A gift from Nottingham Croquet Club is helping to move its Highfields lawns up the scale to world-class standard ready for the Women’s World Championship later this month.

The generosity of a club member has enabled Nottingham Croquet Club to give £5,000 to Nottingham City Council to buy an auto-spreader machine for use at Highfields Park on University Boulevard, home to the Club since 1929.

When Nottingham City Council groundsman Charlie Paget was asked which one piece of kit would boost his ability to upgrade the lawns, he didn’t have to think hard.  “Ideally I need to top-dress the club’s eight lawns once in the Autumn and again in the Spring, to give the turf the best chance of recovering between seasons and improving their surface and flatness.  But the work can only be done during fine spells and is very labour-intensive.  Having a machine like this to do the work means I can do easily in eight hours what would otherwise take two of us several days of hard labour, days which we don’t really have to spare and which we can’t guarantee will remain fine.”

Nottingham City Council’s Head of Parks and Open Spaces, Eddie Curry, said: “The generous support of the Club means we can continue to improve the croquet lawns at Highfields which are such an important part of the heritage of this historic park.”

Club spokesman David Brydon said: “Charlie Paget has been doing a fantastic job on our lawns, and this gift of £5,000 will enable this kit to help him not only get the lawns into tip-top condition but also to keep them there.  This is particularly important as we are hosting the Women’s Association Croquet World Championship, working in partnership with Nottingham City Council to make this a great event.”

The World Croquet Federation’s Women’s Association Croquet World Championship will take place at the site from 25 July to 1 August 2015.