Work underway to end the frustration of waterlogged sports pitches

Published: Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Sports clubs in Wandsworth can look forward to fewer fixtures being called off due to waterlogged pitches thanks to a £1.4m council investment in upgrading football and rugby pitches across the borough.

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As part of a planned overhaul of 78 sports pitches in the borough’s parks and commons, the money will be invested in upgrading drainage and improving playing surfaces. 

The investment will see upgrades to pitches at Garrett Park, Garrett Green, King George’s Park, Wandsworth Park, Tooting Common, Battersea Park, Wandsworth Common, Roehampton Playing Fields, Fishponds Playing Fields and the borough’s main multi-discipline sports complex at Barn Elms.

The drainage works will benefit 32 full size football pitches, nine mid-size ones for older children and 19 for younger children who play seven-a-side matches. The project also includes nine full size rugby pitches and one junior rugby pitch as well as two in-field running tracks.

Thirteen pitches at Wandsworth Common and 12 at Tooting Common are included in the scheme, with eight more on Roehampton Playing Fields. The works also include upgrades to 22 pitches at Barn Elms.

Work has now begun at Garratt Park at the start of phase one of the two year project.

Judi Gasser, Wandsworth’s Cabinet Member for Environment said: “We know just how frustrating it is for sports teams to be told on the morning of a game that it’s been called off because the pitch they’ve booked is waterlogged.  

“We can’t do anything about the rain, but we can and are making improvements to the pitches which involves better drainage systems to ensure surface water runs away more quickly and results in 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.”