A sportsground contractor who renovates 15 to 20 cricket clubs each autumn takes more than a professional interest in the game. For Richard Bryce, proprietor of Sports Ground Services in Milton Keynes, has been playing amateur cricket for nearly 40 years.
He is first team captain at North Crawley Cricket Club, where both his sons also play for the first team, and he turns out for the Bucks County Cricket Club Over 50s too.
His business is based at Campbell Park which Northamptonshire County Cricket Club uses as its out ground for the second team and which hosts the first team for Twenty20 fixtures.
Richard said: "We work for private sports clubs, local authorities and schools and specialise in cricket. I think playing the game gives you an advantage and influences what you do.
"We started using British Seed Houses' A5 mixture two years ago and have been very pleased with it. The seed establishes quickly, has a good colour and is fairly hard wearing as well. We have used it on different loams and got consistent results.
"We have experimented with different seed mixtures over the years. The A5 has worked well for us and we have 30 or so bags ready to use for a third year."
The A5 comes into its own for Richard's end of season cricket renovation work. While he works at some clubs throughout the season, others call on his services once a year purely for the crucial renovation work.
It's a busy time for him and his team which includes his youngest son Dean, aged 19. He joined the family business and has completed his Level 2 apprenticeship with the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG).
Richard feels sportsground users are becoming more aware of the need for quality surfaces. "I think people value their leisure time and want to play on a decent surface. As a contractor we take a lot of pride in all we do and we do the job properly. Our work has grown every year over the 14 years I have run the business as people come to us through recommendations."
Sandy Pentecost, area technical sales representative from British Seed Houses, introduced Richard to A5. Sandy said: "Our perennial ryegrass blend is one of the top performing mixtures of its kind for close mown, high quality turf areas. It's ideal for repairing wicket ends where excellent root penetration and density is required."
British Seed Houses' Grade "˜A' mixtures are designed specifically for the professional user and include vigorous lots of the most highly rated cultivars available. This dependable range of mixtures consistently delivers results time and time again.