Into a "billiard table for rugby"

PICTURED ABOVE: Duncan Ross contractors at work at Moss Farm Leisure Complex

Cheshire West and Chester Council has cited communication as one of the key factors behind Duncan Ross Ltd's successful pitch refurbishment, which has seen an out-of-use football pitch turned into a "billiard table for rugby."

John Seiler CMLI, landscape architect at Cheshire West and Cheshire Council, says this is the best quality pitch that he has worked on over his 19-year period with the council. The transformation was much needed, with the 40-year-old surface left unused for many years due to drainage problems.

Local rugby club, Northwich RUFC, who play on the Moss Farm Leisure Complex, wanted to use the pitch for their first 15, and after a competitive tender process, John began working with Duncan Ross Ltd for the first time.

"This was my first time working with Duncan Ross Ltd, and I've been very impressed," John said.

"Communication was vital to the success of this project because of the challenges we faced. One of the drainage issues was the outlet, which was blocked. We had to collaborate with the other landowners to gain access to the blockage, and what could have been potentially very challenging felt easy because Duncan Ross Ltd handled it so well.

"When running landscape contracts, we need to know what's going on, and we can't be on the site 24 hours a day. So, we need to have that level of trust, openness and transparency with regard to each work stage. 

"They were also taking pictures of every stage of the process. So, from the grading, drains, and slitting works, they also had drone footage, which was fantastic for us and PR on the site.

"As a landscape architect having worked on many landscape and sports pitch contracts, I really value that close working relationship with a contractor."


Investigation work revealed that the pitch's drainage outlet was severed and blocked. Working with the landowner opposite, Duncan Ross addressed the issue and began installing the new outlet and carrier drains before constructing the pitch.

In mid-September 2023, a month after seeding, John describes the pitch as looking "absolutely beautiful." Whilst he has been impressed by the communication and finished product, he also thinks Duncan Ross Ltd.’s high-quality machinery has heavily contributed to an outstanding product.

"The level on the pitch is absolutely incredible. It really is the best pitch I've worked on," John said. "The rugby club are extremely grateful and have been blown away with the result, but so much of that is down to the professionalism of Duncan Ross Ltd and the machinery they use.

"It's all absolutely first-class. For every single aspect of the various stages of the works, they have the equipment from laser-levels to trenchers to get the best results. What it also meant was they got the job done quickly. Because of the nature of the weather and having such a wet summer, it made it difficult, and potentially could have been very difficult, but because of the machines they had it enabled them to get the job done and to a high standard."

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