Land at City centre schools is often located in awkward areas close to school buildings, it’s often less usable than traditional playgrounds. In order to make the most of these spaces, schools need to think a little outside the box and do something just a little bit different.

One school in central Cambridge recently had this exact issue to tackle. They wanted to transform a previously disused part of their grounds into a bright, attractive and versatile space, all without disrupting school life or spending a lot of their much needed funds. This is where we came in. Using our experience, expertise and high quality products, we transformed the area and gave the school an outside space they could really enjoy.

The problem

The area that we were called in to work on had previously been disused for a number of years. It was dark, waterlogged and unattractive and the school children were banned from playing in the courtyard because of the hazardous nature of the surface. As the school wasn’t sure how to transform the area, they’d left if to deteriorate. As a result, the space had been damaged by water over time and needed a complete overhaul. Another issue that added to the difficulty of working on the space was the poor access available. This prevented heavy machinery from being brought in and meant much of the work had to be carried out by hand.

The work

When we went in to give this disused piece of land a facelift; we did the work at the weekend, so that there would be no disruption to the pupils or teachers at the school. It also meant we could bring materials through classrooms more easily and get the job done quicker. We began by clearing the entire area and installing an extra soak-a-way drain to help remove the excess water from the space. The school chose our bestselling Queens grass to go into the courtyard as they felt its rich, bold colour would brighten up the school’s exterior and make the area look more colourful. Drain covers in the courtyard were left open so that contractors would be able to access them easily in the future.

The result

Since the work was completed, all of the staff and pupils at the school have been thrilled with the result. By giving this once depressing area a brand new look, we were able to transform it into an integral part of the school grounds. The area is now used for story time, play time and has even hosted a stage production – not bad for a space that was once unloved and out of bounds. To find out more about the work we do, or to enquire about a job of your own, contact a member of our team today.

A lot of the time, our clients call us in because they have problem patch of outdoor space that they just don’t know what to do with. This could be the result of poorly draining soil, a dark, damp environment, an awkwardly shaped garden or heavy use. Whatever the issue may be, more often than not – we have the solution.

Their existing garden was almost unusable due to mud and shade and the teachers were unable to make the most of their outside space. Like @NCTcharity says, “Being outside is the perfect place for kids to be kids with the freedom to shout, jump, run, hop or skip.” So to provide their pupils with the facilities they deserved, the nursery called us in to work our magic.

The problem

Due to poorly draining soil, heavy use and a lack of sunlight, large areas of natural grass in the nursery’s garden were becoming muddy and unusable. A large tree blocked much of the sunlight to the space, hampering the growth of new grass seed and preventing the earth from drying quickly.

The brief

The teachers at the nursery wanted to give the outside space a new lease of life by installing artificial grass. However, as they wanted to retain a natural element in the garden, they planned to leave the areas of lawn where the grass was still growing well. As they were working on a tight budget, our first job was to identify the patches of existing grass that were hardy enough to survive the wear and tear of nursery life and to decide which areas needed replacing with tough, durable artificial grass.

The installation

Our hardwearing Kings grass was used to create a pathway to run alongside the existing natural grass. As young children would be using the area, it was important not to create any trip hazards in the space and so we worked hard to ensure the level between the existing grass and artificial grass was equal. Some other areas of the playground were also fitted with artificial grass, in order to give the children somewhere safe and clean to play all year round.

The result

Despite being on a tight budget, we were able to work with the nursery to provide a solution that perfectly suited their requirements. We’re always happy to work within client’s budgets to give them the result they want at the price they need, and providing stylish, clean and usable outside spaces in the process. Get in touch with a member of our team today to find out more.

Though the quality, durability and aesthetics of our products speak for themselves, there are few better ways to understand the benefits of artificial grass than by looking at a real life installation.

So to help all our potential customers out there decide if an artificial lawn is for them, we’re taking an in depth look at some of our recent installations and the spectacular results they’ve achieved.

The problem

As NCT Charity notes, “being outside is the perfect place for kids to be kids with the freedom to shout, jump, run, hop or skip. In fact, by taking your children outdoors and supporting their play, you can help their development”. However, due to various issues, a lot of schools in the UK don’t have suitable outside play areas.

When All Saints Academy in Cambridgeshire got in touch, they were having ongoing problems with drainage issues in parts of their playground. This meant that areas of the school’s outside space were unusable in poor weather, with muddy puddles and an uneven surface, which made the area dangerous for young children. The most affected part of the playground was also partially covered by a fixed awning. This restricted the amount of sun reaching the ground and prevented the grassed area from drying after it had rain, and therefore from growing evenly.

