Work on pitch slammed by users

Minnigaff Playing Fields
Minnigaff Playing Fields

RESEEDING works at Minnigaff Playing Fields have been called a disgrace by users of the grounds this week after it emerged £5000 will be spent on patching the field instead of a total re-turf.

Work began last week to reseed certain patches of the popular fields which have succumbed to over-use and wear and tear - works which will see the pitch closed for the summer season.

The Galloway Pageant Committee have had to move their annual celebrations to Douglas Park behind Ghyll Crescent in Newton Stewart and other events such as the annual visit from the circus will also be provided with alternative accommodation.

But Jason Adair of Galloway Thistle Youth Football Club, who have had to move their training to the football pitch at the Merrick Leisure Centre, says the works being carried out could have been undertaken in a way which would allow the entire park to have an overhaul.

He said: “It’s a total disgrace what they’re attempting to do. This does affect us because we have moved to the pitch in front of the Merrick, which isn’t too bad but the big deal to us is that it does not look as if they are improving Minnigaff at all.

“Workmen are turning up every so often and doing a couple of hours work. The £5000 earmarked for this could have been spent on turning up the whole pitch, levelling it and re-seeding it and then fencing it off to let it grow perfectly for late this year.”

Jason said that several farmers whose kids play there are bemused at what is being done.

A Dumfries and Galloway Council spokeswoman said: “The pitch is being rejuvenated at present. This will affect its use over the summer months, but will ensure that it is ready for use by the autumn season.

“The circus group have been notified that the area will not be available and the Pageant organisers have been provided with an alternative location.”

The estimated cost of the refurbishment of the Minnigaff pitch is £3,636. The figure of £5000 was the award from Wigtown Area Committee to undertake these works. The works to be undertaken are; remove existing turf, level out low and raised areas, and relay the area with new turf (should be taking place today). In addition to this 2 applications of fertiliser will be made over the summer months to ensure that the pitch is ready for the Autumn season.