Dealing with historical drainage disturbance in a Sports Pitch development

Football complex south of Salisbury

Planning was approved for the creation of a football complex south of Salisbury in relatively low lying ground.

In the distant past the site was extensively drained with the installation of close spaced clay tile drains. However, during the second world war  a ‘tank track’ was excavated in an effort to restrict enemy invasion – and later filled in to restore the farmland.  Following the stripping of topsoil in the early stages of developing the playing area, the track has been found to have cut through  the historic tile drain installation dated in the 1800s.

All these drains were active and brought water to the surface where the track had cut through them.  Cut-off drains immediately above the track have checked this flow to the surface but surrounding cut slopes exposing most of the tile drains have continued to bring the underground water into the pitch complex.  An intensive reticulation of swale drains and the creation of an appropriate surface gradient have restricted water flow on to the pitch plateau and an existing ditch in the lower part of the site has been vital in dispatching this surplus water to a nearby outfall location.

At this stage only underground water has been dealt with.  With the presence of a clayey sandy loam topsoil the essential requirement will be the provision of a surface drainage reticulation over as much of the pitch area as possible.


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