Services: Earthworks

Earthworks prepares a development site for excavation, stripping away topsoil and surface vegetation, before foundation setting out begins.


Without earthworks, no building in Britain would exist.

Earthworks is an essential first stage in any new groundwork project, as it plays a vital role in preparing the ground for excavation works to begin. Its job is to strip away the top level of ground soil, including any trees or other vegetation.

Essentially, it gives a developer a blank canvas to build on by taking the earth 'back to basics' and levelling out any unevenness in the process. Mackoy's earthworks services take care of this integral step in any new development.

Using a powerful excavating plant, including hydraulic crawlers and closed-cab dumpers, we make light work of removing topsoil from the site.

We also provide the essential muckaway and cut and fill services to dispose of excavated earth responsibly, either taking it to designated landfill or repurposing it on site. This will save you the time, trouble and the expense of undertaking these essential works yourself.

Our earthworks offers developers one of the most cost-effective and time-saving means of preparing their project site for setting out works to begin. We help to cut away and move thousands of tonnes of porous, compacted and stony soil, keeping our clients' builds on time and on budget.


Your Earthworks Questions Answered

What is earthworks in construction? Earthworks is a vital part of site preparation and needs to be carried out properly to ensure that the foundations laid are built on stable ground. The process of earthworks is to excavate the existing land to a suitable level so that road construction or housing development can begin; this is done by removing the topsoil and vegetation and then grading the area to the agreed formation level for buildings, both residential and commercial, can be built on.

What machines are used for earthworks? There are a range of earth-moving machines that are used, with the most commonly used machine being an excavator. These are often used to shovel dirt or lift heavy pieces of material thanks to their design (a long bucket arm that’s attached to a pivoting cab). Other machines used could be: a bulldozer, a backhoe loader and trenchers.

Can anyone use an excavation machine for earthworks? No, no machines should be used by just ‘anyone’, you have to have completed your Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) in order to operate any machines on a construction site.

Is earthworks environmentally friendly? There are many processes in place to try and make earthworks excavation as environmentally friendly as possible. The aim is to reuse as much of the material and muckaway as possible; in doing so, we not only reduce the cost of materials used but also the carbon footprint of any trucks used to and from site taking the earth materials away. We do have specialised computer software that is used to calculate the materials excavated and the materials needed so we try to match the soil volume requirements where possible.

What is the difference between groundworks and earthworks? Groundworks is the head term for a range of services that are carried out on a construction site when building residential or commercial buildings. They include digging out trenches, building foundations, installing drainage systems and much more; one of the services included within a groundworks package is earthworks.

Can you build on a site that has just been excavated? Typically, construction sites work in phases, so there would be different stages of the build happening at different parts of the site at any given time.


Other Services

Groundworks Operative working on sub-structure birckwork for Mackoy Groundworks


Our groundworkers create a construction project's vital infrastructure by balancing powerful excavation works with complex technical processes, from clearing a site of its topsoil layer to setting out the foundations of what will, one day, support a new home.

Landscaping for Show Home backyard Groundwork provided by Mackoy


We apply soft and hard landscaping techniques to radically transform clients' developments, and to install unique character features that give a project life and soul – from installing football pitches and recreational spaces to changing a site's elevation, feel and flow.

Retaining Structures on Mackoy Groundworks site

Retaining Structures

Whether a client needs a basement or is developing a sloping site, the retaining walls created by our groundworkers help to contain soil in its place. This maintains the integrity of a structure and ensures that no amount of pressure or environmental impact compromises its stability.

Civil Engineering Plans for Mackoy Groundworks Project

Civil Engineering

Our civil engineers use environmental and structural expertise to bring a building to life. Not only do they ensure a development project can be delivered on time and on budget, they also provide the complex calculations needed for a mechanically sound construction.

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