Turf restoration job at Greenwich Park moves into the final stages

Park staff and Sports Turf Research Institute team up to lay and reseed grass following Olympics.

Parks staff and turf specialists are nearing the end of a major 5ha repair job in one of Britain's most famous parks, which was churned up by horses during the Olympics.

Grounds staff at Greenwich Park teamed up with the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) to bring grassland back up to scratch after the grade I park hosted last summer's cross-country horse-riding events.

Teams are laying 3.5ha of turf and reseeding 1ha of damaged grass. Parks manager Graham Dear said: "The final stage of restoration is to repair paths and roads, and turf the site of the arena, training area and stables.

"Hosting the Olympics was fantastic and a wonderful promotion for the Royal Parks, as billions saw the events on TV."

Games organiser LOCOG, which is paying for the restoration work, was not allowed to anchor temporary buildings or 23,000 seats into the ground, so everything was built on temporary tubular structures that rested on the turf.

Grasslands in Kent supplied turf grown on Romney Marsh, but the restoration project also involved improving existing acidic grasslands at the site that form important habitats.

Dear worked with the STRI on sifting through hay crops to collect seed and then used it to overseed existing acidic grass areas.

STRI strategic projects manager Lee Penrose said that the Olympic Games organisers briefed him to prepare the "world's best-ever" cross-country eventing venue fit for riders such as Zara Phillips and horses worth millions of pounds.

Speaking at the Institute of Groundsmanship annual conference late last year, he said: "This project made my life tricky. It's a brutal sport with steep stretches that you can barely walk down. If the footing isn't right, you can lose seconds or seriously injure yourself and horse."

Olympic eventing - Preparation challenge

About 55,000 fans watched the Olympic eventing in Greenwich Park last August. The challenge of preparation included metre-by-metre surveying of 12,000sq m of grassland that made up the 6.2km course to bring it up to Olympic standard. Teams had to protect archaeology, including an Anglo Saxon cemetery and Roman temple, as well as rare acid grasslands.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Sargent's solutions - how to avoid the traps of 'professional non-payers'

Sargent's solutions - how to avoid the traps of 'professional non-payers'

Be wary of unscrupulous clients who may look for loopholes to avoid settling up at the end of a job, Alan Sargent warns.

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Generations of ordinary British people have been let down by weak, visionless leaders -- politicians more engaged by the next election than our national best interest.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Custodian Awards

Products & Kit Resources