Speedcut Contractors to complete 5ha Greenwich football pitches

Speedcut Contractors are carrying out one of the biggest football pitches construction jobs in London

The scale of the Kidbrooke Playing Fields job can be seen in this shot of Speedcut applying sand prior to seeding - image: Speedcut
The scale of the Kidbrooke Playing Fields job can be seen in this shot of Speedcut applying sand prior to seeding - image: Speedcut

The firm is close to completing development of a five hectare site for Kidbrooke Playing Fields in Greenwich.

The Kidbrooke site is home to Long Lane Junior Football Club – the largest junior football club in London and one of the largest in Britain.

The new pitches project was a challenge for Speedcut because of varying levels on the undulating ground but staff used their laser-guided Caterpillar D6 to create level pitches.

Work began last November but was halted by the weather and restarted in March, with final seeding carried out by the third week of April.

After stripping topsoil, regrading the subsoil and laser levelling to FA-accepted gradients, the Speedcut team installed a complete primary drainage system after replacing the topsoil and cultivating.

More than 2,000 tonnes of sand was then applied to the surface to ameliorate the topsoil.

After light grading, a BAR7 dwarf perennial ryegrass mix was sown, the topsoil having been given a fertiliser application.

"The dry weather has been a problem because there is currently no irrigation on the site," said Speedcut contracts manager Kevin Smith.

"Once rain has arrived and the grass is well established in the summer we will sandband the whole site and then apply two further dressings of sand."

Consultants on the Kidbrooke site were TGMS (Turftrax Grounds Maintenance Systems) and the project was jointly funded by Greenwich Council, The Football Foundation and Long Lane JFC.

When completed the site will provide pitches for the largest junior football club in London and have a variety of football pitches, including mini and junior.

Said Kevin Smith: "We were pleased to be working as part of a team with Turftrax, the club and Greenwich Council.

"This is a massive project and we are delighted at the results so far. We just need some rain to arrive after this exceptionally dry spring."

Mick Northwood, chief executive of Long Lane JFC, said: "Speedcut have done an excellent job and we are looking forward to developing the club’s football talent on what will be exceptional playing facilities."

Grants totalling £254,000 were received from the Football Foundation, the London Marathon Trust and Greenwich Council.

The current £500,000 grass pitch drainage and levelling project brings the total raised for Long Lane JFC projects to around £2million.


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