Danes Hill Preparatory School

Oxshott, Surrey

White Horse Contractors (WHC) were appointed by Danes Hill Preparatory School to convert 12 acres of steep agricultural land into artificial and natural sports pitches for use by its 880 pupils



As part of negotiations for a new lease arrangement with Crown Estates, the school had secured the additional piece of land, which was formally agricultural land. Though it was on a steep hill, the area is substantial enough to create a large number of much-needed natural and artificial pitches, doubling the sports facilities offered at the school. Prior to the successful development of the scheme, the school was unable to adequately provide suitable facilities, particularly for hockey, to its students. Danes Hill School approached WHC, aware of the recent, successfully delivered construction of Chelsea FC’s training ground, which is close to the school.

Not only did White Horse Contractors submit the most competitive tender but also, due to their high level of plant facilities, WHC had the ability to commence and complete the project well before other contractors. This time frame was a key consideration as it was essential for the school to get the artificial pitch ready for use for the new academic year.

WHC offered a wealth of specialist expertise and knowledge in sports surface construction and drainage with a team of experienced in-house surveyors, scheme designers and project managers, who worked with the school on the scheme.

The school were impressed that the experienced WHC team have particularly strong environmental credentials and place great importance on delivering projects which reduce the impact on the environment and provide aesthetic enhancement.



The £1.4m scheme includes the following facilities:

  • Full size sand-dressed artificial sports pitch suitable for hockey, football and a range of other sports
  • Five natural turf sports pitches, suitable for rugby, football and cricket

The scheme required careful planning and management, as there was significant ground work to level off the precipitous hill. WHC worked closely with the school to deliver the project on time, working around the school timetable to ensure that there was no disruption to the day-to-day activities of the school.



The artificial pitch has been constructed using a Tiger Turf sand dressed Evolution product (approx 102 m x 60m) laid on a 15mm in situ shockpad, which was constructed on an engineered Macadam base.

Phase 1 opened September 2010.

James Coney of WHC says “White Horse Contractors are delighted to have been an integral part of this success story. WHC has significant experience in successfully delivering a range of specialist projects including: environmental works, water engineering, pipeline and agriculture, equestrian facilities and golf courses.’

‘Our turnkey design, construction and drainage of natural and artificial sports pitches made WHC the ideal partner for Danes Hill School in the fulfilment of this project.’

‘We hope that the resulting pitches are the foundation of many sporting achievements, possibly future Olympians.”

Fact file

Client: Danes Hill School
Design: Farrer Huxley Associates
Contract Value: £1.2m
Dates: May – November 2010

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