What to do when your customers are pigs

Fieldguard Honeycomb Mats for pigs
We were very pleased to be asked to carry out another large installation using our most popular M52LO honeycomb grass mats. Very similar to the last project, but this time just outside Guildford in Surrey. We needed 100 of the grass mats, 3 rolls of the M9 stabilisation mesh, 300 pins and 600 cable ties.

As the installation was a fair way from where we could park the van, Charlie and I were very happy when a gentleman with a quadbike and trailer turned up offering his help. With over a tonne and a half of mats to move we were quick to accept his offer!

Although this installation was predominantly in a field for horses (Which we are very used to) we had a rather unusual request to install an area of mats inside an area for pigs (Which we are not quite so used to!). However, this proved to be a very useful exercise for as you can imagine, the pig-pen was more than ankle deep in very sloppy “mud”, conditions in which both Charlie and I thought that the mats would simply disappear in to the mud.

But this was not the case; once the M9 mesh and M52LO heavy duty grass mats had been laid the area was transformed! We could immediately walk on the mats with no mud coming up through the now, very stable, surface. Once the grass grows up in to the mats in the spring the area be very different.

I hasten to add that we didn’t cover the whole area in mats, we did leave a sizeable area of mud for the pigs!

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Stunning mat installation in West Sussex

Earlier in November we were contacted by a customer in West Sussex who wanted to lay mats in a paddock, ahead of any downturn in the weather in the coming months.

We were delighted to supply 80 square metres of our highly rated M52LO mats, laid on a base of our M9 Mesh. The project used 900 M9 pins and 500 cable ties. As you can see, the result is stunning.

As a small company, we can offer an installation service on large projects up to 30-40 miles away, and on rare occasions have gone 50 miles for a larger installation.

We are able to support single stable installations or a small numbers of field mats up to 10 miles away.

Always remember though, that we can deliver any of our products direct to your door throughout the UK.

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…the Unicorn Returns

M130 complete bedding matsAfter celebrating it’s 40th anniversary in 2015, the Unicorn Trust, an equestrian centre based in Gloucestershire, decided to fit out a brand new stable block.

In fact Fieldguard had provided the Trust with our M2 matting some 20 years before, so we were delighted that we were first choice when it’s came to their new project. After a consultation to determine their exact requirements, we recommended our semi draining M130 mat and offered to demonstrate the fitting with an on site visit.

New stables at the Unicorn TrustQuick to self lay, they were in fact the ideal solution, providing a high-quality, complete stable bed. The M130s are suitable on any hard surface (even one breaking up) without pre-preparation and their flexibility ensures that they will conform to all undulations or unevenness. Horses lie down happily on what, to them, is a soft surface that will not scrape their hocks, as well as significantly reducing the possibility of getting cast.

Staff at the Unicorn Trust are excited with the result. The new M130 mats are far easier to lift, yet the unique design virtually eliminates this smelly chore anyway, as silt is trapped within the draining grooves, making the mats much easier to clean.

You can purchase the M130 mats via the product link below direct from our web shop.

We have a simple chart which will help you work out the quanities needed for your stable area.

Finally, if you would like any advice on this or any other product, please feel free to call us on 01483 275182, 9am-4pm Monday to Friday.

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EVA Stable Mats fit to order for the Ebony Horse Club in Brixton

The Ebony Horse Club in Brixton, South London, is a community riding centre in one of the country’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

Pioneered by Ros Spearing, who for a number of years, had been taking an after school club of children for riding and horse care lessons at stables across London. She realised that a more permanent solution was required to help local children with difficult family backgrounds or who were in care. The ideal solution would be to establish a permanent riding school where the young people could, in total safety, learn to relate to others by caring for, and understanding horses.

They identified a disused bomb site and prevailed upon Lambeth Council to grant them a lease after clearing the detritus left by drug users over the years. Ros was later awarded an MBE for her work in the community.

