WOKING’S head groundsman David Langheim says that conditions similar to last week’s severe frost had not been seen at The Laithwaite Community Stadium  for almost a decade.

He told the News & Mail: “We’ve done some research through my old greenkeeping background.

“Speaking to some of my colleagues with their data and what [weather] they’ve had as well in their local areas, it was 2013 that we last had [such] a prolonged frost spell.”

And with many sporting fixtures nationwide falling foul of the recent wet and then chilly weather, the Cards have acquired frost covers in an attempt to protect areas of the pitch which see little to no sunshine in sub-zero temperatures. 

Langheim said: “The frost covers allow the coldest part of the ground, which is the area in front of the Seymours Community Stand, to be sort of frost free. 

“The temperature difference between the blanketed pitch and the normal pitch temperature is around 3C, so the blankets do help to prevent the soil freezing up, which is what causes us issues.

“The frost sheets are tight fibrous and woven and let sunlight in to allow photosynthesis, but protect the pitch. It’s like a very thin duvet.”

He said that a referee seeks the advice of a groundsman when deciding whether a pitch can be played on or not. 

“The referee is the only person who can call a game off,” said Langheim. “But against Oxford United [in the Emirates FA Cup first round], where it was very wet, I was walking around with the ref before the game, and at half-time he asked to have a chat with me about whether the pitch was going to be playable for the second half. So as a groundsman, you do get involved in those decisions.”