Headingley pitch to be relaid

The pitch at Headingley, believed to be the oldest in elite British sport, is to be replaced over the winter.

It was last relayed in 1963 when Headingley became the first club ground in British sport to install undersoil heating.

Work will start on October 8th and is due for completion at the beginning of December, for a cost of around £1m.

Head Groundsman Jason Booth said:  “I am delighted the Board of Directors have approved the reconstruction. A lot of research has gone into the process because we are at a stage now that we can no longer guarantee fixtures but this will do that and bring us in line with all modern stadia. 

“The fact that we have been able to get so many games on in recent years is testament to the work that the groundstaff have done for over a decade to not only maintain and prepare the pitch for all year round rugby but also win awards along the way for it as well. The new construction will provide a consistent surface all year round and will mean an end to muddy pitches at Headingley Carnegie.

“We explored fully the option of all types of pitches, including a 3G artificial surface, however the overwhelming outcome from both experts and users was that a natural reinforced grass pitch was the right option for Headingley Carnegie Stadium.”

The work will see a full reconstruction of the playing surface to a depth of 450mm this will include new drainage system, gravel drainage layer, undersoil heating pipes, lower root zone level, upper root zone level and finally 40mm reinforced fibre turf complimented with a state of the art irrigation system supplied by Toro.

Headingley is also home to rugby union side Leeds Carnegie.

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