Last Friday night Southern England was hit with strong winds and here at East Berks was no exception. We lost in total 15 trees around the course.
Following a course inspection on Saturday morning and discussions with the Course Management Committee the decision was made to close the course over the weekend on a Health & Safety basis. The trees that are on the ground cause little threat but the broken branches or “hangers” were and still are a big risk.
The greens staff have spent the past 4 days cutting fallen trees and removing them from the course as much as possible.
The clear up continues and a couple of large pine trees will need felling by contractors, these trees have been taped off and still present a risk – please do not enter these taped off areas.
A couple more trees have fallen since Sunday morning so please take extra care around the course.
The weather looks a little more promising over the next few weeks, so hopefully we will get back to some kind of normality.
Work around the course continues as we have a nice break from the freezing or wet weather. While we are enjoying this dry spell we have taken the opportunity to brush the fairways, this helps remove any wormcasts and also helps define the fairways over the winter period when cutting has been reduced.
Work is also progressing nicely on the heather regeneration work between the 8th and 10th. The main task at the moment is still the removal of the silver birch.
The final project we are working on is the 1st tee. This is really starting to take shape now and with the planting almost complete we will move onto the path next week and then lay the turf as soon as the path material is in. The silver birch that are being removed from between the 8th and 10th will be chipped to provide the mulch for the new beds. The main purpose of the mulch is to keep the heat in the ground and give the new plants the best possible start.
The first tee project is moving along very well, we will mark out the shapes of the new beds and paths in the next couple of days and weather permitting start some planting next week.
1st tee prep
Work has also started on the heather regeneration work between the 8th and 10th holes. The main focus in this area for the next few weeks will be the removal of the undesirable trees (mainly silver birch). The removal of these weed trees is the first step in the regeneration plan.
Other work on the course will be mainly dictated by the weather to include routine mowing, aeration, leaf collection and course setup.
Following Mondays storm the clean up continues. We had 10 trees down that we cut and remove from the course another two larger trees are to be felled and cleared by our tree surgeon this week.
I think we actually got lucky compared to some….. Over the two days (Sunday Monday) we had 36.5mm of rain and very strong gusts of wind.
The course is back to normal now and lets hope for a few more nice autumn days before the winter arrives.
17th green and approach
One of the many casualties
We have started the aeration work on our fairways with the verti-drain. We are running 20mm tines to a depth of 160mm. This will help drainage and also releave compaction in high traffic areas
The process is taking around 2 hours per hole so please be patient whilst greenstaff are working on the hole you are playing.
Work has started around the 1st tee. Stage one is the removal of the conifers that run the length of the pro-shop. Once these are removed we will have a much clearer view of what shape the new beds should take….
After a long busy summer we are back blogging with info on projects being carried out around the course.
We intend to post short articles every couple of weeks showing how the winter projects are coming along and any other points of interest.