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Work starts to improve safety of Redruth playing field

Work starts to improve safety of Redruth playing field

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:00am 24th November 2019.

Safety and improvement works are starting at a playing field in Redruth which was closed off because of mine shaft fears.

Experts carried out surveys at Clijah Croft last year, where 10 areas were sealed off, and some were found to contain settlement due to historic mining activity. 

Now work has started on Cornwall Council's largest public playing field to improve safety and create more space for recreation and nature.

The 6.5 hectare area contains five football pitches, but two have been unusable since the discovery of areas of settlement in 2018. 

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.

"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."

Jon Mitchell, Cornwall Council's Public Space Team Leader

Home to a number of clubs including Redruth United and Four Lanes FC, 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. 


"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."

Stuart Wallace, Cornwall Council's Public Space Officer

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. 

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