PRESS RELEASE Vine Cricket Ground – to re-open to public in March 2021
Published: 24 February 2021
The condition of the cricket Outfield had become a considerable problem in 2020 due to several factors coming together, drought, buildup of thatch, PH balances and intense use of public during COVID-19. The public use of disposable BBQs, riding of bikes, football studs and beer tops embedded in the grass had collectively made the outfield classified as unsuitable to enable premier league cricket to be played on the grounds.
Sevenoaks Town Council agreed a grant of £16,000 towards the work needed to enable high level cricket to be played again and protection of the heritage landscape important to the local community. The total project cost £25,000 with the balance being provided by Sevenoaks Cricket Club.
The work involved fencing off the area until Spring 2021, applying treatment, rotavating to a depth of 150mm, reseeding, applying fertilizer and further treatments, regular watering, secondary level of seeding. In the coming weeks there will be another application of fertiliser and then when the weather warms another overseed just to boost the sward density further still.
The intention is to re-open to the public on Wednesday 31st March 2021. Publicity and arrangements relating to this will be subject to public health guidelines at the time.
Additional signage will be provided recognising the Deed of Gift of the land for the purposes of cricket and for the Vine to be respected.
Please see below photographs relating to the progress of the project.
Cllr Nicholas Busvine OBE, Mayor of Sevenoaks said: “During the pandemic the Vine became ever more important to Sevenoaks residents as the green heart of the town. 'Live on the Vine' events to support the Stag, the chance to watch gentle games of cricket or just to sit and be - these are all memories I have of the past year. The heavy public use of the cricket outfield took its toll, but that was a sign of how much we treasure it. And now, I am so glad that your Town Council has been able to help to restore the cricket pitch to its former glory.”
Andy Richardson, Chairman of Sevenoaks Vine Cricket Club said: “The Cricket Club is very aware of the importance of the Vine within the community and proud of our part as curators in its maintenance. This significant project has returned the Vine to her former glory as befits its iconic status and we are grateful to both the Town Council for their support and the understanding of the community. We look forward to welcoming everyone to the Vine on match day for what promises to be an exciting season of Premier League cricket”.
Linda Larter MBE
Chief Executive / Town Clerk
24th February 2021