There's A Cricket Pitch On Top Of The M25

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 80 months ago

Last Updated 13 October 2017

There's A Cricket Pitch On Top Of The M25
Photo: Epping Foresters Cricket Club

The roaring smog of the M25 doesn't sit too well with the bucolic image of an English cricket pitch — yet there's a cricket pitch sitting right on top of London's orbital motorway.

Between junctions 26 and 27 of the M25 is the Bell Common Tunnel, a 470m long stretch of... well, tunnel, built between 1982 and 1984. Constructing this stretch of the ring road was a problem; it has Epping Forest to one side, and a settlement to the other side — so it was decided that the best option was to build the motorway under the existing land.

This existing land is a cricket pitch, home to Epping Foresters Cricket Club, established in 1947, and playing on the current site since 1949, creating the pitch from swamp land.

The construction of the M25 put the club's future under threat, when it was announced that the route would cut right through the club's land, until the tunnelling solution was offered.

The pavilion at the club's 2016 family fun day. Photo: Epping Foresters Cricket Club

Even though a solution was found, the club still had to relocate for five years while the tunnel was constructed in the 1980s. The Department of Transport then reinstated the ground, and the club resumed its old position.

Motorists, fear not. Your windscreen is perfectly safe — the pitch is far enough from the edge of the tunnel roof, and thickly hedged, that wayward balls are an impossibility.

Fancy watching a cricket match on top of a motorway? Keep an eye on the club's event schedule for details of upcoming matches.