Royal Parks rolls out UK's first hybrid soccer pitch

A unique UK pilot could transform public sports fields across the country, according to the group spearheading the project.

Football pitches in Regents Park, London - image: Flickr/Gary Knight (CC BY 2.0)
Football pitches in Regents Park, London - image: Flickr/Gary Knight (CC BY 2.0)

Royal Parks applied for and won £353,000 from Sport England to turn one of its football pitches in Regent’s Park into the first type of outdoor surface of its kind in the UK.

The 'grass hybrid' playing area involves hybrid matting buried under the natural turf, allowing grass to grow through while helping to maintain the condition of the pitch throughout the year.

Currently sports pitches are designed for 12 hours' play a week, and in winter are closed due to wet weather. The new surface, due to open in October, takes a lot more play.

Royal Parks' project lead Edward Strickland said:

"More people means more wear and tear, which is why we are trialling this new system targeting 11 to 14 years olds.

"As we are working in historic parkland we will be undertaking this project as a trial to see how well the new surface works and looks, and can be maintained. It looks like natural grass."


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