A little help from the pros
The Pitch Improvement Programme is a response to The FA’s ambition to help develop the quality natural and artificial playing surfaces.
It hopes to put independent professional expertise within the reach of grassroots football clubs, while supporting them to implement recommendations to better maintain and improve their playing surfaces.
The first step to getting involved is to book a pitch test with our independent pitch advisors.
These can be booked by getting in touch.
In most cases you will be visited by Paul Knowles, who is the current groundsman at Northampton Town’s Sixfields.
He will inspect a pitch giving information on coverage, root, depth, soil make up, compaction and a host of other measures to indicate the true health of the surface.
It will generate a report which will detail a recommended maintenance schedule, but will also a lead to a discussion around what the best use of the current maintenance budget would be.
Within the report, there will also be some recommended machinery for the improvement of the surfaces.
If the club would like to commit to investing in machinery, there is potentially funding available to support this, but only with the independent recommendations provided as part of the report.
Reports cost £100, and include a revisit to follow up and offer advice on future steps.
The Northamptonshire FA has also begun to provide certain processes at discounted rates. During the seasonal optimum, grassroots clubs will be given access to heavily discounted verti-draining; a process that relieves compaction and promotes healthy growth and recovery of natural surfaces. It also means that other processes you may undertake will be maximised such as fertilising or top dressing.
Paul is also available as a resource to clubs to discuss any potential maintenance works you may be considering. He can be contacted through his website, www.greenbaygrounds.co.uk