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Working in partnership with Shipley Area Committee

Rain-harvesting for Sustainable Water Management at Baildon Cricket Club

Water is an integral ingredient of cricket - and not just for match teas! Good water management is essential for the preparation of good quality pitches and outfields. However, clubs lying close to the River Aire and Wharfe suffering from pre-season flooding again this year don’t need to be told that too much water is also an increasing problem, and that climate change is impacting the game of cricket now.

Cricket clubs like Baildon, with grounds elevated well above rivers, are not immune to the effects climate change, and climate models predict summers with longer periods without rainfall interspersed with high magnitude convective storms. Therefore, environmentally sensitive water management practices are essential in the near future for the game of cricket.

To future-proof our playing facility at Sandals School, Baildon, and to educate users of the environmental stresses linked to sports, we have installed a system to harvest rainfall, efficiently pump water to the square, and help to drive long lasting and widespread behavioural change in sports ground management.

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Water tanks nearly filled from early February (left) to mid-March (right)

The ground at Sandals School is particularly susceptible to drought periods given there is no access to running water at the ground. Even last May large cracks developed in parts of the square. We developed the idea of ‘harvesting’ the rain, using the roof of the pavilion, to give us a year round supply of water, which was supported by funding through a Climate Action Grant supported by the Shipley Area Committee.

The installation is straight-forward – and surprisingly effective. Guttering collects and feeds water from precipitation into two large tanks inside the garage. The tanks started to collect water in early January, and helped by Storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin, were full 8 weeks later: that’s 1000 gallons in 2 months! We can use the water to feed the square year round, and to add ballast to our roller.

We hope that visiting teams will see how this simple rain harvesting system can be adopted at other grounds across the region, and help manage water use without turning to mains water supply.

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The harvested rain water will be vital for maintaining our square in the hotter months.

Cleaner Open Spaces

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Shipley Area Committee have also helped the club with provision of funding to purchase equipment and materials help us clean up our grounds at Jenny Lane and West Lane. March and April are always busy times when club members get involved in sprucing up our surroundings.

Coaching Courses and First Aider Certification

We have also been very fortunate to have received funding from the Shipley Area Committee for the purpose of coach education and first aid qualifications. With their support we have made sure that every senior and junior team has at least one qualified first aider involved with it. We are also raising the standards amongst our coaching staff by sending more of them on training courses than we have ever done before.

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