Poor weather and difficult ground conditions over recent months have delayed both the progress and start of a number of important contracts secured during 2012 by leading sportsturf and water engineering contractor, MJ Abbott Limited.
Sportsground projects expected to be completed by late April or early May include Harrow School's cricket outfield, a training pitch at the Lensbury Club and a drainage installation at Shoreham Academy.
Golf course irrigation projects nearing completion include Royal Porthcawl, Royal Jersey, Rye, Thorpe Hall and Copt Heath. The last-mentioned project, which encompasses fairway irrigation with new incoming mains water supply, has been extended to include tee re-levelling and fairway aeration using MJ Abbott's Blec Groundbreaker rotary de-compactor.
Having constructed a new par 3 16th hole at Woking Golf Club last year, the company has now returned to the course to install drainage beneath the existing 5th green, which remained very wet all winter.
An important contract to which MJ Abbott will be returning shortly is a sportsfield upgrade being carried out for Ferndown Town Council, Dorset, to design specifications prepared by sportsturf consultants, TGMS Ltd.
Funded by a Sport England grant, the project has seen a football pitch being elevated to Sport England Performance Quality Standards. Further planned pitch works include sand-banding and three top-dressing applications.
Away from physical sports surfaces, MJ Abbott was delighted when invited to make a topical presentation at the annual horticultural seminar organised by north of England and Scottish Borders machinery dealer, Rickerby Ltd.
Titled "Let's Talk Drainage", the presentation given by contracts manager, Nathan George, and operations director, Mick Regan, focused on four main drainage themes: weather patterns, soil science, drainage design and methods of installation.
Nathan pointed out that the event provided an excellent opportunity to talk with turf managers about the importance of maintaining consistent quality at all stages of drainage system design, installation and after-care.
"We were very impressed with the level of interest shown and the feedback we received," he said. "It is clear that turf professionals appreciate the advice and assistance available from companies such as ourselves in achieving cost-effective, high quality drainage results."