In this insightful blog we ask Stuart Lambert about his working career and to see if we can unpeel a nugget or two, from one of the industries leading top groundsman.
Hi Stuart, please tell us a bit about your work history.
Stuart Lambert Head Groundsman Gloucester rugby. Previously, Assistant groundsman Bromsgrove school. Deputy Head groundsman Worcester Warriors. IOG grounds team winners 2014- runners-up 2013 and Groundsman Kidderminster CC.
Groundsman RGS Worcester, Head Groundsman Worcester City FC, Assistant groundsman Worcestershire CCC
How was your second season in the job, compared to your first season at Gloucester rugby?
Second season has been a challenge due to the weather,it was nice to get a renovation on board and oversee the growing in of the pitch.
With a previous career on others turf surfaces, how did this put you in good step for rugby.
It is nice to have a mixed background, you can always take something from each sport to help achieve a top-class playing surface.
What is the secret to maintaining grass cover on a rugby pitch given the intensity of usage?
The secret for me is based around plant health, a good root system and managing the wear areas and pitch grow lights if possible.
Obviously, rugby pitches are cut higher than football pitches due to wear, any other difference in pitch maintenance between the two sports?
Not a great deal of difference to be honest,some rugby pitches are cut at 45mm some at 22mm the shorter tends to be at multi use stadiums. We cut at 36mm and have found that to be great for us and players.
Briefly what type of pitch do you have at the Kingsholm Stadium and how old is it?
We have a Hero hybrid carpet system here at Gloucester, it was installed in June 2018.
When do your renovations start and what does your renovations programme consist of?
Our renovations start on 25th of June, we have some events, after the season, so we cannot start renovating until then.
Renovations continue after the concerts on the 15th July. First step (25th June) Remove existing vegetation before the concerts.
Concerts 9th– 12th July. On the 15th July, Brush fibres back-up, verti drain and pro-core then top dress with 60tonnes of MM40 Mansfield sand.
Over seed with 25 bags of MM60 seed. Fertilise with C-Complex 4-3-4 X16 bags and 20 bags of Naturvigor soil conditioner.
In your opinion what makes a good Groundsman ?
Someone who is hard working, not afraid to work long hours. Someone who is prepared to go the extra mile and always look for ways to improve.
What can the industry do to get more people to consider our industry as a careers option?
I think everything starts at grass roots level,more could/ should be done to help educate younger people to want to get into the industry. The industry is not advertised as a career option for anyone leaving school.
Any top tips you could pass onto ?
Keep up the good work, never give up (even if it may seem pointless). You are just as important to the industry as the rest of us.
Update– This blog was written a couple of months ago so timing of renovations etc are are up in the air ,as to date Stuart is at home as the Kingsholm Stadium is subject to complete lock down.
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