YORK sports enthusiasts are hard at work with paintbrush, gardening tools and toolbox as they prepare to welcome colleagues from across the country and region later this year.

They are improving the ground and facilities at York Croquet Club on Scarcroft Road. Two of the four croquets lawns are being resurfaced and reseeded, the toilets are being upgraded and site safety is being improved.

“We are lucky enough to have the best croquet lawns in Yorkshire,” said York Croquet Club chair John Harris, “and we want to do all we can to keep them that way. Good supporting facilities are important too, and these improvements should make a real difference.

"It has been well maintained for over a hundred years so it’s important for us to hand it on in the best possible condition.”

The ground was first opened for lawn sports in 1911.

“Interest in croquet is surging,” said Mr Harris. “It’s a fully socially distanced outdoor game played on equal terms by people regardless of gender or age. It really comes into its own on warm summer days.”

This season the club will host several regional and national events and is preparing to run several introductory courses this Spring for people wanting to learn the game. Booking is essential and full details are on the club website www.yorkcroquet.org.