The mild weather continues with it being between 14 and 16 degrees today and over-night it's only going to dip to 10 degress meaning that the grass is still growing in the paddock. The good news is that we've had some rain in the last few weeks ending the very long run of dry weather and the process of re-growth is beginning to happen of its own accord. Because of the potential Gyspy invation post Dale Farm I didn't do any pre-winter remedial work in the paddock at all other than rake some dirt back into the area where the batsmen stand, which I did mid October when it was still really dry. Since then I've not been over there and the only people you see in there are the fair weather footballers.......The ones that can't be bothered to run about on a field because it means being fit and leaving their phones more than a metre away from where they are. Or the people that let their Staffordshire Bull Terriers in their so that they can shit everywhere and our kids get it all over their clothes. But, today I went over and had a quick look and was quite surprised at how well it was recovering without any intervention. I'll have to keep and eye on it and see how it goes and maybe in the spring get some seed down early?
The other idea I've been toying with and it's one that I'm surprised that B&PCC don't adopt for their nets where the bowlers create a big hole when pivotting, is this Heavy Duty Playground matting. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/6-x-Rubber-Grassmats-Playground-Safety-Mat-Flooring-Set-/150461579063?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item2308357f37
It comes in 1.5 x 1 metre sections and as you can see you can seed it and the grass grows up through it and eventually a thin layer of earth covers it meaning that the root system for the grass stays intact in amongst and under the mat, so pivoting on the mat only damages the very tips of the grass that are growing through. For the paddock it would be ideal as it would be flush with the surface and allow a good surface to bowl on that wouldn't wear away. I reckon I could get away with getting it fitted over the winter and just simply cover it with earth as it bedded in. I'm just not sure whether once I got the seed I'd need to expose the mat in order for the seed to germinate and grow through the holes, I think at that point the footballers or the dog owners might spot it and have it away despite how many fixings I put in it to secure it. Something I'll have to think about I reckon.
The other interesting thing that I've seen recently was this here, a bloke on big cricket asked how you might be able to make your own bowling machine and one of the coaches on-line suggested this.......
It's a 'Side Arm' and allows with a little bit of practice for the user to bowl the ball with a lot of accuracy and massively enhanced speed. It also enables the thrower to bowl balls that 'Swing' and spin - Leg Breaks and Off-Breaks, so it would be exceptionally useful for me and the kids next season in the paddock. Something we'll look into as a Christmas present I reckon.