A study by PSD Agronomy after the flooding in Cumbria found the playing area was coated in silt, which had effectively sealed the surface of the pitch, reducing infiltration and hampering drainage.
Walking on the field was pushing the grass into the silt layer, causing loss of turf and blackening. PSD felt relaying the turf was the only option as removing the silt would also remove the grass.
Talbot Sports Turf Installation, who have worked previously at Twickenham, Murrayfield and the Olympic Stadium, are carrying out the work, with equipment arriving on site this week and replacement turf set to be installed next week.
Pitch replacement is expected to cost £150,000 - £155,000, with further remedial work to be carried out in summer.
Stadium manager Dave Mitchell said stripping should be finished by the end of today (6 January), with debris and vegetation being removed and power harrowing to smooth out the surface and level it prior to laying new turf next week.
"In terms of getting the turf down, it’s been done before in a five-day timescale, but that was with good weather conditions," he said. "Our target at the moment is to have completed the relay by Friday 15 January. I think we’ll all be very pleased if that is the case."
If the weather turns works will have to be suspended however, Mitchell said.
"As I say, if all goes well the line marking and cutting of the new grass should be under way the week beginning Monday 18 January. The company we purchase the paint from – Fleet Line Markers Ltd – have offered to come and do a laser mark-up of the pitch lines free of charge. That’s a fantastic offer and it will be a big help to us.
"Overall what this process will do is give us 100 per cent grass coverage in January. That is extremely unusual for a professional sports club. Bear in mind PSD Agronomy, the experts we employ to guide us and who helped us to assess things after the flood, advised us that the grass coverage was pretty much where it should be at this time of year, even after the flood waters had been on it. However, the volume of water meant that other damage had been caused and it was agreed all-round that this was the best course of action for us to take."