Sports pitch maintenance
The weather conditions in the South West can be very variable. The skills and knowledge of the Grounds staff are applied to try and ensure the facilities are maintained to a high standard. The aim is to permit maximum participation. Surfaces are prepared to a performance level that matches or exceeds the requirements of the sportsmen and women who use them.
Topsham Sports Ground hosts the premiere fixtures for the University football, rugby and lacrosse teams - it also hosts cricket. Duckes Meadow is by far the largest grass pitch sports provision and in addition to rugby, football and lacrosse, also features American football and archery.
The Sports Park on Streatham Campus has a range of artificial outdoor sports provision. The water-based pitch is of international standard for hockey. The rubber-crumb and sand based pitches host a variety of ball sports, in all types of weather. A brand new artificial golf facility features tees and greens unique to the South West. A MUGA (multi-use games area) is available for those who wish to participate in sport in a less formal manner.
At Topsham we have a rugby pitch that has benefited from major surface renovation aimed at improving the drainage qualities. This pitch will serve Tonga during the group stages of the 2015 Rugby World cup and will hopefully keep improving to provide an excellent facility for our high achieving student teams.
The first team football pitch hosts over 50 games a year for BUCS, Peninsula league and Devon ladies matches. We also have a third pitch that currently has a dual purpose to serve both Football and rugby. While this does put a heavy burden on the staff it reflects the increase in sport participation at the university, and we are doing our best to ensure all students get the chance to represent their clubs. Ladies lacrosse makes up our winter sports.
In the summer the grounds are used primarily for cricket where we are able to provide wickets for both the students and local companies wishing to hire the facility. We have also hosted Exeter Chiefs for pre- season training and get regular visits from professional football clubs wishing to train prior to matches at St James Park.
In maintaining the grounds we have a responsibility to uphold the University's policies on sustainability. To support this we try to limit the use of high nitrate fertilisers, weed killers or anything else potentially harmful to the flora and fauna in the immediate area.
For more information, or to book, please see the Sports webpage.
At Duckes Meadow there are around 17 pitches covering football, rugby union, rugby league, American football and men’s lacrosse. Due to its proximity to the River Exe it is prone to flooding at high tides but the staff work hard to ensure that a vast amount of sport is catered for and only very rarely will a fixture be postponed.
The sports park artificial pitches have benefited from a huge investment in recent years and we are endeavouring to make sure they are kept in tip-top condition. The surrounding mature trees cause many problems with pine needle and leaf litter, creating a major maintenance problem. However, the staff work tirelessly to clear the pitches prior to the next windy spell. The new golf facility is proving popular and that too provides a maintenance challenge for the team.
The sports turf maintenance team understands the importance of recreation to the students and the need to offer our facilities to the general public. We will continue to try and provide the best surfaces we can regardless of the challenges that face us. The University is a great environment to work in and we all get a boost from seeing the students enjoy their sport.
For more information about all of the sports facilities, both inside and out, available at Streatham Campus, please visit the Sports webpage.