Transforming Repton School's Grounds with MM Seed

Lucy Nichollsin Schools

Repton School in Derbyshire is a well-known institution which mixes tradition with new ideas.

Behind the scenes, Andrew Butler, the Head of Grounds and Gardens, is the man responsible for ensuring the grounds are not just aesthetically pleasing but also resilient to the rigours of year-round sporting activities. That’s where MM Seed comes in.

After working at Repton for twelve years Andrew became the Head of Grounds and Gardens in 2022. Upon assuming his role, he faced a daunting challenge: the need for a grass seed capable of withstanding the constant onslaught of sporting activities across Repton's extensive grounds.

Repton's vast expanse, spanning over 100 acres, hosts a variety of sporting fields, including football pitches, rugby pitches, hockey pitches, athletic tracks, and cricket squares, each demanding its own maintenance. Additionally, the school boasts formal gardens and orchards, adding further complexity.

Reflecting on this challenge, Andrew says, "We are on such a heavy clay-based site, and with it being a multi-sport site, it is pretty much used 12 months a year...so therefore we needed a seed with a lot of durability."

Enter MM Seed, a name synonymous with excellence in the UK sports turf and amenity industries.

“I didn’t feel that the seed which was being previously used was giving us the durability we needed,” says Andrew. “I started looking at different options, did a lot of research and we gave MM Seed a trial on our first-team football pitch. It just showed us what we were missing. Firstly, the take-up was fantastic, secondly, the durability of it was great, and the fact that it got growing well in the heavy clay-based soils we have here was very impressive.”

Andrew’s decision to switch to MM Seed, particularly utilising MM Tetra Sport and MM50, proved to be a pivotal moment.

MM Tetra Sport, a versatile blend of Diploid and Tetraploid Ryegrass, emerged as the solution for Repton's winter pitches and cricket outfield. Its ability to improve sward composition and recover from scarring perfectly complemented the school's diverse sporting calendar.

The inclusion of Tetraploids also improved drought resistance during the summer months which is important on the cricket outfields. Meanwhile, MM50, with its fast germination, establishment and ability to withstand heavy wear plus its ability to recover quickly after use found its role on Repton's cricket squares, ensuring optimal playing conditions season after season.

Andrew elaborates further on the durability of MM Seed, “With us going from different sports throughout the year, it means we have to give the grass different heights of cut – so when you go from the height of cut on a rugby pitch down to a football pitch, down to a cricket pitch and then back up again, you are putting a lot of stress on it, but the seed copes incredibly well.”

What sets MM Seed apart is not just its performance on the field but also its commitment to innovation. Treated with HEADSTART® GOLD, a unique seaweed-based seed treatment, MM Seed ensures rapid and even germination, laying the foundation for a resilient and vibrant turf. Andrew confirms this, stating, "I think it is down to HeadStart in the mixture which gives it that extra boost."

Transitioning to a new seed variety is not without its challenges, yet Andrew found support in Agrovista Amenity, a trusted distributor of MM Seed. "Agrovista Amenity are great – I know I can ring up and have a pallet of seed here in 48 hours," he remarks, underlining the importance of reliable partnerships. He also praised the advice he received from Matt Gresty, MM Sales and Marketing Manager, “Matt came in and explained everything about the seed. I have been carrying out exactly what he said to do, and the results have been superb ever since.”

The results do indeed speak for themselves. Repton's grounds now boast not only durability but also supreme aesthetics. "The definition of stripe the seed gives us is first-class," Andrew proudly states.

Andrew’s success story highlights the importance of strategic decision-making in the turf management industry. With MM Seed, he has improved the quality of the grounds, and will continue to do so for years to come.

For further information, please contact MM Sports Seed on 01386 791102 or visit the company’s website www.mm-seeds.co.uk.

You can also follow the company on Twitter: @MM_Seed.