MJ Abbott

Primary drainage to golf course

The Roehampton Club, London


Private members’ sports club

The Roehampton Club is a private members’ sports club in Roehampton in southwest London. It is set in 100 acres of parkland, close to Richmond Park. Originally established in 1901 as an officers’ polo club, the Roehampton Club now has sporting and leisure facilities and a 18-hole golf course.

MJ Abbott’s relationship with the club spans well over 20 years, carrying out irrigation, drainage and golf construction work in that time.

This phase of work included for the installation of outfall drainage, including ditch construction and main drains, to enable future connections of lateral drainage.

Project challenges

Heavy London clay

The ground conditions at Roehampton are challenging, as it is heavy London clay. This presents a problem when wet, which can make installation slow and difficult to keep working areas tidy. The land is also very undulating, making it a challenge to find the best drainage routes whilst maintaining suitable drain grades and levels.

Old clay drainage systems are still functioning in places, these had to be re-connected into the new system.

Although we knew the location of the existing irrigation, crossing this extensive system with new mains drainage was a challenge.

Our approach

Essential drainage infrastructure

The scope of work comprised the following:

  • Installation of new perforated main drainage and carrier pipework. All drains were installed up to 1.5 metres maximum depth, utilising a 15/15 Mastenbroek trencher
  • New infrastructure was sized and located to suit future drainage works to fairways and golf features
  • Perforated main drainage trenches were backfilled with stone to within 150mm to the surface, and a suitable sand/soil rootzone material installed to reinstate ground levels
  • All trench lines were seeded on completion, with follow on maintenance carried out by club. This included natural trench settlement and overseeding as required
  • Installation of a new V-ditch along edges of fairways, complete with inlet chambers to mains drainage connections
  • Drainage arisings were used to fill low lying problem areas on the golf course.

Improved drainage and high standard of presentation

The main drainage was successfully grown in by David Howe and his grounds staff, who continued to maintain a high standard of presentation throughout.