Steve Wells Associates is a Registered Chartered Landscape Institute Practice and has designed and developed natural turf playing pitches on numerous sites across the country for clubs, local authorities. We conduct all aspects of grading, drainage and sward development.
We arrange the development, improvement or upgrade of existing pitches where the playing surface or the drainage require attention. This includes surface levelling, sward development and irrigation. SWA has prepared condition surveys, been engaged to renovate professional sports grounds. The skills applied are based on sound agronomic, landscape, horticultural and engineering principles, supported by a detailed knowledge of NGB design guidance and designed to meet development plan and player requirements.
Steve Wells Associates is a specialist sports facility practice with significant experience in the development of quality playing surfaces for sport. With the confidence of the FA and the Football Foundation, the practice regularly prepares feasibility studies, realistic designs and cost plans, applications to the Football Foundation and other funding bodies, and manages the tender process and contract administration.
We meet the demands of Appendix 1 of Sport England’s Design Guidance Note Natural Turf for Sport and have regularly provided these services on several Sport England and Football Foundation funded projects. Our tender and contract documents for pitch works are comprehensive and detail closely all materials to be used and the workmanship needed to achieve the standards specified.
The areas typically covered in our playing pitch specifications include earthworks, grading, levelling, primary drainage, soil amelioration, cultivation, seeding, secondary drainage, soakaways, establishment maintenance, and a raft of after-care operations including fertilizer, herbicide and pesticide applications, cutting regimes, aeration, top dressing, and over-seeding.
All our documents are prepared with full measured bills of quantities so that, in conjunction with the drawings and specifications, there is no ambiguity in intent. Through this format and with unit rates declared at tender, tender comparisons are easier to interpret while additions, omissions and other variations can be readily costed.
The image above is at Rothwell Juniors FC – south east of Leeds. It shows the pitches with drainage under construction (to the right), and in use (on the left). This project was developed on the site of a former colliery spoil heap and the pitches are now some of the best playing surfaces in the area.
SWA was responsible for securing funding, all planning, design work, and contract administration for the pavilion, car parking, access, floodlit AGP and the grass pitch works.
The aerial ‘before and after’ photographs above show the Karmand Community Centre in Bradford where we created a cricket ground on a former derelict allotment site and open ground that had a level difference of 23m from one side of the ground to the other.
Other than substantial engineering and drainage works, the cricket plateau and the square in particular, required special care and specific construction techniques.
The photographs above are from a project at Frickley Country Park to the south east of Wakefield in West Yorkshire. Three plateaux were created through a colliery spoil heap reclamation scheme and were transformed into quality playing pitches through the design and specifications prepared by SWA.
A successful PPF funding application allowed this transformation to happen. Steve Wells Associates’ timely expertise meant that these works were undertaken and completed within four months of an award being granted.
Following successful applications for funding from the Football Foundation, WREN, Wakefield Council and an allocation of S106 monies, works to regrade and drain the playing pitches at Spring Mill for Ossett Town JFC as well as refurbishing their existing changing accommodation started in August 2019.
The first phase of playing pitch improvements at the CTC Kingshurst Academy in Solihull, another PPF funded project where SWA submitted a successful Sport England funding application, prepared specifications and tender documents, and managed all contract implementation.
A drainage project at Carr Bridge Playing Fields, Ackworth where SWA secured Sport England funding, prepared design and tender documents, and administered the works on site. Having completed improvement works, local clubs missed only one weekend’s football .
Primary drainage works in progress at Ryeish Green in Wokingham, Berkshire prior to the installation of secondary drainage. This site was traditionally unusable after Christmas each season because of compaction, poor drainage, and surface water flooding.