Selkirk soggy pitch far from perfect as Scottish Borders Council denies flooding claims

COUNCIL chiefs have denied they are responsible for a soggy Selkirk sports surface, writes Kenny Paterson.

Burnmill, alongside Philiphaugh Community School, has been almost continually saturated or flooded for the past 18 months.

Its condition has meant Selkirk Track and Field athletes – who used the pitch for sprint training – have been forced to abandon the ground, while the surface has been deemed unplayable for the last month for rugby matches.

David Knox, coach of Selkirk Track and Field, believes it has become worse since contractors on behalf of Scottish Borders Council carried out work at the field in spring 2011.

He said: “Ever since drilling work was done at Burnmill there has been an ankle-deep pool of water standing in the car park corner.

“The rest of the ground has become much more prone to flooding as well, as pools emerge with every shower that passes. The ground is almost at the stage where it is good for nothing – certainly not running.”

An SBC spokesman said Burnmill is historically susceptible to waterlogging due to its flood plain location, but added it was keen to work with sports groups to solve the issue.

He told us: “We absolutely refute any suggestions that drilling, as part of work for the Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme, had anything to do with the problems at Burnmill.

“The council has been able to prove, after similar concerns were raised in the summer, that this is not the case.”

The last rugby game played at Burnmill was October 6, some nine weeks ago. Selkirk RFC development officer Iain Paxton added: “There has been a puddle in the middle of the pitch for four to six weeks which has left it unplayable.

“I don’t know whether it is down to drainage issues or the heavy rain we have had.”