Howzat! Feniton cricket pitch relocation commences
PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 October 2015 | UPDATED: 08:49 22 October 2015
Feniton Cricket Pitch will be torn up and moved in an ambitious relocation project.
Fronted by David Cutler, managing director of Feniton Park Building Development Group, the pitch is expected to be ready by the time Feniton Cricket Club starts its 2017 season, with the teams using the current pitch in 2016.
The move came in light of the Feniton Park development, which will see 32 homes built in Acland Park.
Problematic to Feniton cricketers – who have hit sixes into the back gardens of the nearest homes and the surrounding streets – the decision was made to uproot the turf and relocate it.
Mr Cutler said: “Building beautiful homes has been my passion for over 35 years.
“I know well the emotions stirred when new houses are built in rural areas and always do my utmost to fit in with the needs and requirements of the local community and the environment.
“It was immediately clear to me that the proposed Feniton Park development would significantly impact on the cricket club. In keeping with the philosophy of my company, I knew that we would have to help by moving the wicket away from the houses.”
The first phase of the groundwork is nearing completion, and the team is receiving expert advice from Adrian Witton, head groundsman for Exeter Chiefs.
Mr Cutler added: “It is a challenging engineering project to move 58,000 tons of soil and lay a wicket over the winter months.
“We have utilised the latest laser-levelling technology to level the ground, employing some pretty powerful machinery in the process.
“I visited Sandy Park to see the magnificent surface they laid in 2013. Interestingly enough, Adrian was a playing member of Feniton Cricket Club when he was a boy.
“I have been pleased to have his expert advice on our project.”
For Francis Pyle, Feniton Cricket Club chairman, the move is important as it secures the pitch ‘for generations’.
“It’s an ambitious and challenging plan to move the wicket, but it will have a double bubble benefit,” said Mr Pyle.
“Not only will we be away from the houses, but the short move will put us on ground owned by Feniton Village Playing Fields Trust.
“Part of the old ground was on a rented field.
“It’s good to know that the future of cricket in Feniton will be secured for generations to come, when the ground is owned by the community.”
“There is still much to do but, all being well, the pitch should be in good shape for the 2017 season.
“It’s proving more difficult to recruit a quality wicket keeper to complete our first team squad, though. If there are any candidates, please contact me [on 01404 850331 or 079268 13859].”