‘Diabolical’ course damage at L’Ancresse

THE Guernsey Race Club’s two most prominent faces are staggered by the state of the circuit at L’Ancresse.

Not fit for a finishing straight: Birds have been damaging the L’Ancresse racecourse digging for grubs on the area between the seventh hole teebox and green. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 28724187)
Not fit for a finishing straight: Birds have been damaging the L’Ancresse racecourse digging for grubs on the area between the seventh hole teebox and green. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 28724187)

Club president Trevor Gallienne could scarcely believe his eyes at the scale of the rabbit and bird damage when he walked and inspected the course with his predecessor, Jim Jamouneau.

‘Eighty per recent of the course is affected by it. We are talking hundreds of rabbit holes, on top of the major crow damage to the finishing straight, which is the most important part of the course.’

Gallienne said ‘it was another massive headache for the club’, which already has finance issues.

‘From the swings [at Les Amarreurs] there are more rabbit holes than there is grass. It is unbelievable.’

Retired farmer Jamouneau, whose involvement with the sport and racing at L’Ancresse goes back many decades, said it was the worst he has ever seen. ‘It’s in a diabolical state.

‘There is no grass as such, which has been burnt off, and there’s the rabbits and crows which are digging up big areas and chucking away the turf before taking away the grubs.

‘I don’t know how we’re going to reinstate it.’

Jamouneau said a good growing period would help: ‘We are waiting to see what the weather does in the next six weeks and see if some life comes back, before we decide our next move. I have never seen it so bad.

‘It is going to need a miracle and take some nurturing and husbandry.’

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