Safety and improvement work begins in Redruth on Cornwall’s largest public playing field

Work has started at Cornwall Council’s largest public playing field to improve safety and create more space for recreation and nature after some areas were found to contain settlement due to historic mining activity.

The 6.5 hectare Clijah Croft Playing Field in Redruth contains five football pitches, but two have been unusable since the discovery of areas of settlement in 2018.

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Safety work involves stripping back earth to a 50cm depth and laying a reinforcement grid to restore two senior pitches and a junior football pitch.

Soil drainage will also be improved.

In other parts of the site with former mining problems, where neither capping nor reinforcement is possible, new woodland will be created within fenced enclosures.

The trees will improve ground stability and create visual and wildlife benefits as well as contribute to the Council’s Forest for Cornwall, the natural way to help Cornwall become carbon neutral and tackle the climate emergency.

Jon Mitchell, Cornwall Council’s Public Space Team Leader, said: “With other local sport provision in the schools and colleges already experiencing high demand and the level of housing growth expected in the area, we have made it a priority to conserve the facility for future generations.

“It is recognised that the sport and recreation benefits are increasingly vital to the health and wellbeing of our communities, and suitable, level land is limited in the local area as is the case in Cornwall in general.”

Home to a number of clubs including Redruth United and Four Lanes Football Club, Clijah Croft Playing Field also serves as an important public open space to residents in the southeast of the town.

The playing field is located within an intensely mined area including the principal mine sites of Wheal Wentworth and Clijah Croft Mine. By the end of the 19th Century the area was being worked as Perseverance Mine.

By the 1960s one sports pitch had been constructed near the southeast corner. The site was later used for landfill and then redeveloped into the current three fields on different levels.

Safety work will take place on two out of the three fields, and is seen as the first phase in the improvement of the overall playing fields. It will not affect the two match pitches nearest to the car park and changing rooms.

Cornwall Council has made the Phase 1 funding available in a capital budget for Mine Shaft Capping on Environmental Assets.

The works are planned to take place from now until February 2020, and are being managed by Cormac Solutions Ltd.

Additional design development is to take place shortly which will involve consultations with the sports clubs and nearby residents.

Stuart Wallace, Cornwall Council’s Public Space Officer, said: “There is likely to be restricted access to the site for temporary periods, and we apologise for any disruption. We will direct visitors to other accessible areas during these times.”

Cornwall Council is planning to collaborate with the sports clubs and other key partners to deliver new and better pitch facilities in the third field as part of a second, future phase.

Updates and additional information will be made available on Cornwall Council's website.

Story posted on 20 November 2019