Drilling scheme to tackle problem of waterlogged football pitches on Wandsworth Common

Published: Friday 1st June 18

Work is now underway to improve drainage at some of the football pitches on Wandsworth common in a bid to prevent games being called off due to waterlogging.

The improvements are being made to three pitches on Bolingbroke Field that are prone to waterlogging when there has been heavy and prolonged rainfall.

Now a £180,000 drainage scheme is underway to ensure that matches are less likely to be postponed.

A series of holes are being drilled on the pitches to break through the compacted soil and London clay on which the common sits. These holes will be filled with an absorbent product called EGRP (Energy-passive Groundwater Recharge Pump) which will then be covered with top soil and turf.

The works are scheduled to continue until the first half of July and during this time visitors to the common will see two drill rigs on site. 

Environment spokesman Cllr Steffi Sutters said; “There is surely nothing more frustrating for local football teams who have booked these pitches to be told on the morning of a game that it’s been called off because they’re waterlogged. 

“We can’t do anything about the rain, but we can make improvements to the pitches and this scheme will hopefully help water drain away more quickly and lead to fewer and fewer games being postponed.

“We are doing everything we can to encourage people to become more active for the health and wellbeing benefits this provides.  We fully recognise the importance of sports and physical activity to keeping people mentally and physically well and the role it plays in creating strong communities.”

  • The borough recently unveiled a five-year strategy to get all its residents more active.

The strategy, which has been drawn up by the Active Wandsworth Network made up of the council, the borough’s  leisure and culture contractor Enable, local sports clubs and other key members of the sporting community, aims to make Wandsworth the most physically active borough in London by 2022.

It proposes developing a workforce of coaches and volunteers, targeting parts of the borough where people are inactive and removing the barriers that stop people being active, such as lack of facilities or cost.

Cllr Sutters added: "We recognise the importance of sports and physical activity to keeping people mentally and physically well and the role it plays in creating strong communities.

“That’s why the council, together with its sports and leisure provider Enable and the Active Wandsworth Network, have teamed up to back this new strategy and are working together to get more of our residents involved in sports and fitness activities.”

To find out more about the Active Wandsworth Strategy visit the council’s website.

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