Shadowed by tower blocks and a railway embankment it would seem to be the most unlikely setting for a riding school and yet it has been hugely successful since it was opened in 2011 by their Royal President, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. The riding club not only allows access for nearly 200 inner city children but also for young people with special needs and disabilities many of whom will have had little or no positive contact with animals, especially horses

In August 2011 Fieldguard were asked to install stable mats and wall mats in the nine stables at the Ebony Horse Club. First we installed the M6 EVA wall mats and that included covering a tricky piece of trunking up one corner of each stable. The floor mats were the M4 EVA mats, each one of which we numbered on the underside to aid the children re-lay the mats after the mats had been taken out for their annual clean. The wall mats needing over a 1000 holes drilled in to the concrete block walls for the plastic fixings! And nearly 100 holes very carefully drilled in to the hardwood doors to install to the wall mats to prevent the noise made by the horses kicking the doors in anticipation of feed time!

Leaving Brixton late in the evening of Saturday 7th August we had a rather lucky escape as this was the eve of the London wide riots that followed the shooting of Mark Duggan. Had we chosen to do the installation on the Sunday, we may not have been so lucky!

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Fieldguard Stable Mats – Perfect drainage mats for your horse

Stable owner, Liz Mossop recalls her search to find the best rubber mats for her stables

quoteI spent a long time researching various options when I needed to lay stable mats at my stables. It was important to get it right and a choosing a mat which allowed good drainage was key to my decision.

When I spoke with Fieldguard, their knowledge was second to none. They have several different types of stable mats and they help you to choose the right one for your needs.

Fieldguard’s Stable Mats are worth every penny if you are a working rider

I was lucky as the builder doing my stables pointed out the value of having proper drainage. I have two internal stables and the floor slopes forwards to a gutter in front of them with a drain on one side. Fieldguard understood this and their Stable Mats have proved a perfect long term solution. The set up is totally amazing and worth every penny if you are a working rider!! Literally within 10 seconds of the horses urinating, the pee appears in the gutter and runs into the drain.

I have been able to abandon bedding, as both my horses prefer to lie directly on the mats, avoiding the bedding when I was giving them a bed on one side. I now just put paper down for a “pee corner”. Dirty rugs are really not an issue. I sweep the beds out completely every morning and there is no smell whatsoever, and I haven’t needed to clean underneath in more than a year.

All my experiences with Fieldguard have been excellent – and their electric fencing is also brilliant.

Liz M.

Fieldguard Stable Mats

Horse bedding mats, Stable Mats
Fieldguard Stable Mats
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Mad about Dogs are mad about our interlocking mats

Mad About Dogs is a stunning new dog training centre just outside Chichester. During the building works, the owners had a problem in finding the right flooring to suit their purposes. They wanted something that was stable, soft, warm and, above all slip resistant.

They had a number of samples and quotes for children’s play area mats, but these proved unfit for purpose or wildly expensive. Mad About Dogs then approached us. They wanted the right product, costed to cover a prescribed area and at a cost equal or better to their previous quotes. Fieldguard delivered on all fronts. In fact, we were able to quote and supply mats in four specifications and all were over £1,000 cheaper than their best previous quotations.

Mad About DogsMad About Dogs chose our M116 interlocking mats, which proved so ideal and cost effective that they were able to fit out all of their newly built complex, and clearing out our considerable stock in the process. They even took a pallet of imperfect mats (at a greatly reduced price).

Mad About Dogs have found our M116 mats ideal for their needs, and they were delighted to have covered more areas than their budget would have allowed with alternate suppliers. Most importantly though, the dogs have taken to the surfaces with confidence.

If you log onto the Mad About Dogs Facebook page you’ll see that a swimming pool has recently been added. Mad About Dogs tell us that the floor surrounding the swimming pool also has our M116 mats down.

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Walton Firs Maze by Fieldguard Limited

The interlocking mat M116 has an interesting design. The top surface has four crossing grooves that give the effect of the mat being nine 1ft square tiles. It also has male studs along two edges and female receptors along the other two edges. However, the underside also has female receptors within the general design.

Cutting the mats along the middle of a groove exposes the additional female receptors on the underside, and that means that it is possible to change the configuration of a square mat to one of any shape, perhaps 1’ wide and 9’ long.

A well maintained lawn will look beautiful, but can be rather boring

This set us thinking that would it be possible to cut and lock the mats in such a way that they formed a horizontal mini maze that could be mown? It would make an interesting, maintenance free garden feature. The answer was to lay one out and see the effect. It was stunning and seen by the Managers of Walton Firs campsite, who saw in it a means of providing an unsupervised, instructional and interesting feature for the young people visiting. It would teach them spatial awareness.

In due course our experimental layout was delivered and re-laid as a permanent feature on the site, where it has been a popular feature enjoyed by countless young people over the years.

Watch our short video to see the Walton Firs Maze taking shape.

To order these M116 mats, follow this page link to our shop.

Walton Firs Maze

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Celia Cross Greyhound Rescue

honeycomb hollow mud mats at Celia Cross Greyhound RescueFieldguard have supported the Celia Cross Greyhound Trust for many years. The Charity’s complex is on clay/flint as well as being on a hillside, so our honeycomb hollow mud mats were the perfect choice, laid throughout. No more cut paws or nasty bald patches anywhere and NO MUD either. The last being most important because the kennels and runs are spotless.

Fieldguard honeycomb hollow mud mats at Celia Cross Greyhound RescueThe dog pictured, is lying on a carpet of lush grass after the recent very heavy rains. The honeycomb mats prevented any depredation of what is a heavily trafficked area and allowed the grass to take root and grow through.

Normally, a Greyhound racing around does a very good ploughing job of even the most hardy lawn or grass area. No longer the case at Celia Cross. (The brindle pictured was picked up having been chained to a fence and left. It was starving, terrified of humans and cowered and snarled when anyone tried to approach. It has now found a wonderful home and is, as the picture illustrates, extremely well adjusted and happy).

Celia Cross is a small, independent charity that is totally funded by a vast army of friends who work tirelessly to raise funds to enable it to continue its work. It has no recourse to any ‘big brother’ such as the Government or even the Retired Greyhound Trust because it takes in any sight hound that is in need, not just Greyhounds.

There is a miniscule paid staff comprising a Manageress and kennel maids; but also, of course, the many helpers. Some tend the dogs, others just do site and estate work – it has 81/2 acres of exercise fields, while others raise money by raffles, street collections, fairs and sales; vetting adoptive homes, ferrying in dogs in danger – often at a moment’s notice from as far afield as the north east, Ireland and Bulgaria.

One helper just cleans the dog’s teeth, while another takes dogs home for a weekend to acclimatise them to a domestic setting, something most of them have never previously encountered. They have a small, volunteer manned, shop that caters for the needs of sight hounds called ‘The Dog House’.

The Charity takes in any sight hound in danger or distress, nurtures it and prepares it for a domestic life. Would be adoptees are vetted, as are their homes and the Charity tries to match the right dog to the right circumstances. They purposely have limited accommodation so each dog gets the maximum care, but still manage to re-home an average of 240 dogs a year.

To visit is an uplifting experience, for the place is well maintained and immaculate, the dogs universally in wonderful physical and mental condition and, because it is in both their nature and the current environment, enormously welcoming to visitors.

Our honeycomb hollow ring mats come in a ‘light’, ‘regular’ and ‘heavy duty’ range of sizes and in a choice of colours to suit all circumstances and preferences. They can be laid on slippery brick, wood or stone pathways, to make a grass path, cover poached lawn to allow re-growth, reduce the mud in muddy gateways, solidify gravel paths and drives, eliminate dirt coming into public buildings, stop poaching on golf greens, allow vehicles to park on or drive over grass. They just make the impossible possible.

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Fieldguard and the Calvert Trust

Fieldguard Stable mats at the Stables at Calvert Trust

Fieldguard were delighted to supply stable mats for the the Calvert Trust activity centre for disabled people in Cumbria. We also supplied the Trust with our Green Gloop, which is the preferred cleaner in many livery yards, kennels and catteries.

The Calvert Trust’s aim is to challenge disability through a wide range of outdoor activities. More details about the organisation and their activities can be found here

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