(please note all activity conducted under the current Covid guidelines) The poor weather at the start of the March continued to hamper our work on the pitch, however we eventually managed to get a further pitch repair completed, the pitch rolled and lined in time for the Scottish Cup tie against Montrose. That, as it transpired, was our final game of the 2020/21 season and brought to an end probably the most challenging season (from a grounds team point of view) with a very high use of the pitch during a particularly wet then frosty winter…not the best combination! So…….. we brush ourselves down and start the prep for next season, close season – not much happening?….absolutely not!….. busiest time of the year for the small team of volunteers….. Three quarters of a tonne of fertiliser applied in early April, the application of a 3-month delay release fertiliser will see us through to June, next application will see us have the park in peak condition for Highland League kick off in mid-July (fingers crossed!) then an application in October should help get us through the winter. Pitch was spiked twice, firstly to a depth of 125mm (5 inches in old money), then to a depth of 225mm (9 inches) – this lets air and moisture into the roots of the grass at different levels to encourage growth as well as helping to breakdown the subsoil to assist with drainage. Surrounding areas starting to require cutting – all done by hand mower. (Kevin looking like he is out for a stroll!!) Pitch side Barriers – All white concrete posts and walls have been repainted along with the black metal barrier poles – I’m sure Alan Watson & Scoosh counted them when they were doing them – the number varies from 170 to “hundreds of them” Kevin & Graeme Ednie tackled the Davy Johnston Enclosure and put in a great shift clearing out the guttering on the Hospital side as well as having a go at cleaning the roof…. Sprinkler system was recommissioned ready for the heatwave We are now at last seeing the grass starting to grow and the glamourous job of tidying the compost heap fell to Kevin this year Great start to the close season tasks….whats next? Pitch will be cut 2 or 3 times per week (each time takes approx. 3 hours) Weedkiller to be applied once weather settles a bit (we have quite a lot of clover cover so looking to minimise that) Pitch to be spiked again to create a seed bed. Seed and fertiliser to be applied Approx. 35 tonne of topdressing to be applied (by hand ☹) Riverside pitch to be spiked, rolled, remeasured and lined in time for the reserve games at the end of May. Main stand to be prep’d and repainted. Hospitality unit to be repainted. …plus of course all the “wee jobs” that come our way! Huge thanks to our small band of volunteers (Kevin, Jabba, Scoosh, Alan W. , Andy & Graeme E.) who all give up a huge amount of time to help keep Station Park looking its very best. …if you have free time and you are keen to get involved, please contact any of the committee who will pass on your details…we are a friendly bunch, honest! Derek Steel Before…. & after…. Sprinklers are working!