The hype has already started for the current European Football Championship, but how many watching will comment on the quality of the pitches?
Although the fans are only likely to comment when the pitches are worn and starting to look tired, for the England team pitch preparation is vital.
As the team landed in Chantilly to continue their training, it has been reported that the Football Association (FA) has been “demanding” with their requirements even down to including grass seed that has been flown in especially from St George’s Park! The local amateur side US Chantilly who have handed their stadium over to the England squad during their stay in France, not only had a team of English groundsmen descending upon them from the 23 May to build the pitch from scratch but also had a pitch specialist from the FA visit them every 15 days to supervise the pitch preparation.
As part of the preparation and the general maintenance programme for the pitches, proper control of weeds, pests and diseases is both important and indeed essential. Without controlling these the pitch grass will not be at the required standard to ensure consistent performance both for training and in the matches themselves. The adverse weather conditions that France have been experiencing in the last week, will also be having an impact, as the warm wet weather will not only encourage diseases but also weed growth will be encouraged.
Control of weed, pests and diseases is crucial for all aspects of public amenity to create safe and sustainable environments. Many football supporters will travel by train to matches. These trains would not run without proper control of weeds on the tracks and surrounds.
The Amenity Forum is taking a lead in communicating the important and essential task of weed, pest and disease control to the public and, as part of that, has produced some one page information leaflets. The first two can be found to on their website about 'Producing quality football pitches' and 'Keeping the trains running'.
John Moverley, chairman of the Amenity Forum, said ‘’We recognise the need to increase public understanding of the reasons for and methods used in controlling weeds, pests and disease in amenity areas. The Euros are a perfect example of how important the control of weed, pest and diseases are within the public’s everyday life. Dedicated professionals, who ensure our public amenity spaces are safe and sustainable for our use, carry out these controls. The tasks involved are both important and essential. I encourage the England fans to take notice of the quality of the pitches in the coming month, and appreciate all the work that has gone into them”.
For more info, visit: www.amenityforum.co.uk