Scott Bros has responded to a recent surge in demand by lockdown DIYers for decorative chippings.

The family-run firm – more used to providing recycled aggregates for major construction projects – is now supplying a growing number of domestic customers with a traditional 20mm white Cotswold stone as well as 20mm black basalt chippings.

Company director Peter Scott was so impressed that he himself has even used the chippings to construct an attractive outdoor area at Thornaby Sports & Leisure Club, which he also runs.

He said: “The club reopened at the weekend and having an additional outdoor area where customers could gather while safely social distancing was fantastic, and the basalt chippings helped set the whole thing off.”

It is the latest in-demand product triggered by an upsurge in home and garden improvement projects underway across the region.

Initially, the Stockton-based company was bombarded by requests for midi-skips, topsoil, and recycled builders’ sand as those confined to home busied themselves with DIY projects.

Director Bob Borthwick said: “With the arrival of the hot weather, it looks like people are turning their attention to improving their pathways, drives and borders as part of the trend towards undertaking garden makeovers.

“The decorative chippings do represent a bit of departure for Scott Bros, as we are more used to recycling commercial aggregates from construction waste and rubble.

“We normally supply materials to the building industry, which was largely closed down at the height of the pandemic, so this growth in the domestic market has been vital for us as a company – helping us to continue working and preserve jobs.”

Peter said: “A number of people asked whether we were able to supply decorative stone chippings when they were ordering our skip hire service – so we took the hint!”

Decorative chippings are in vogue for garden borders, paths, water features and driveways. In addition, many gardeners use them as a dressing for pots and planters.

Demand has been so great that Scott Bros intend to stock a wider ranger of decorative gravels, including yellow builders’ sand. Orders can also be combined with skip deliveries, if required, to streamline the process and help reduce the number of lorry journeys.

“I think we have benefited because the firm took the decision to keep working throughout this pandemic,” Peter added. “This, and our ability to offer a contactless delivery service, has gained us valuable new customers and allowed us to grow our product range.”