Drains to blame for muddy park

INVESTIGATIONS into persistent drainage problems in a popular park have revealed blocked drains are at fault.

Over the winter no football was played at Centre Vale Park and this year’s Todmorden Agricultural Show was cancelled in advance because of the muddy state of the ground.

Since 2007, the park has been used to store flood water, which reduces the risk of flooding to Burnley Road and Todmorden town centre.

But some parts of the park have not been draining properly.

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Investigations have revealed that the problem are down to the slit drains - vertical columns of sand and gravel that connect the surface of the park to the drainage layers beneath - which are supposed to control groundwater levels in the park - getting blocked.

Those carrying out the studies say the sand in the top of the drains has been displaced by the surrounding soil, which has a high clay content and acts as a barrier.

Calderdale Council and the Environment Agency will now seek approval for funding to remedy the problem.

Secretary of Todmorden Agricultural Show, Rob Goldthorpe said he hoped next year’s event, traditionally held on the third Saturday in June, would go ahead: “I would have preferred they hadn’t done it in the first place but I am pleased there is now political will to do something about it. If it is going to be expensive it will be a stumbling block because nobody has any money, the council pleads poverty all the time and the Environment Agency has limited funds.

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“It is going to take a bit of care and attention and I’d like to see the council doing a bit more to reinstate the grass.”

A further public meeting will be held on July 22. Calderdale Council’s Head of Neighbourhoods, Andrew Pitts, said: “We are committed to making sure Centre Vale Park is enjoyed by local people now and for years to come. We continue to work hard with the Environment Agency to tackle the drainage issues in the park.”