School Sports Field Renovation in Hemel Hempstead

Sherriff were brought in by Frank Cooper & Son to deliver the full renovation and regeneration of Belswains Primary School’s sports field and surrounding amenity grass. The aim was to create a top-quality sports field for the children to use throughout their time at the school.

The initial brief was to:

  • Remove the construction compound and reinstate landscape areas back to natural turf, some of which was to be used as a sports field and surrounding areas to be suitable for sports run-off.
  • Enhance the surrounding areas by planting new native trees.
  • Ensure the new fire road is seeded whilst enabling emergency vehicle access to site.

The works were to be undertaken in two phases to coincide with the construction company’s build schedule. Both phases required the same work but at different times.

Playing Field Site Clearance & Preparartion

Sports Field Renovation & Regeneration Works

Following our final site surveys and prior to the works commencing, the initial works were unfortunately delayed due to the amount of stone left behind by the groundworks contractor. This was following the initial redistribution of existing soil on site.

This led to additional works being required to remove a vast amount of stone and dispose of it elsewhere on site to allow the original works to commence.

Once the materials had been removed, the first task at hand was to use a heavy-duty rotovator to incorporate the existing topsoil and subsoil. This phase of works took two passes of the rotovator, followed by a powerbox rake. The powerbox rake was needed to stone bury and de-compact the primary cultivations of the surface to help with the preparations for grass seeding.

Over both phases, a staggering 272 tonnes of specialist 70/30 sports rootzone mix was imported using our 32-tonne 8-wheeler tipping lorry and used across the areas and spread using a Dakota spreader.

Following levelling and cultivation of the imported soil, a pre-seeder fertiliser was applied in preparation for seeding. A sports mix seed was then sown using a Culti Pack seeder at a rate of 50 grams per square metre, which was then cultivated and rolled.

Whilst undertaking the works, the client approached us to help them with the planting of 14 native trees, along with suitable stakes and fertiliser to enhance the surroundings of the site.

Regrading Levels and Earth

Challenges along the way

Whilst undertaking the works, the weather had turned and we had to adapt as the products installed were being affected by the adverse weather. Our experienced team were able to alter the strategy to help minimise the damage caused by the weather. This resulted in minimising the materials lost, which could then be redistributed following the storms. We understand that project plans and schedules can change during the works. During this sports field renovation project, the scope of the works was changed to include additional areas. As we have the required kit, this was a straightforward integration into the existing works.

Open and clear communication was key with both our direct client and the principal contractor to ensure the works were delivered in a timely fashion around the ever-changing weather and specification changes.

Throughout the sports field renovation works, ongoing site meetings were held to assess the progress of the works and to keep the client updated with timelines.

Preparing and Renovation School Sports Field


Following the works, Sherriff provided initial maintenance to the renovated sports field to monitor the condition and ensure the areas were generating as planned.

Helen Cooper, Company Secretary for Frank Cooper & Son, said: “Sherriff provided an excellent service whilst undertaking this project, with constant communications to update progress and liaising with the end user on site to ensure the works were satisfactory – I would highly recommend Sherriff.”

Sports Field Construction

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