Turf companies reveal 12-hour re-turfing of Olympic stadium after opening ceremony

Turf companies have revealed how they turfed the Olympic stadium in just 12 hours after the London 2012 Opening Ceremony one year ago.

Talbot workers lay County Turf products in the Olympic Stadium
Talbot workers lay County Turf products in the Olympic Stadium

Along with everything else to do with Danny Boyle’s spectacular show on 27 July 2012, the details of the companies’ involvement was top secret, although Horticulture Week reported County Turf’s involvement.

Olympic suppliers have only been given official permission to release details of their involvement recently.

In total Lincolnshire company County Turf grew more than 100,000m of custom-grown turf for the Games after being engaged by Leicester firm Hewitt’s Sportsturf in July 2009.

County Turf spent 18 months developing an exact specification of turf, which dictated the species content, soil particle size analysis and percolation rates of the root zone. 

In March 2011 both companies completed the initial turfing of the stadium, a job which required meticulous planning.

However a tougher challenge was ahead as a turf task force comprised of County Turf and Talbot Farm Landscapes workers removed and replaced the original turf with a new surface in 12 hours.

County Turf managing director Andy Fraser said: "A 12 hour schedule is extremely tight and there was no margin for error. We had a strict plan in place to ensure success and we built a new specialist harvester unit to cope with harvesting all of the turf in the allotted time.

"We operated two crews of staff throughout the night to ensure that the turf was only rolled up for a maximum of seven hours to ensure a green surface and no deteriation.

"Once the turf arrived in London we worked together with sports turf installation experts Talbot Farm Landscapes to lay the new turf at the stadium and complete the job before the 12 hour deadline."

Frazer said there was a lot of pressure to ensure the stadium looked tip top for the world’s most important sporting competition and its 4 billion spectators.

"We have worked on many prestigious venues, but this project was a once in a lifetime opportunity, the most challenging, most rewarding and definitely the most memorable," he added.

County Turf supplied the turf for the main Olympic Stadium, the athletics warm up area Greenwich Park where Equestrian events were held, landscaping areas in the Olympic Park and Lord’s Cricket Ground post Games.








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