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Roedean School

Roedean School


We were contracted to design and build a natural turf winter sports pitch on chalk cliffs overlooking the English Channel, with associated landscaping activities to nearby bunds.  

Sustainable Landscaping, an eye on biodiversity 

Alongside the building of the winter surface Talbot were contracted to carry out specialist landscaping on the surrounding bunds and batters.  

We understand the importance of maintaining local ecosystems and therefore used our expertise to plant indigenous plants and shrubs which maintained the south downs character and biodiversity.  

The steeper batters presented an access challenge to our teams, however we thought on our feet and hydro-seeded them from the pitch plateau with a specialist wildflower fitting for the South Downs. 


We are familiar with the drainage systems required to maintain elite sporting surfaces throughout the year. Even with our experience the surface at Roedean school presented some challenges.  

Maintaining our “no challenge is too big for us” view we set to work designing systems that within Sport England 4 guidelines delivered subsurface primary piped drainage and sand band secondary drainage allowed water to filtrate through to the cliffs and into the English Channel. 


With the area being so close to the cliffs and the English Channel it posed a fair share of risks.  

Limited access resulted in steep escarpments that could be dangerous for workers and equipment. This required all of Talbot’s expertise to get the job done safely while maintaining the highest standards.  

Challenging landscape  

Despite the proximity of the North Sea, the site experiences below national average annual rainfall. Irrigation systems are therefore essential to pitch availability and maintaining year-round sports turf vigour and performance. 

Our knowledgeable teams were able to identify the clay derived topsoil’s which impeded efficient drainage and were also lined sharp flint causing a safety risk. 

From diagnosis to cure… Talbot managed the stone content to prevent any injury and built effective solutions to ensure successful drainage.  

School environment  

We have experience working in a variety of contexts and make sure to routinely meet the relevant DBS standards.   

Final Product 

With significant site wide challenges identified,  we delivered a pitch deemed a resounding success and with increased availability for school games throughout the winter sports season. 



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