Sports Pitch Design & Construction
Continuing its strong working relationship with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Turfdry was contracted through Galliford Try to design and construct new sports pitches adjacent to Hanley Town F.C., on Abbey Lane, Abbey Hulton.
Consisting of a trio of football pitches – in senior, youth, and mini-soccer sizes – the entire complex benefits from the unique Turfdry Drainage System using Hydraway Sportsdrain to maximise the likelihood of year-round play. In addition to the pitch construction, Turfdry also reinstated an old pond on the site, which acts as an attenuation pond for the youth pitch’s drainage, as well as providing aesthetic and ecological value.
Whilst it is now evident that the facility will be something to be proud of, the project threw up its fair share of obstacles for Turfdry to overcome; scroll through the gallery below to find out more.
The site's history as a dumping ground for mining spoil left substantial amounts of rubble beneath the surface.
The pitches' design utilised a deep 'cut' on the upper area of the site to generate some higher quality subsoil material to be layered on top of the mining spoil to create the foundations for a quality sports surface.
The site's unclear history also threw up other unexpected challenges, such as the pictured remnants of of a substantial old drainage system - that nobody had prior knowledge of - having to be removed.
The site at handover held considerable water as a consequence of the poor ground conditions.
The underlying ground conditions were such that the team encountered significant problems with ground water and running sand, which meant that parts of the site could not even be walked on, whilst others felt as though the ground was a trampoline!
Deep drainage carrier pipe connected into Turfdry chamber and backfilled with gravel, which helped dry out the site to facilitate the installation of the pitch drainage.
The excavation of the pond was made more difficult due to the volume of buried boulders.
The new pond provides ecological enhancement to the site. It is fed solely from water collected by the youth pitch's Turfdry Drainage System using Hydraway Sportsdrain.
Although these issues made the work at Abbey Lane more complicated, the Turfdry team has learned that projects often involve unknown additional challenges. With 20 years of operation comes 20 years of experience, and Turfdry is well equipped to tackle even the most complicated projects and deliver difficult jobs every time.
Pitch layout, cut & fill plan.
Re-topsoiling operations carried out on the mini-soccer pitch by dozers fitted with GPS laser-control systems linked to the 3D design model.
The Turfdry Drainage System with Hydraway Sportsdrain at 2.5m spacing following installation on the new senior pitch.
Youth pitch shown after seeding.
Existing trees were retained and protected adjacent to the newly fenced senior pitch.
Senior pitch pictured after sand layering and seeding.
Mini-soccer pitch after first cut (December 2014)
Youth pitch after first cut (December 2014)
Turfdry is delighted that similar sentiments are being echoed by the Institute of Groundsmanship, who carried out independent assessment of the pitches in the build-up to handover, following Turfdry’s initial maintenance of the site throughout the ‘growing-in’ phase of the pitches. Indeed, in their report to S-O-T City Council and the FA, the IOG used its Performance Quality Standard scale to assess the pitches, awarding them the highest possible rating.
Turfdry is confident in its ability to deliver top quality sports pitches, and welcomes this kind of independent analysis of its work, which not only provides reassurance to clients, but also exemplifies Turfdry’s mission statement: ‘Committed to Improving the Nation’s Sports Pitches’.
Senior pitch, during IOG inspection (June 2015)
Kevin Duffill (IOG Regional Advisor for the West Midlands) performs inspection (June 2015)
Core sample taken during IOG inspection (June 2015)
The pitch core sample is inspected up close.
The sign is erected as preparations for the opening near completion!
David Bird (Senior Engineer, Stoke-on-Trent City Council) and Kevin Duffill (IOG Regional Advisor for the West Midlands) carry out further pitch inspection during handover (August 2015
Additional testing is carried out as part of the Institute of Groundsmanship's independent assessment of the pitch and its construction.
The pond at handover (August 2015), now flourishing with plant life.
Turfdry MD Melvyn Taylor with Simon Boswell (General Secretary, Hanley Town FC), David Bird (Senior Engineer, S-o-T CC), and Steve Lovatt (Clerk of Works, S-o-T CC) at handover (August 2015)
The pitches have been constructed in accordance with the schedule of works and as referenced above have been maintained as per the specified maintenance operations during the growing in period.
The pitches have been assessed using the IOG’s Performance Quality Standards (PQS) and would be classified as ‘High’. The other classifications are ‘Standard’ and ‘Basic’.
The pitches have therefore been developed to the point where they can be handed over.
Kevin Duffill, West Midlands Regional Pitch Advisor, Institute of Groundsmanship (Pitch Report, July 2017)
Services Provided by Turfdry
Hanley Town FC
Hanley Town FC