Forelands Field



Project summary

  • Sports facility design
  • Sports construction
  • Technical consulting
  • Sustainable water management

Forelands Field is a special needs school in Kent, which educates around 220 pupils with complex needs. STRI Ltd and Carrick Construction, the Group’s build company, were appointed by Walker Construction to design and build a natural grass sports pitch and peripheral natural grass areas.

The pitch was constructed in 2021 and was available for the children to enjoy in March 2023.


The site of the pitch needed to be converted from an agricultural field with variable ground levels, to a levelled site that would accommodate the construction of a high-quality sports pitch.

Following perfect construction conditions in 2021, grow-in and maintenance was carried out throughout 2022 – when England saw its highest ever maximum temperature. This made for a very challenging grow-in in the absence of a permanent irrigation system.


Sustainability was a very important design principle for our team.

To effectively manage water on the site, a comprehensive piped drainage system was designed, servicing the pitch area to ensure playability after heavy rainfall events. To manage surface water from these rainfall events as sustainably as possible, the drainage was designed to discharge surface water via an in-situ soakaway trench using natural infiltration, storing rainwater for later use.

To mitigate the variable ground levels, an earthworks operation was implemented to form a pitch with surface gradients in line with Sport England’s guidelines. The site topsoil was stripped and stored on site for re-use before a cut and fill operation and final trimming works.  Due to this, the project was more cost effective and there was no need to import additional materials to the site.


  • Balance achieved between ensuring a well-drained surface to enable sport after rainfall, whilst also providing suitable moisture retention during dry periods to promote turf health
  • The facility was constructed using our end-to-end service delivery by three Group companies. STRI Ltd carried responsibility for the pitch design, the Environmental Protection Group for the drainage design and surface water management, and Carrick Construction for build and maintenance of the site
  • Sustainability continued through construction, with a balanced earthworks strategy negating the need to import or export materials from site

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