Type of installation: New natural pitch construction
Location: Thame FC, Meadow Vale
Thame FC have moved in to the new home at Meadow View, onto a site which comprises of a variety of football pitches from a stadium pitch with floodlights to 11 a side pitches down to seven a side pitches. They also now have a 3G training pitch including fencing and floodlighting.
In each and every instance the pitch designs were viewed in isolation relative to the usage that would be expected.
The main stadium pitch for example, with adults using it week day evenings and weekends had a need to ensure that games were not cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch or that by installing intensive drainage that it did not dry out too readily in the summer months. It was also necessary to ensure there was stability in the general surface.
Thame FC , with STRI advising, choose to go with an indigenous topsoil improved with sand in the topsoil together with an irrigation pop up system in the stadium pitch. The drainage rates in such designs are generally more manageable and the nutrients don’t leach so readily.
The youth and weekend pitches were designed to ensure there was a manageable balance. Youth 11 a side pitches had drains installed at 4 metre centres with the minis at 5 metre centres. A secondary drainage system of sand grooves was carried out to all the pitches. All pitches had sand mixed through the topsoil.
To underpin the design a self traveller irrigation system was supplied to ensure that water can be applied in extremis but not as a tool just to water the pitches ad hoc. Too much irrigation in the wrong hands can lead to further problems ongoing .
This project which was funded by the local authority and the Football Foundation is a real jewel in the crown, which the club are immensely proud of. The variety of pitches together with the 3G facility should ensure prosperous times ahead on the field from children through to adults.