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Budleigh wait to see flood damage

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: November 29, 2012

Budleigh cricket ground

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BUDLEIGH Salterton are hoping the latest floods at their Ottermouth ground won't undo the work done during the summer repairing their square.

The summer storms rendered Ottermouth unplayable from early June onwards, causing more than £30,000 of damage to ground and equipment.

Long after the square dried out it remained unplayable owing to the baked on silt left behind when the water subsided.

Neil Rice, the Budleigh Salterton chairman, said the latest floods were a complication the club could have done without.

"There is no issue with the pavilion or the machine shed as everything that could be damaged has been taken out and stored elsewhere," said Rice.

"Contractors came in at the end of the season and removed the baked on crud left behind when the water went down and sun came out.

"This time of year the sun won't be a problem. We are hoping when the water goes down to hose off the square. It is then a case of repairing what might have been washed away."

Budleigh have recently spend £40,000 on new drainage at the ground, not that it made any difference in the latest deluge.

"To be fair the drainage we had put in is designed to deal with rainwater – not the type of biblical deluges we had over the weekend," said Rice.

Long term Budleigh are hoping to move away from their ground to somewhere less prone to flooding.

Moving depends on making new arrangements with long-time landlords Clinton Estates, who own huge swathes of the Otter Valley as well as Budleigh's ground.

"Clinton Estates have been very supportive and know we need to do something," said Rice.

"I understand they have plans with DEFRA for projects in the Otter Valley and once they get an answer we may know the way forward."

Rice has said in the past Clinton Estates have shown an interest in reacquiring the cricket ground and pavilion for use as a visitors centre for the marshes around the ground.

Part of any deal would see the club rehoused on other land in the Clinton portfolio.

Sidmouth are looking for umpires for the 2013 season and beyond to help with all cricket at The Fortfield, Bicton and away grounds.

Sidmouth need to find two Devon League umpires every Saturday as well as officials for Sunday fixtures and more than 30 midweek games during the season.

"We are looking for anyone who loves the game of cricket and would like to participate," said Sidmouth secretary Anthony Griffiths.

"Don't worry if you are not qualified as we will help with all aspects of this.

"There are training courses starting in the new year. Sidmouth will pay for these and membership to our club.

"All teas and travelling expenses would be looked after by us as well."

If interested, contact Griffiths on griffgriff01@hotmail.co.uk or by calling 07769 934420.

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