Ashton Playing Fields provide a variety of sports and leisure facilities across their 50-acre site in Chigwell, Essex. Home to Woodford Green and Essex Ladies Athletics Club amongst others, the track and field surfaces are arguably the jewel in the crown. Dan Sweetman, who has recently taken over as Centre Manager, was delighted to be greeted to his new position by a spotlessly clean running track thanks to Replay Maintenance and their unique AquaTrax® process.
Managed by Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure (RCL), the in-house maintenance team for the facilities is shared between a number of sites in the vicinity. "We have a team that can pick up the groundcare tasks we can't take on ourselves" explains Dan, "and anything above that is then conducted by external contractors. We try to keep on top of the cleaning of the track but it's a high wear surface, in use daily, so naturally you get a build-up of dirt and detritus over the months and years." With the last external clean taking place nearly three years ago, Replay Maintenance were called in to conduct a deep clean.
"Replay were first recommended to Vision RCL by UK Athletics, and having looked at the work they conducted at other tracks, we decided to call them in and we're so glad we did - the result is amazing. The operator came in and just got the work done, and when he left it looked like a brand-new track had been laid."
Aquatrax® is a unique process, combining pressure washing and vacuum extraction. The machine applies pressure water jets to dislodge the dirt before a vacuum extraction system removes the dirty water to a tank on the machine leaving a clean surface, free of contaminants. First developed for the maintenance of polymeric athletics tracks, it has since been adapted to clean dirt and algal growth from unfilled or water-based synthetic pitches.
"With the packed schedule we run here, it's important for us that maintenance work is conducted in a timely, and thorough fashion. More importantly we've had great feedback from the users, especially Woodford Green, who are over the moon with the condition of the track."
Following the clean, the track was then re-lined by Premier Line Markings - Pete Hopkins added, "the track was cleaned to an exceptionally high standard, one of the best that I have seen in many years. Once we finished over marking the existing lines, it looked like a new track".