The year has not begun well.  Gavin tried to resume banding on Monday, hoping that the ground would have firmed up sufficiently but it was still far too soft; later in the day it started raining heavily.  We’ve had 39 mm this past week.  The course is as wet as it’s been for a long time, as are the local fields, with casual water visible everywhere.  One of the attached photographs shows a ‘pond’ in front of the 8th Black tee, which is very unusual.  Gavin reports that every hollow on the course has standing water in it.  

We can’t get vehicles onto the course, so work is limited to whatever can be accessed on foot, such as pruning and path edging and of course the daily round of ’switching’ the greens to break up the dew to discourage fusarium breaking out - the fungus thrives in a cool damp environment.   These tasks are always on the winter to-do list, so nothing is lost at the moment.  In any case the team are using up unused holiday which hadn’t been taken last year due to Covid disruptions, but if the weather does not improve by the end of the month we may need to furlough again; it's better than having men sit in the sheds with nothing to do.

We are taking particular care about Covid safety within the team by staggering work hours to avoid close contact, especially at break time.  We can’t let them gather in the staff room, and elsewhere in the sheds is distinctly chilly.

The hedge by the 7th green is now fully gone - see attached photos, one from the course side and the other from the bridge.  At the moment the view from the course of the bridge and canal is quite striking, but we need to evaluate the situation when canal and foot traffic resume.  

Alan Wood