As farmers in Kent during the 1970s and 1980s David and Eileen Shelton were looking at more cost-effective methods of draining their land. They devised a spinning disc trenching machine which they quickly realised had commercial possibilities. Shelton Trenching Systems was set up as a partnership with David and Eileen Shelton and sales of the machine started in 1981. In 1983 the machine was awarded a Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) Silver Medal for design, build and operating performance.
The machine was further adapted in 1983 and fitted with a soil clear up system that enabled the equipment to be used for the installation of sports turf drainage. Additional RASE Silver Medals for new equipment introduced to the market were awarded in 1999, 2004 and 2007.
In 1997 the company name was changed to Shelton Sportsturf Drainage Solutions to better reflect its business, and in 2007 it was made a limited liability partnership.
In May 2013 Mick Claxton and Richard Clark formed a management buyout to purchase the business. Mick and Richard had been with Shelton for 15 and 13 years respectively at the time. The business name changed to Shelton Sportsturf Drainage Ltd and all members of staff were retained.
Our offices and manufacturing are all based in rural Lincolnshire.
Shelton’s Achievements in sports turf drainage techniques include:-
- The introduction of Shelton Gravel Band Drainage
- Lightning Drain™ - the world's fastest land drainage system. A system of closely spaced 25mm dia. land drainage pipes)
- Three techniques for draining established golf greens -
Shelton Gravel Band Drainage
Shelton System 25
Shelton System 25 with 25mm dia. pipes
- Developing 25mm wide trenching for secondary drainage systems.
- The first wheel digging specialist sports turf drainage machine (Shelton Supertrencher Mk1) in production, enabling sand slitting in 50mm wide trenches.
- The first twin speed wheel trencher - the Supertrencher+
This success has resulted in Shelton equipment and expertise being used to drain cricket pitches for the 2003 World Series in South Africa, cricket pitches for the 2007 World Series in the West Indies, football pitches for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and rugby pitches for the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand. Furthermore golf courses, stadia and racecourses of international renown in many countries have been drained using Shelton techniques and machinery.