Artificial grass is here to stay and must take its place alongside the real thing, delegates were told at a debate at IoG Saltex, the grounds maintenance show at Windsor.
A panel of experts drawn from different parts of the turf and sports-turf sectors agreed almost unanimously.
But consultant and member of the Natural Turfgrass Foundation Martyn Jones was firm in his conviction that natural turf was the best playing surface. He said mankind has a natural love for grass and grass has its own ecosystem.
Sporting bodies and others funded research into artificial pitches but did not treat natural grass in the same way, he added. “I am ashamed sometimes of our own industry. Artificial grass producers market their product, but how often do we market ours?”
Chairman Bryn Lee of the manufacturers’ group of the Sports & Play Construction Association agreed that natural grass was best, but said the use of artificial turf was a fact of life and that it was being installed worldwide.
# Former head of environmental services at Newcastle-upon-Tyne Eddie Wardrobe has criticised targets for parks and gardens staff.
At a seminar on factors that drive the public amenity sector, he said those setting targets would not know how to build a drain in the road but “because they mow the lawn at weekends, they think they know our business”.
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