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Keep the Field in Play

Sport England has quite rightly expressed that playing fields are one of the most important resources for sport in England providing the space for the playing of team sports on outdoor pitches. However these open spaces in urban areas offer a tempting opportunity for other forms of development. We should oppose these attempts because the loss of any part of a playing field may represent the irretrievable loss of an opportunity for participation in pitch sports, and with it the many benefits which sport brings. To avoid these re-development temptations as well as ensure players’ safety sports fields should be kept well maintained.

The pride of the community, the performance of the team, and the safety of the players are at stake with your playing field. If it looks indeed like a playing field, all you need is to ensure regular, on-going professional maintenance to continue achieving best results. However, if your field resembles a grassed car park more than a playing field, renovation is overdue. Renovation of extensively used sports field is an annual requirement involving aeration, topdressing, weed control, fertilization, and, in extreme cases, relaying.

No renovation project is going to be a long term success without correcting the conditions that caused the field to deteriorate. Poor drainage, soil compaction, weeds or lack of a maintenance program can all lead to the deterioration of turf. Renovation, followed by a regular maintenance program can change a poor field into a well-turfed field in a single season. A good playing field must be safe for the players - firm, resilient and uniform – and attractive to the spectators. The physical condition of the soil is as important as the turf to a firm, resilient, and uniform surface. A hard, compacted soil or a wet, poorly drained soil cannot provide a good playing surface, regardless of the amount of grass on the field.

Providing adequate surface drainage, aeration and topdressing will improve the physical condition of the field. In extreme cases fields cannot be satisfactorily improved without replacing the soil. Such fields are characterized by:
- Thin turf.
- Very hard surfaces when dry.
- Waterlogged and slick surfaces when wet.
- An excessive number of player injuries.

The team at Active Grounds Maintenance Limited has carried out many successful sports field renovation and maintenance projects across Sussex and Surrey as well as further afield.  All services are flexible, tailored in partnership with the client to get the most out of the available budget within required timescales, and to ensure best value for the project. Active Grounds Maintenance has access to a wide range of specialized equipment, such as vertidrainers, powerharrows and fieldtopmakers, to ensure a truly professional finish. Active’s sister company, Grasstex Limited, is perfectly placed for providing the on-going maintenance programme to suit any budget from regular grass-cutting to weed control.