DW Stadium pitch renovation: ‘the work will be a huge improvement’ - Head Groundsman Ian Forshaw.
- DW Stadium pitch undergoes major renovation.
- 300 tons of fibre sand and a ton of grass seed have been added.
- DW Stadium pitch partners Talbot Landscaping’s client list includes Wembley Stadium and Lord’s Cricket Ground.
Following the final matches being played last weekend, when Latics supporters were able to take part in the Intersport Community Cup, the Wigan Athletic Community Trust match and the Football Aid matches, work begun first thing Monday morning and has literally continued day and night since.
After first removing the existing surface to a depth of four inches, the DW Stadium groundstaff, alongside the club’s long-time partners Talbot Landscaping, have since added in 260 tons of sand and a ton of grass seed.
Derby-based Talbots are one of the country’s leading experts in sports turf resurfacing, who as well as working at the DW Stadium for well over a decade, number Wembley Stadium, Croke Park in Dublin, Leicester City’s King Power Stadium and Lord’s Cricket Ground as recent clients.
Ian Forshaw, the DW Stadium’s Head Groundsman, said: “It’s always an exciting time when we are able to do this work and we are happy to report that the weather has been kind to us this week and everything has gone according to plan.
“We have ensured that we have a window of six weeks until the next Wigan Warriors game, which when compared to the 10 or 12 weeks other stadiums get in the summer highlights the time pressure we have to work under and as we saw last season, when we are not able to do sufficient work in the summer, it affects the pitch over the winter.
“But we are confident that the surface next year will be back to the standards we all want to see at the DW.”
Shaun Goodwin from Talbot Landscaping is also pleased with how the work has progressed: “We know how professional Ian and his team are and the key for all of us was to be able to get the work done quickly and efficiently. Fibre sand is used throughout the Premier League and Football league, as well as internationally, it is a proven product that gives pitches more longevity, and now have to let nature do its bit and for the grass to start growing.”
STEP BY STEP – THE DW STADIUM RESURFACING PROCESS
Removal of the vegetation from the top layer of the pitch, a black toxic layer approximately 85 millimetres in depth, which accumulates throughout the season and prevents root growth and water being able to percolate efficiently and therefore hinders drainage. The process is performed with a specialist machine that removes the matter layer by layer.
DAYS TWO AND THREE
Fertiliser is spread over the pitch alongside the sand. The sand product is mixed in with special fibres to help the grass roots take anchor and maintain a firmer hold and therefore be stronger in the long-term. The sand is moistened as another machine compacts and levels it out.
The seeding process begins. Seeding is preferred to turfing as the roots will grow stronger through the fibre sand, whereas pre-grown turf would only take root in the top layer.
The process is complete. Within seven days, the beige coloured sand will be transformed into a thin layer of grass and after approximately ten days, mowing can begin, which in turn stimulates further growth.
DAY FIVE TO SEVENTY
The pitch continues to grow in the sunshine and is helped by regular feeds, watering and mowing to ensure a first class, durable surface for the remaining rugby matches and the start of the 2015-16 football season.