The solution

Due to the existing issues with the space, laying a new lawn wouldn’t have solved the long term issue and it’s likely the school would have had to renovate the space again in a few years time. As they wanted to brighten up the space and retain a natural feel, the school also didn’t want to cover the grass with a hard surface.

This meant that artificial grass was the perfect solution to All Saints Academy’s outdoor issues. Not only would the installation give them a smooth, colourful and useful new outside space, it would also solve much of the drainage issue that previously affected the area.

The work to install the new artificial lawn was carried out over a weekend so no school days were interrupted. Extra drainage was installed to help prevent water from building up in the area and our bright, bold Queens artificial grass was chosen to add a splash of colour to the play area.

The result

The finished play area has transformed the school playground. In the words of preschool manager Tracy Pooley, “prior to the installation of artificial grass within the preschool outdoor areas, it was very difficult to offer outdoor play to the children throughout the year. However the artificial grass installed by the team at Artificial Grass (Cambridge) Ltd has made such a difference; the children are free to play and learn outdoors no matter what weather. We are no longer restricted to certain areas of the outdoor environment during poor weather and the artificial grass looks fresh, welcoming and bright.

The company were incredibly flexible with installation dates and completed all of the work over the weekend; meaning no disruption to the running of the pre-school during the week. The team at Artificial Grass (Cambridge) Ltd did an excellent job; we would highly recommend their company.”

If you want to bring your garden, play area or sports fields to life and provide a year-round surface for kids to enjoy, take a look around our site or get in touch with a member of our team.

Gunthorpe Primary School, Peterborough had an asphalt area measuring approximately 23m x 16m with internal curbing and recessed goals laid onto mud. A 1.2m fence surrounded the area.

Before works: The area was not draining, often being covered in sitting water. It was unsafe for the children and ultimately was unused.

The process

  • The curbs were extended to just outside the fencing.
  • Extended out the surface using concrete to incorporate the recessed goals.
  • Drainage holes were drilled at 600mm centres into the entire surface, adding pea gravel to the holes.
  • Fencing was extended on two sides to give an extra 2m of soft fencing to protect the school’s greenhouses and neighbouring homes. This was an option that no other contractor was able to give, a cost effective alternative, it allowed the budget to be put towards the surface and shockpad.
  • The entire surface was covered in Playrite® Matchpad 1500 shockpad to help give even ball bounce and create a safe surface for the children.
  • TigerTurf® EvoPro was installed and lines cut in for 5-A-Side football & four basketball keys. All seams were taped and glued using Envirostik® Sports fix glue.
  • Garside 2EW infill was then added and brushed ready for use.
  • New 5-A-Side goals from Stadia Sport completed the area.

The result

Within a week, the pitch is now used daily for PE lessons and once a week for external 5-A-Side football training creating a revenue stream and a facility for the local community.

Unfortunately, fewer and fewer schools in the UK are able to offer their pupils good quality outdoor play areas. Many have only concrete or asphalt courtyards and only a handful have green spaces for their pupils to enjoy.

One school we recently worked with were fed up with not having a good quality play area for their pupils to enjoy and so called us in to help. In just a few days we’d completely transformed the space, giving the pupils and their teachers a playground they could really be proud of.

The brief

Before we arrived to lend an expert hand, the school’s playground was dirty, uneven, and suffering from drainage issues. Children were regularly falling over on the broken concrete and injuries were not uncommon. Though they had a tight budget, the teachers at the school wanted to transform the space and give the pupils a bright, colourful and safe place to play.

The work

Before laying the new artificial grass surface, extra drainage channels were dug to ensure water would no longer sit on the playground’s surface. We then prepared the area and installed our high quality Kings Grass, one of the most durable and hardwearing products in our range. Though it’s tough, this type of artificial grass is also relatively soft to touch, giving the children a safe and tactile space to enjoy.

The result

The transformation of the school playground was pretty spectacular. The old, broken concrete and uneven surface has been replaced with bright, bold and durable artificial grass and the entire area looks colourful and inviting. Children are now able to play outside throughout the year and a number of lessons are also held in the playground during the summer months. The parents, teachers and pupils at the school were all thrilled with the new look playground. Not only has it added a usable space and stylish feature to outside area, it’s made the school a more enjoyable place to be.

If you want to transform your garden, yard, playground or sports centre but are working to a tight budget, we can help. Give us a call and talk to one of the expert members of our team or take a look around our website.