The three former bowling greens which have been used for croquet in recent years had deteriorated in turf quality, levelling and differential drying (the eastern third of each lawn being considerably faster than the rest in dry conditions), making them unappealing for club play, unsuitable for any kind of accurate play and particularly unsuitable for high class tournaments. They were taken out of commission after the Annual Tournament this year (22nd August) to have turf and top layers of soil removed, a new growing surface laid, levelled, prepared and seeded, and are now beginning to germinate. If all goes well (mainly weather-dependent) the new surface should be usable as four full sized croquet lawns and one half sized lawn some time in 2021.
The main contracters were Talbot Landscapes, with support of Irrigation Technology (Paul Graham) who had earlier this season extended our automatic irrigation system to include this new sward.
A chronological series of photos can be found HERE showing the state of the lawns before relaying, some of the processes, staff and equipment involved in the development work, and through to early germination (including Harriet the fake hawk, to scare off foraging seed-eating birds).