Climate Cover System™ case study

We chatted to Knebworth Park CC’s Ground Chairman, Chris Johnson, about their investment in our class-leading Climate Cover System™ ground cover and the difference it has made to the club. Chris says:

“What a difference The Climate Cover has made to us! It’s transformed the management of our wickets in wet weather here at Knebworth Park Cricket Club in Hertfordshire.

We play in a glorious setting in front of Knebworth House, playing in the Saracens Herts League as well as hosting numerous County games and other matches.

While we boast a good, well managed playing surface, the snag is the slope across the ground has been a nightmare to protect and keep dry when it rains. The water seeped under the covers driven by the prevailing wind gusting across ground.

Now, at long last, we’ve found the solution in the Climate Cover System which is quick and easy to lay and remove – and crucially keeps the match wicket dry.

Over the past 30 years we’ve tried umpteen different covers, two different wheeled ones and various flats sheets. We’ve backed these up with a whole host of weird and wonderful extras to dam the flow of water – such as a heavy hose and sandbags. We also had our saddles (the built-up ends) reduced to limit the rain funnelling down the square. Furthermore, it was a highly labour intensive and slow process putting on the covers requiring a team effort. That meant we couldn’t respond quickly to putting on the covers such as during daytime in midweek if there weren’t enough people available.

Even if we did cover, all too often rain left the wicket infuriatingly damp or soaking. Often it left us with an inconsistent wet and dry surface or it meant we didn’t use the covers at all as it was the only way to have an even, albeit wet surface. Too often it could be embarrassing making the toss decisive in determining the outcome of a match.

We needed to find a solution. We wanted a cover which I could get out there on my own and which would keep the wicket dry.

A coach at our club also associated with Harlow Cricket Club suggested the Climate Cover System. I visited and talked to the groundsman there where the pitch slopes and claimed they’d never had a wet wicket. He said how the cover was easy to lay and only needed one person. His recommendation spurred me to get cost quotes and to raise the funds which we did through grants from Knebworth Village Trust, Stevenage Community Trust and Hitchin Youth Trust.

The first real test of our new cover was a success, resulting in a bone dry track. Packing it up was challenging initially, but that was because the wrong bag was sent (which was speedily addressed after I sent a photo). Now it’s a cinch to pack away, you just stuff it into a big bag which we whack on to a trolley.

When we had a week of continuous rain it mostly did the job. The surface didn’t sweat and only seeped marginally at one point, which taught us to cover further up the square during protracted rain periods.

This week it took me just 15 minutes to lay the cover easily on my own – and most of that was banging in the pegs! We had a lot of rain in strong winds, and it kept the surface perfectly dry.

Overall, it’s proved a huge success – it has more than matched our needs and expectations and has scotched all the sceptics in our club after our past failed efforts of covers. In fact, one of our ground team and a long-time member says it’s our best ever purchase!”

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