St Albans’ Batchwood Bowls Club relays green after fire devastation

OUTDOOR bowling looks set to return to Batchwood in the spring after the district council re-laid fire damaged turf.

The work follows a fire in August 2011 that destroyed the Batchwood Golf and Tennis Centre, Batchwood Hall Bowling Club’s clubhouse and damaged a quarter of the green’s surface.

St Albans district council renovated the entire green to county playing standard as, apart from the fire damage, the quality of the playing surface had deteriorated over time and become uneven with dips and mounds.

It re-laid the green with 1,500 square metres of turf. A new irrigation and drainage system was also installed and a path constructed around its perimeter.

Club president Pat Savage, who recently inspected the bowling green with fellow members, said: “The green looks wonderful and we are looking forward to trying it out when the outdoor bowling season begins again in spring next year.”

The council’s portfolio holder for sports, Cllr Mike Wakely, said the aim is to rebuild the bowls and golf clubhouses and the tennis centre as quickly as possible.

He added: “Just as we have provided an improved bowls green, our ambition is to deliver a tennis centre with enhanced facilities. This will depend on the final budget for the project and our ongoing discussions with the Lawn Tennis Association about possible additional funding.”

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The council’s insurers have indicated that they will fund a like-for-like replacement of all three buildings.

Invitations to tender for the project management and design team commission for the rebuilding of the two clubhouses have already been issued to five companies.

The redevelopment is expected to take 12 months.

Mrs Savage said that the club has managed to fulfill all of its winter activities since the fire, except for its art group, which used to meet at the clubhouse on Thursdays between 11am and 3pm.

She has asked Herts Advertiser readers if they could offer somewhere to meet, with car parking facilities, to please email her at