Cutting Edge: Fables from the Stables

Cutting Edge: Fables from the Stables

2nd February, 2019

Week 5

Can I firstly apologise for the delay of our new Groundsman’s Blog. The weather has been playing havoc with our planned work schedule.

The recent cold spell of weather has prevented the team from conducting the regular maintenance/remedial work to the pitches. The recent matches versus Ayr, were a prime example of how transient our weather can be. After several days of hard frost, we woke up to a milder Saturday morning with the pitches having thawed sufficiently to allow the matches to take place. However, in bitterly cold conditions, a thumping 71-5 win for the 1XV certainly warmed the hardy Merchiston parents and supporters alike.

Unfortunately, the mid-week matches leading up to Weekend Leave did fall foul to severe frost, with little chance of a thaw in time for them kicking. However, the frost lifted sufficiently on Friday to allow us to get the Paties Road site ready for Edinburgh United’s match on Saturday afternoon.

I am often accused of being a little precious of our grounds, however, it is vital that anything we do is the best for the boys and often short-termism has longer term benefits. See diagram below to show why keeping the boys off the pitches as it thaws is vital, and the longer term affects and damage it could cause.

The early part of the year and the introduction of the colder and harder weather conditions, allows us to look at the various larger hedges around the campus, The holly hedges around the Tennis Courts and the ewe hedges at the Rifle Range and Pringle Walled Garden will be given their annual trim, photos of these will follow in the weeks to come.

With the temperatures plummeting this week, and the Met Office suggesting this cold spell could last for 2-3 weeks, this weekend’s fixtures have succumbed to the harsh frost. However with the Six Nations about to start, we certainly will not be short of rugby to watch and to ruminate over in the weeks to come, which should create enough warm air to perhaps thaw one of the pitches!

Well that is all from this week’s blog, as I said earlier the weather is impacting our working patterns with the team sharing early starts to ensure the campus is ice and frost free for all. Our blog may be a little more sporadic over the next couple of weeks but rest assured, we will not keep you hanging on for too long.

Mr Yan Hip
Head Groundsman

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