Biddenden Bowls Club is very grateful to the bodies who have helped us complete this project by providing grants and loans. Also the members who came along to the green to carry out preparation, clear up and the making good work necessary. The club contributed a significant amount of the project costs plus 75+ volunteer hours. Thanks go to the following bodies for their support
Kent Community Foundation - Grant
Ashford Borough Council - Grant
Biddenden Parish Council - Grant
Tractorfest - Grant
VHSC - payment from reserve
Bowls England - Loan