Pitch perfect

Richard Tigwell of S&C Slatter reports back on a busy summer of school sports pitch provision

After a summer spent managing and completing a record number of artificial turf sports pitches, S&C Slatter has continued to enjoy working with a number of high-profile clients within the independent school sector. Despite some technically challenging assignments, and issues posed by the inclement weather, our in-house resources and project-management skills have ensured that all projects are being successfully delivered to plan.

S&C Slatter is is well known for its expertise in artificial turf technology: perhaps less well known, until now, are our substantial engineering abilities and experience. The company has a team of highly skilled and qualified specialists in design, construction technologies and sustainability, which has learned its trade not only through delivering a portfolio of significant sports facilities but also on major infrastructure and leisure projects.

Recently S&C Slatter has been working on artificial turf pitch projects for schools including Benenden, Farleigh and The John Lyon School, addressing specific construction issues and finding practical and affordable solutions – all without compromising sports performance, the local environment or the user experience.

At each of these schools, the company was asked to provide an artificial turf pitch conforming to FIH National Performance Standard for hockey, plus additional sports (respectively lacrosse, tennis, and both football and tennis). The chosen pitch system was a high-quality 18mm texturised monofilament sand-dressed artificial turf over a 15mm in-situ bound shock pad. However the sub-base underneath has varied and been engineered to suit both the full mix of sporting applications and the ground and topographical conditions prevailing at each site.

Retaining structures have been an essential element of the facility designs at two of these locations. At The John Lyon School, a low-profile timber crib structure to retain earthworks, with minimum foundations to prevent damage to an adjacent protected treeline, has been incorporated together with an additional timber sleeper wall over a 160-metre run. This followed a balanced cut and fill operation to create a new ‘plateau’ on which to locate the new pitch.

An extensive cut and fill was also part of the groundworks at Benenden, together with the installation of a 1.75m pre-cast concrete retaining wall, bedded and backfilled. Surplus excavated material was used to create a landscaped bund within the grounds.

The scheme at Farleigh School, meanwhile, involved building a new car park with integral drainage system, access roadway and footpaths, while using surplus stripped materials from the cut and fill pitch construction to build a new natural turf cricket outfield with six lane square and four bay artificial grass practice nets. S&C Slatter worked closely at all times with the school’s Project Consultant, Neil Boddington of Boddington Planning. At The John Lyon School, the advising consultant was Alistair Moore of Agility Sports Facility Development, again illustrating the benefits of a partnership culture in delivering high-quality facilities.

S&C Slatter has been a Sports Construction Specialist for over 23 years, operating throughout England and Wales on artificial pitch projects of all sizes and complexities for football, hockey, rugby, lacrosse, tennis, cricket and Multi-use Games Areas (MUGAS).

Meanwhile the company is also working, in partnership with FieldTurf, on a number of pitches under the Football Association, Football Foundation, Rugby Football Union, Sport England and English Hockey framework.

Richard Tigwell is Sales & Marketing Executive for artificial turf specialists S&C Slatter.
Contacts 01635 345210 / info@sandcslatter.com / www.sandcslatter.com

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