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People urged to blow whistle on pitch vandals

Published: 10 November 2020

Pinhoe Station Road Pinhoe Station Road playing fields

Vandals have targeted work being carried out to improve football pitches in Exeter.

Fencing at Pinhoe Station Road playing fields has been kicked over and damaged during an attack at the weekend.

Extra fencing panels have had to be brought in to protect the playing surface whilst it recovers from the improvement work.

The City Council is refurbishing and upgrading the football pitches, providing a better surface with improved drainage. The improved pitches are expected to be ready for the 2021/22 football season.

Around £150,000 is being spent on the pitch upgrade, with funding for the project coming from section 106 money from local housing developments at Monkerton and Tithebarn. The money from developers comes with a condition that it can only be spent on playing pitches in the Pinhoe area.

Cllr David Harvey, Lead Councillor for Environment and City Management, urged people to remain vigilant and report any incidents of vandalism to the police.

“We’re trying to improve the local facilities and for the work to succeed we need people to keep off the pitches whilst the turf beds in,” he said.

As part of the project, the size of the senior pitch has been increased to meet FA requirements and improvements have been made to the junior playing surface

The site is currently used by Pinhoe AFC and Pinhoe Spartans Junior Football Club but many home matches have to be played elsewhere as the pitches don’t drain well and become waterlogged easily.

The main pitch has been reprofiled so that it slopes very gradually down to the brook and takes a lot of the water away. Sand has been put down and drainage carried out underneath so that the water can drain away better.

The pitches will be out of action for about a year to allow the turf to bed in. The area has been fenced off while the grass is establishing and people have been urged to stay off the pitches.

The rest of the park remains open to the public throughout the works.

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