Budleigh Salterton Cricket Club this week started on the installation of a new drainage scheme.

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The club with one of the lowest lying grounds in the grounds in the Country were particularly hard hit following the wettest summer on record and the early July major flooding when the river Otter burst its banks after which no cricket was played at the ground for the rest of the season.

This week the Journal caught up with the clubs busy Secretary Kevin Curran who explained that the scheme was not designed to prevent major flood events but would help in removing water from the surface after periods of heavy rainfall.

The Budleigh stalwart said: “The club lost a considerable number of games before the July 7 flood simply due to the very wet weather. This system will comprise of a french drain skirting the playing area into which water will be encouraged to flow. The drainage will feed into two below surface tanks which will discharge by electrically operated pumps into the dykes .It was essential that the outfall on the beach continues to be cleared regularly as now to allow the nearby stream and dyke water to escape out to sea. The work is being undertaken by Landscape Matters Ltd a specialist firm based in Plympton and follows discussions with games governing body The English and Wales Cricket Board(ECB) and a survey of the ground by ECB recommended surveyors. This established the ineffectiveness and serious damage to the existing drainage following the July flood and that through years of severe impacting of the ground itself water was remaining longer on the surface before draining off.”

Curran added: “Thankfully the ECB very much recognised the major contribution to Devon cricket that the club makes in running seven colts teams and its own Community League as well its two Devon League sides and have helped facilitate the work by a grant of £20,000.

The work is expected to cost just over £35,000 and the club have applied to EDDC via The Budleigh Town Council for a contribution to the cost following the recent announcement of monies being available to local sports clubs for outdoor recreation. I sincerely hope that in any canvass of the town many of the clubs 438 members and others would wish to elect this as one of the worthy causes to receive part of this sports fund money. Without the drainage scheme it was doubtful the ground would sustain cricket in the future.”

Curran concluded: “We continue to also look to the longer term and we have already held most amicable talks with Clinton Devon Estates and will continue with them to explore alternative ground options.”

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