Murder of crows join forces with foxes to wreck football pitch and postpone game

A murder of crows have joined forces with foxes to rip up a football pitch and force a postponement.

Non-league Grantham Town were forced to cancel their Northern Premier League East fixture at home to Worksop Town on Monday after the surface at their South Kesteven Sports Stadium was damaged by the birds. It is understood that they had flocked to the stadium and attacked areas of the pitch that had been infested with chafer grubs.

Reporter Graham Cowell explained, via the BBC: "The club discovered they had these chafer grubs a few weeks ago and the only way you can treat them is to replace turf and that's what Grantham have been doing.

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"But they turned up this morning and overnight the crows look to have had an absolute field day, they've ripped a patch up just outside the penalty area on the north side of the ground. It almost looks like it could have been more than crows, foxes also apparently love the chafer grubs."

The club also shared images of the damage as they confirmed the match's postponement on Twitter, writing: “Why is it off? #thegingerbreads have had an ongoing issue with Chafer grubs in the pitch at The Meres.

"Despite extensive work to try (to) repair and keep it playable, overnight issues have meant it just isn't. The club are in consultation with the Council on how (to) move forward.”

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Pitches in Lincolnshire, where Grantham Town are based, have repeatedly been targeted by crows in recent years. Four pitches were taken out of use in the area back in 2018 after they were damaged by crows.

Meanwhile, League One side Lincoln City were forced to use models of birds of prey at their Sincil Bank stadium in a bid to protect the pitch.

Cowell also added: "This time of year, I read somewhere and it's almost like something from a horror film, you can introduce nematodes [a type of worm] which biologically kill the grubs off – and that can be done from this time on, but it involves scarifying and takes a few weeks. It's almost crows one, Grantham Town nil, isn't it?"

Grantham will hope that the issues can be resolved quickly, with the club set to host Rugby in the FA Cup first qualifying round on Saturday.


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