If a playing surface has not received proper maintenance over a period of time or if it has received heavy usage during inappropriate conditions, the surface characteristics can quickly deteriorate. Tony Patterson Sportsgrounds has over £1,000,000 worth of specialist machinery which can be used to renovate existing surfaces to bring them up to the desirable standard. All our specialist equipment is low ground bearing pressure to prevent any damage to the existing surfaces.

Primary Drainage

Drainage – Good drainage is essential for good sports turf. There are few sites where natural drainage suffices: supplementary drainage needs to be undertaken in those cases where the ground becomes waterlogged on occasions, or water may become perched on the surface, leading to postponed matches.

Primary drainage (for pitches which have never been adequately drained)
This is normally a drainage network using 80 to 150mm diameter drainage pipes in trenches. These drains can be placed through established surfaces with minimal disruption dramatically reducing the down time of the pitch.

This system can be installed in a number of ways

  • Excavator installation. This uses an appropriate 360 machine to keep damage to a minimum on an established pitch.
  • Whizz wheel installation. This uses a tractor mounted machine which even further reduces damage to an established pitch.

Secondary Drainage

Drainage – Excellent drainage is essential for a superior sports turf. There are no sites where natural drainage suffices: supplementary drainage needs to be undertaken to ensure the sports turf does not become unplayable causing postponed matches.

Secondary drainage (for pitches which have received primary drainage but are not up to modern specifications)

Gravel Branding
This process installs a gravel drain filled to the surface at 400mm centres intervals providing an intensive surface drainage system, which moves excess water in minutes to the network of primary drains below.

This process leaves the surface immediately playable after installation, however it is preferred to allow the gravel bands to be grown over. Normally this takes 4-6 weeks during the growing season. This method is one of the most cost effective solutions to problematic areas.

Sand Grooving
This process places a continuous groove of sand 25mm wide throughout the playing surface at 200mm centres intervals. Selected sand is packed into the grooves by specialist equipment.

The sand grooves form continuous vertical channels which are very effective in reconnecting the surface with the underlying secondary drainage system such as sand slits or gravel banding which may have become capped. This increases the speed of the water removal from the surface and develops a better sward. The surface is playable immediately after our specialist machines leave.

Sand slitting
This uses a tractor mounted machine to cut a trench through an established surface at any required centres. This trench is then backfilled with a clean drainage stone, and then topped to the surface with selected sand. The trench provides a connection from the surface to the primary drainage layer. This method cause’s minimal damage to any established surface as the system is tractor mounted.


Surface Removal:

The surface of a pitch can breakdown into a fine silty layer. This ‘capping layer’ slows drainage and prevents the circulation of air to the roots, which is essential for healthy growth.

Our specialist machine can remove between 5mm and 40mm of the surface. This process has the additional benefit of levelling the surface, removing many localised and often dangerous undulations. Tony Patterson Sportsgrounds is one of the very few contractors capable of carrying out this process.

Following Top Dressing and direct seeding the pitch can be playable again within 10 to 14 weeks. We have had excellent results with this technique.

Brynsford GAC surface removal
Brynsford GAC after 10 weeks


Depending on the condition of the existing surface different methods of regrading may be employed. ‘Automatic’ laser grading technology is used in each case to produce a finished surface to within a 5-10mm tolerance. This takes laser level technology to another level.


Re-turfing is recommended on areas that need to be turned around very quickly. By using tailor made large rolls (either 20mm or 40mm thick) of turf, goal mouths to entire pitches can be re-turfed depending upon the clients requirements.

Join our Newsletter

Affiliated with: