Case Studies
Ripon Racecourse installs drainage solution fit for the long term

In the winter of 2015/16 Ripon racecourse invested in the complete resurfacing of the hard standing concrete apron in front of its paddock and club stands. The resurfacing was part of several years of refurbishment of facilities at the racecourse, which is a six-time winner of the 'Best Small Racecourse in Northern England' award.

The apron is an important area for the racecourse. Always busy on race days, it is an area that allows access to various parts of the course, as well as encompassing the main betting ring, with a number of ‘RiponBET’ points.

Unfortunately, by the end of 2015 the 40-year old apron was in poor condition. The concrete was uneven and had started to crack, with weeds a constant problem. Clearly, this presented a trip hazard for racegoers and was simply not up to the standards of a prestigious racecourse.

When Ripon Racecourse decided to invest in a new surface, they asked local specialist road surfacing contractors, AE Duffield, to take on the project. In order to source the most suitable drainage infrastructure, AE Duffield consulted with Ripon-based builders’ merchants MKM Building Supplies. MKM suggested that Clark-Drain would be able to supply the right solution and arranged for the company to send a representative to meet with AE Duffield for a site assessment.

Brian Duffield says: “Clark-Drain understood our requirements very well, including the need to ensure that women’s high heels wouldn’t slip down into the grate. Overall, we were looking for a quality drainage product that would be easy to install and that has certainly been the case.”

Meanwhile, Anne Simpson of MKM says: “Clark-Drain responded quickly to our initial enquiry, sending us several samples from their product range. The fact that they were also very happy to come and talk to our customer here in Ripon was very much appreciated.

“I wasn’t surprised by this response however, as we have a long relationship with Clark-Drain and the company is always very accommodating. In this case, there was a collaborative approach
where all three parties worked together to deliver the best possible result to Ripon Racecourse.”

The outcome of the process was the supply by Clark-Drain of 144 metres of polymer concrete linear drainage channel. Along its length, there are 6 silt boxes, also of polymer concrete, with the complete installation topped with C250 ductile iron narrow slot grating. 

The work itself was undertaken in the winter of 2015/16 and was completed in January 2016, taking advantage of the racecourse’s close season. The project involved removing a number of ageing concrete dish drains and installing the Clark-Drain channel, silt boxes and grating. The resurfacing itself involved creating a new concrete base, onto which a tarmac surface was applied.


Hard wearing – Polymer concrete has greater tensile strength and resistance against corrosion than traditional concrete, while galvanised steel edge rails also ensure longterm durability.

Narrow slot grating – The grating slot width of 6mm makes it especially suitable for pedestrian areas, ensuring that high heels will not enter the channel (the smallest high heels are typically 9x9mm).

Easy to install – Each one-metre length of channel weighs less than 16kg and can be lifted and moved easily by manual handling. BS EN1433:2002 C250 load rating classification – This load handling performance is for channel capable of withstanding 25 tonnes vertical load and is suitable for car parks, forecourts and other areas with slow moving non-HGV traffic.

Hydraulic performance – With a maximum through-flow of 5.3 litres per second, the CD C10-L00G-26 channel provides an efficient drainage solution for tarmac surfaces. 

Constant depth design – This makes the channel ideal for use in laid-to-level or naturally sloping ground.

Locking bars and bolts – These are provided as standard, and an optional tamper-proof bolt locking system is also available where security is a particular concern of the customer.