Playing Field Drainage Project - Nearly There!

Thankfully the drier weather during the middle and back-end of July has allowed Bourne Amenity, the contractors, to install the drainage system. Given that the actual work on the football area began back in the summer of last year and was disrupted severely by wet weather, we suspect that many thought that the project might never be completed.

The company still has work to do; firstly, the sand bands have to be installed and the use of a stone burier will continue the work of milling the ground and burying any stone well below the surface. Then the soil will be seeded and fertilised. The tricky issue is seeding at the right time – if it is followed by a prolonged hot spell, the germinated seed could be burnt off. Secondly, the company has agreed to install a ring drainage system around the cricket square and a water supply to the wicket. Third, the surplus soil currently stored to the right of the pavilion, will be spread and levelled to fill in a depression in the cricket outfield in front of the pavilion – once again, all affected areas will be seeded.

Finished surface

Finally the contract requires Bourne Amenity to carry out a year’s maintenance of the football area – further seeding, fertilising and verti-draining. It is expected that the football pitches will be handed over to us during July 2017 and use can begin. Broad Oak & Horam Junior Football Club and Uckfield AFC Colts are committed to using the pitches on Saturday and Sunday mornings. These clubs will provide plenty of opportunity for our young people to become playing members.

It is our intention to celebrate the opening of the pitches during July 2017.

The trustees are very impressed with the helpful, professional and patient manner in which Bourne Amenity has carried out the work. Also we continue to be extremely grateful to both Sport England and the Veolia Environmental Trust for providing the significant funding to make this happen – in total £83000.

Bund Around the Playground

Surplus soil has been placed between the Playgouund and the carparking area to seperate the children from the cars. This will be seeded in due course. Thanks to Bourne Amenity for doing a nice job on this free of charge.

Playground bund

No, not another bit of play equipment!

Where the Water Goes

This is the water outlet into the drainge ditch.

Water outlet

All the water collected by the drainage scheme comes out here.

Finally The Work Begins

After many months of delay caused by legal requirements that needed to be fulfilled, the drainage of the football area of the playing field is now fully underway. Remarkably, in spite of the recent very wet weather, the contractors were able to get on site and begin taking back the existing top surface to a depth of one foot.

Very soon excavation will begin on the insertion of lateral drains to a depth of 0.5 of a meter. Once this has been done, re-graded topsoil will be put back, levelled and seeded. Depending on the weather, it is expected that the project will be completed by the end of September and the area should be ready to use by October 2016. If you want to follow the progress of our drainage project, you will find a regular update on this website.

The project has been funded by Sport England (£63k) and the Veolia Environmental Trust (£19k); obviously without their support, this would not have happened.

Already two local junior football clubs – Broad Oak & Horam JFC and AFC Uckfield Colts have indicated a desire to use the new pitches when ready. So there should be plenty of opportunity for our younger people to join either of these clubs should they wish to play football. Both clubs are Charter Standard clubs using only qualified coaches with the necessary DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) checks.

In addition to the football pitch drainage works, the contractor Bourne Amenity, has offered to install ‘ring’ drainage around the cricket square and also run an underground water supply from the pavilion to the cricket square. This should help to remove excess water during wet weather and enable us to water the pitch during prolonged periods of dry weather. Currently the pitch is used by both Hadlow Down amp; Moulescombe Wanderers and Buxted Park Cricket Clubs. The former would like to increase its adult playing numbers; if anyone is interested, please get in touch and we will provide you with the necessary contact details. Buxted Park CC runs an extensive junior section and again, please contact us if you know of a young person who wishes to get involved in playing the game.


Work underway! Photo taken 02/09/15.

The Project has Officially Started!

The drainage project has started. After much delay caused by the ironing out of various legalities, the project was officially started with a site meeting involving Richard Earl from TGMS, some of the team from Bourne Amenities and our committee represented by Fiona Shafer and Nigel Harrison. Bob Lake, who is managing this project on our behalf, was also in attendance.


The meeting was extremely well organised and chaired by Richard Earl from TGMS who is currently advising the Oval Cricket Ground - so we have very high hopes indeed for own project!

Technical Information

Here are some interesting technical details of the proposed works.


The diagram above shows the proposed method of drainage, using sand-filled grooves across the slope and deeper drainage pipes laid with the slope. All these pipes will connect with a larger "collector" drain to take the water away.


This shows the layout of these grooves on the playing field. The arrows show the direction of flow. Contour lines are also shown. Some leveling of the surface will be carried out, as the existing slope does not meet the Sport England requirements for football pitches. This explains why the contours on the new pitch are straight and even while they are irregular on the unimproved area.

Project Timeline

20/08/15 Initial site meeting.

21/08/15 Herbicide spraying.

01/09/15 Groundworks begin.

01/08/16 Work nears completion