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Later Wimbledon a no go

Later Wimbledon a no go: Wimbledon head groundsman Neil Stubley says “it’s not possible” to host The Championships later in the summer or in autumn as the daily window for play would be too short.

Wimbledon last week became the highest-profile tennis tournament to be cancelled due to the coronavirus with the All England Lawn Tennis Club confirming the 134th Championships will now be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021.

Later Wimbledon a no go

Later Wimbledon a no go

There was initially talk that Wimbledon could be rescheduled to later in the year, but Stubley says it wasn’t really an option.

“In late summer the sun gets lower in the sky,” he told The Telegraph. “Then the dew point on the grass arrives earlier, and the courts get slippery. The window for play becomes shorter at both ends. As much as it would be lovely to be able to play in late summer and autumn, it’s not possible.

“It’s true that we have staged Davis Cup matches in September. But play would start at 11.30am or noon and finish by 5pm. Whereas, at The Championships, you’re going from 11am until 9pm every day. To get through 670 matches over 13 days is a challenge in the height of summer, let alone at other times of the year.”

Stubley admits he will miss the “adrenalin rush” he gets on the first day of Wimbledon.

“One of the beauties about my job is that I get to showcase my work to the world every year,” he said. “When the eyes of the world are looking to how Centre Court is for that first day of The Championships, it’s always a nervous moment. It will be a funny feeling, through June and July, not to have that adrenalin rush.”

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2018 Mowing Season Starts Later

2018 Mowing Season Starts Later: A survey by lawnmower manufacturer Cub Cadet has found that the 2018 lawnmowing season started over three weeks later than it did in 2017.

The results found that the most popular day for the first mow of the lawn in 2017 was the 26th March, whereas this year it was the 19th April – 24 days later.

2018 Mowing Season Starts Later

This year, England had the wettest March since 1981 with an average rainfall of 102.2mm, and the UK as a whole had its wettest March in a decade with 104.44mm on average. This was followed by a mini-heatwave in mid-April which saw some of the highest temperatures in April since 1949 – a combination which inevitably caused lawns to have a growth spurt and spark the starting of lawnmowers across the country.

The lawnmowing season survey campaign was launched last year as part of Cub Cadet’s ongoing project into assessing the impact of changing weather patterns on lawns, and this is the first set of comparable year-on-year data that has come from the project. The survey is an annual project that will assess the long-term impact of the weather on UK lawns, as well as looking at the short-term effects it can have in delaying the start of the season.

Discussing the results, Phil Noble, Sales and Technical Manager for Cub Cadet UK, said: “Sales  discussions within the industry suggested that the season had started later this year so it’s interesting to see this reiterated by our survey data. There have been many contributing factors and it’s not entirely surprising that people started mowing later when you consider the extreme and varied weather we had earlier in the year with the Beast from the East followed by an unusually warm April combined with lots of rainfall.”

“The weather was really varied – if we didn’t know what the weather was doing, it’s not surprising that the grass didn’t! We now wait for the data from the close of the survey later in the year to see if the whole season has shifted.”

The earliest first mow was as early as the 3rd January, with the latest being reported on 13th May.

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