Over the last two decades, Somerset-based MP & KM Golding has grown to become a leading name in road reclamation services. Here, directors Mark and Kate Golding speak on the history of the business, its fleet of specialist kit and its varied range of projects.

ESTABLISHED in 2000, Somersetbased MP & KM Golding specialises in the provision of road reclamation services. Operated by husband-and wife team Mark and Kate Golding, the firm initially operated as an agricultural contractor, but it was during a trip to renowned machinery exhibition Agritechnica, in Germany, that the seeds of diversification were sown. “We always were looking for diversification opportunities and alternative usage for our machines,” explained Kate Golding.

Forestry Journal: The firm’s PTH Speedy grader front-mounted on a Fendt 716 Vario tractor.The firm’s PTH Speedy grader front-mounted on a Fendt 716 Vario tractor.

“Mark spotted a tractor-mounted stone crusher. A year later, we purchased one and have not looked back since.” This new bit of kit took MP & KM Golding down the route of track repair and restoration. Other specialised machinery – including compaction plates, excavators, and rollers – followed.

“The philosophy has always been to research and find the right machine for the job, or to fabricate and adapt for our requirements,” Kate added. The business has since evolved into a specialist grading team, with front-mounted graders and a laser-controlled box grader. It was the first company in the UK to purchase the LL275 dual grade tractor-pulled laser leveller. It has also invested in a fleet of high-spec machinery including Steelwrist tiltrotator-equipped excavators and two tracked machines.

“These are key pieces of equipment in the forest as we have to cover large distances. It also means we can move machines to the next-door woodland,” said Mark Golding. “Our next investment will be a trailer for our 13-tonne wheeled excavator so we can carry stone and a culvert pipe around with us.”

Forestry Journal: Forest road work encompasses everything from earthworks, stone quarrying and haulage to all drainage requirements and the production of the final surface.Forest road work encompasses everything from earthworks, stone quarrying and haulage to all drainage requirements and the production of the final surface.

He added: “A favourite job would be grading – our front-mounted graders do an impressive job. We can make a big difference with the one machine and the gradient of the road is the most important factor in its longevity.

“All new machines come with bio oil. We try and recycle as much material as possible in the process to reduce the impact on the environment.”

MP & KM Golding operates four teams, working across the UK. It has a varied client base which includes the Forestry Making the grade Commission, the National Trust, the Wildlife Trusts, Wyke Farms and Yeo Valley Family Farm. Its specialist machinery allows the firm to operate in different markets such as track repair, cement and soil stabilisation, stone crushing and screening, and groundworks.

Forestry Journal:  A finished forest road project. A finished forest road project.

“Jobs this year are varied,” said Kate. “Crushing and screening stone to make a cement-stabilised pad for a recycling company – this is the fourth pad we have completed for this client. Work included earthworks, crushing and screening, and cementing up the pad.”

Other jobs this year have included the installation of a new car park at Moors Valley Country Park, which included drainage works; mulching willow stumps; extending a farmyard; grading forest roads and improving carparks; and a new car park for an explosives storage site.

Standout challenges the firm faces are, unsurprisingly, the inclement UK weather, and the rising of cost of machinery over the last decade, Kate added.

A standout project for MP & KM Golding was its reinstatement of a section of the Strawberry Line – an old railway line in Somerset, which is now a popular all-access trail.

“We now sponsor a section of this historic path and are about to undertake some more improvements,” added Mark.

Forestry Journal remains dedicated to bringing you all the latest news and views from across our industry, plus up-to-date information on the impacts of COVID-19.

Please support us by subscribing to our print edition, delivered direct to your door, from as little at £69 for 1 year – or consider a digital subscription from just £1 for 3 months.

To arrange, follow this link: https://www.forestryjournal.co.uk/subscribe/

Thanks – and stay safe.