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Wildlife initiatives set Hambledon agenda

Posted in NatWest CricketForce 2008

Amongst the many projects we are putting in place for Natwest CricketForce, the eco-friendly initiatives are becoming the most striking element of the weekend.
There has been a significant emphasis on CricketForce this year to try and include as many projects that will benefit the environment as possible. Hambledon’s chairman, David Mills, is a wildlife expert and so was well placed to advise about the best ideas the club could easily implement.

The most exciting of these proposals is the addition of wildlife gardens in two areas of the ground. Being a rural ground, Ridge Meadow is surrounded by fields and copses. These are going to act as wonderful sites for Hambledon’s new wildlife garden.

Plans include clearing out these copses and replanting with flowers such as violets, primroses and bluebells. Plants such as Scabious and Buddleja will encourage plenty of wildlife to the ground such as butterflies and bees!

This will involve plenty of club members, with a vast area of grass clippings and general cricket ground waste to be moved! We also hope to create a paved walkway through these wildlife gardens with notable plants named. This will act as a lasting legacy for the Natwest CricketForce weekend.

Along with these plans, there is also extensive work needed to the existing forestry. Many of the trees surrounding the ground have been planted within the last ten years, meaning that most of them still have the plastic support wrappings.

These can act as a real deterrent for the promotion of wildlife, and can actually be dangerous for birds. The 1st XI will be assigned the job of removing each of these plastic supports from hundreds of Ridge Meadow trees!

It was important for the club to also include our colts section in these eco-friendly ideas. It is hoped that many of our youngsters will help to build individual bird and bee boxes to install at the ground.

Children will have the chance to build and decorate their own boxes, before naming and helping to choose where to put them around the ground. Again, this is an initiative that will last for seasons to come, and will help to engage the colts in a project which will help the local environment.

It is clear that there is plenty Hambledon can do to be more ‘eco-friendly’ and we will need plenty of volunteers to help these projects come to fruition! However…tricky times lie ahead for Hambledon’s CricketForce efforts!

A superb effort by local football team Portsmouth FC has meant that they now play the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley over CricketForce weekend! An interesting battle between football and cricket for our members and supporters lies ahead…

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