Floods can have a devastating impact on a cricket club, causing damage to both pavilions and grounds. The ECB provides advice and support for affected clubs in these situations, whether it be significant damage to buildings and machinery or deposits of sediment and waste on outfields and squares.
There is a lot that a cricket club can do to reduce the risk of flood damage:
Step One: Is your club at risk of flooding?
If you are in England and Wales, you can find out the risk of your ground being flooded by water from rivers or the sea using the flood maps on the Environment Agency website. They also provide useful information to help you prepare if you are at risk of flooding.
There are other sources of flooding such as stormwater drains that aren't assessed in this way. This is when local knowledge is invaluable - speak to your local council and some of the older members of your clubs - they will have a historical perspective of flooding on your ground.
Step Two: Can your club get warnings from the Environment Agency?
If your property is on the Environment Agency's Flood Map you might be able to sign up for their 'Flood Warnings Direct' service which will send you a warning. Click here for further information. This will alert a club representative if a flood alert or flood warning is in place. Make sure that this person is a current and active member of the club and able to react to the warning if necessary.
Step Three: Develop a flood plan
Producing a club flood plan can help limit damage to the club and save the club money in the long term. The plan should be reviewed annually and there are templates available on the ECB website here.
All key personnel should have a copy of the plan so they know what to do and when. It is also a good idea to post a copy on your notice board and website so that the whole club can be aware that a flood plan is in place.
Step Four: Get advice on reducing flood damage
There are things that you can do as a club to help prevent flood water damaging your property;
- Maintain ditches, culverts and look at re-landscaping to help avoid winter flooding.
- Use flood boards, polythene and sandbags to reduce the amount of water entering a building.
Larger-scale projects include constructing flood walls and modifying river banks, in these circumstances you should always seek professional advice from a specialist. You should also contact the Environment Agency to ensure that your flood protection does not adversely affect neighbours or others downstream.
If your club has been affected by floods, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and assistance.
Advice on sediment removal
As floodwater recedes any deposited sediment may damage your turf and reduce playability. It may also be a health & safety risk to your staff, members and the wider public.
What should you do?
One of your primary concerns will be to get your pitches back into play as soon as possible - this will inevitably mean removing the sediment from the surface. When you do this you are required under both Health & Safety and Environmental law to consider the potential harm to both humans and the wider environment and you should act to prevent both. The most appropriate strategy for sediment removal will depend on your situation and the extent of your flood, but two common techniques are either to break up and mix the sediment with your soil (typically using a harrow) or complete removal and replacement using a machine such as a Koro. Consult your advisor on the best strategy to do this as it requires assessment on a case-by-case basis.
How you should minimise potential harm?
To minimise risk to human health, the source (potentially contaminated sediment) should be removed or treated. Risks can be reduced further by removing the pathway from the source to the receptor (staff, players and public) during clean up, maintenance and play.
During clean up and routine maintenance, personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn by all staff and volunteers who are involved. Minimum requirements include:
- Wearing suitable gloves, dust masks, cover clothing (particularly cuts/abrasions etc.) and waterproof boots
- No eating or drinking during this work
- Thorough hand washing with soap and hot water should be made compulsory for all staff, before every break (including before toilet breaks) and at the end of the day.
- Staff should shower to remove dust from hair and skin, and clearing the nose, mouth, eyes, ears etc. is recommended.