Sunday was a busy day at the club. It is tempting to say “on the lawn” but of course it’s not there at the moment!
The activity started with clearing up the edges and removing debris from the initial vegetation stripping. Some of this was by hand, in the time honoured way, and more later on by dexterous use of a tracked excavator with a wide narrow bucket (if that makes sense!).
As soon as the west boundary was tidied up, cultivation of the top few inches was started using a roller harrow, a somewhat dusty process in the summer-like weather. At the north end of the lawn the genteel and careful use, by Jason, of the excavator’s bucket revealed that the irrigation system pipework was rather close to the surface beyond corner 3. Erring on the side of caution the decision was made to not continue the roller harrow work and subsequent levelling into the practice area, over the pipe run. The practice area would be flattened out, but not quite to the same level of precision as the lawn-to-be.
With the cultivation completed, around mid afternoon, the first levelling was carried out. The process is technically called laser-grading . A flat scraper is towed over the surface repeatedly moving the soil from high to low by raising or lower the scraper blade until level is achieved. The scraper height is moved by hydraulics, controlled electronically and automatically from information received from a stationary device (which looks rather like a surveyor’s theodolite, shown in episode 3) with a rotating laser that is set up in one corner. The reason for the mast on the laser grader is to pick up this information “on the level”, both height and distance. After many passes and gyrations work ceased for the day – it was Sunday after all!