Funded by ECB’s Flood Relief Plan

Stirlands Cricket Club aims to complete winter turf maintenance for the first time in years after the successful installation of a new drainage system by AMS Contracting.

Every winter the Sussex based cricket club would have a third of their outfield underwater between the pavilion and the square. This caused maintenance of the area to be delayed compared to other parts of the field and often meant it wasn’t ready for play. The flooding also prevented the club from cutting using their mower, instead having to hire in a contractor at a considerable cost each year.

The consistent delays to play and ongoing mowing costs led Stirlands Cricket Club president, Charles Hunt, to seek funding from the ECB’s Flood Relief Plan and use local Chichester company, AMS, to design and install the drainage.

AMS surveyed the site using Trimble drainage mapping software to build a 3D model that optimises the placement of drains. With the plan in place, 60m of main carrier drains were backfilled with gravel, and 10 lateral drains were connected into the main carrier drain, totalling 450m of lateral drainage for the whole project. To keep the system simple to maintain, three concrete chambers were installed for rodding and inspection purposes.

“The whole project took five days to complete, and they did a tremendous job very efficiently, very neatly and at a competitive price,” Charles explained. “They’ve gone above and beyond, they built steps into the clubhouse and did everything that we needed to make the project a success.

“Our issue is that one side of our field falls away into a low spot towards the pavilion and because we’re on mastic clay the water would just sit there. It has been a persistent issue, and every winter half the field floods and we can’t get the mower on it, so we’re always behind time getting the outfield cut. Sometimes we can’t cut it with our mower, and we have to hire someone in, and it costs us quite a lot of money as a club.

“The ECB offered us flood relief funding, and after we got it, I began looking at companies who could do the work. AMS is local to us, and I’m glad we went with them because they have done such a fantastic job. The system won’t get tested until winter, but everything has gone as well as it can during the installation. I think it will mean that we can get on the field much sooner and get the grass cut, so we’re ready to play cricket with no delays.”

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