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Berkhamsted School bowled over by MM50

Trade News / 30th January 2017

Mike Herring, head groundsman at Berkhamsted School in Hertfordshire, has reported excellent results after using Limagrain’s MM50 grass seed in a new construction and in the renovation of the school’s two cricket wickets.

Berkhamsted School’s illustrious history can be traced all the way back to 1541, when John Incent, Dean of St Paul’s, was granted a Licence by Henry VIII to found a school in his home town. Today, Berkhamsted School is one of Britain’s leading independent schools, offering both single sex (from age 11 – 16) and co-educational teaching for boys and girls aged 3 – 18.

Boasting excellent academic results, students excel not only in the classroom but also in sports. Over the last two academic years, Berkhamsted School pupils have secured nine national titles in rounders, netball and lacrosse, the 1st XV rugby team lost only one regular fixture and the U13 Football team made it to the last 16 of the national ISFA competition.

Berkhamsted sport is not just about the elite performers, however, it is also about taking part; the vast majority of boys and girls in Year 7 represent the school at sport as teams are fielded at C, D and E level.

Students can participate in a wide variety of sports which take place on truly first-class facilities. Overseeing the 40 acres of playing fields and sports facilities is head groundsman Mike Herring, who decided to bring in leading sports turf contractor Fineturf to renovate an existing cricket wicket and construct a completely new one.

“I had heard of the work Fineturf had done at various sites across the country – at the test grounds and county grounds and I was under the impression that Fineturf were the best in the construction of cricket wickets. I just thought that the service and the aftercare was the finest that I’d ever come across. They were by far the best contractor myself and the school have ever dealt with,” said Mike.

The Fineturf team got to work by starting on the renovation and the new construction and when the time came for seeding, there was only one brand of product they were going to use.

“We only exclusively use Limagrain seeds,” says Anthony Hardy, operations director for Fineturf. “We just wouldn’t use any other grass seed unless specified, mainly because of the quality and guaranteed results that the Limagrain seed produces. We have to be 100% confident in the products that we use for our contracting work, to absolutely know that we are going to get the desired results for the end user. Limagrain seed gives us that reassurance.”

For the project at Berkhamsted, Fineturf used Limagrain’s MM50 – which is the number one choice of seed for cricket groundsmen. Those representing grass roots, schools, local clubs and international test venues have all benefitted from using MM50 as it possesses exceptional shoot density along with tolerance to close mowing making it particularly suitable for all cricket squares. Other key features include fast recovery from wear and damage and high disease resistance.

This superior mix contains the perennial ryegrass cultivars, Venice, Alison and Malibu, which are renowned for providing a great sward for cricket use. MM50 is also treated with HEADSTART® GOLD – Limagrain’s unique seaweed based seed treatment which helps to ensure rapid and even germination. This tried and tested grass seed treatment helps the seed get off to the best possible start – therefore it is ideal to use in the less than favourable conditions that can sometimes be found on cricket squares during renovations.

Mike was certainly impressed with the end result.

“The weather was very kind when the project was being carried out and as soon as it rained the germination was absolutely superb – the establishment was excellent – in fact I would say it was 100% or as near to 100% as you could measure. We didn’t need to overseed, we didn’t put any patches in, and quite simply it was just an excellent choice of seed,” he said.