JG Plant grounds care team removes last fully grass surface at Cardiff Millenium Stadium

The owner of New Holland dealership JG Plant has told how his grounds care team removed the last fully grass surface at Welsh Rugby Union's Millennium Stadium.

WRU grass removal
WRU grass removal
JG Plant managing director Gareth Rees’s crew has been stripping the pitch in Cardiff at the end of the season every year since 1999 – but the latest operation was the last before a semi-synthetic replacement come in.

The Millennium Stadium job was carried out by Inscape, Rees' ground engineering and commercial landscaping organisation which bought JG Plant in January.

The New Holland-powered 30-man crew had to work round the clock from May 27-30 on 12-hour shifts to shift 3,500 tonnes of material and get the job done between the stadium’s busy schedule of events.

The process was powered by partnering a New Holland T5.115 with a T6.140, supported by a New Holland skid steer, a Boomer 30 and a TC24.

The process involved taking 40mm of soil off the top of the entire pitch. The whole operation was completed by 4am on May 30.

Once finished, however, the team also removed the playing surface of Llanelli’s Parc Y Scarlets rugby club for their end of season renovations before moving onto the Welsh Rugby Union training ground at Hensol and then the Football Association of Wales’s development centre at Newport.

Rees said: "It’s been an honour for us and New Holland to help look after the hallowed turf of the Millennium Stadium for the last 15 years.

"We’ll miss the regular excitement of doing this job but I think it’s the right decision to update the playing surface. We’re just very proud to have played our part in the history of an incredible venue and a stunning pitch."

He added: "This last task to remove the surface went very smoothly thanks to high quality our equipment. The operators like the New Holland machines a lot. In fact, they actually want us to change every machine for the brand.

"It’s the design of the machines, the comfort and the visibility that they like so much. There’s also a lot of torque too which you need when you’re shifting a lot of soil, but low ground pressure to minimize compaction."

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