GKB Ecodresser delivers sustainable solution to topdressing for contractors W R Sandow

Louise Challissin Machinery & Mechanics

Contractors W R Sandow have praised their recent purchase of an Ecodresser from GKB Machines as they join industry associations in encouraging more sustainable management of winter sports pitches. The Ecodresser recycles material from the profile to improve drainage and play characteristics while reducing reliance on imported sands and dressing material - offering a solution that is both practical and cost effective.

Specialising in sports pitch construction and maintenance, W R Sandow work with facilities across Cornwall and West Devon and have been a Pitch Contracting Partner to the RFU since 2005. "Sustainability is really coming to the fore in our sector as we all look at our impact on the environment" explains Director Andrew Sandow. "We've been looking at recycling dressers for many years but specifically wanted one with a stone screen which comes into its own when working on grass roots pitches. The GKB Ecodresser ticked all of the boxes for us."

When matches are played on wet ground, the action can disturb the profile and cause the soil to go into suspension. As it settles, the heavier particles like sand, settle faster while lighter particles like silt and clay will settle more slowly - capping the sand underneath the top layer which, over time, can destabilise the surface and reduce its natural ability to drain. The blades of the Ecodresser cut through the ground to depths of up to 200mm, breaking through the 'crust' and bringing the finer soil back to the surface.

"The linear aeration in itself brings multiple benefits to the surface, but for those venues with naturally sandy soils, the Ecodresser can hugely reduce the need for imported sports sand topdressing which is not only more environmentally-friendly, but better for the budget too!"

Together with Simon Johnson, GMA Regional Pitch Advisor for Rugby in the West, Andrew recently visited Redruth Rugby Club, where the Ecodresser left a lasting impression! "Redruth was the second venue we'd used the Ecodresser at and everyone who was watching it work was amazed by the results. Another great feature of this machine is its ability to store material which can then be redistributed into goal mouths or pitch hollows, eliminating the need to buy in non-native soils."

"Alongside football and rugby, we can see demand for this type of machine on cricket outfields, even running tracks where it could be used to level and produce a more even surface." Andrew adds, "The Ecodresser is already booked up for work at venues and we look forward to introducing it to more people at various educational events throughout the summer."

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Machinery & mechanics