The 3G pitch at Broad Market, Hackney is part of the Arsenal FC community project.

The issue with a lot of community surfaces based within inner city estates is that they get a huge amount of use. At Broadway Market, the centre of the pitch was worn out with areas through to the backing of the grass and subsequent damage to the base. The grass pile was sitting completely flat with the rubber and sand compacted right into the base of the pile.

The challenge

With very limited access, less than 1m concrete tunnel, the brief was to repair shock pad damage and replace the damaged areas of 3G grass with the nearest possible match. Rejuvenate the whole surface so that it was safe and playable for the community.

The surface

The 3G artificial grass was cut and rolled back to replace areas of worn shock pad. All worn grass was then cut out ready for replacement. With research, we were able to find out the initial grass used was Playrite® Conquerer so we were able to get a good match. New patches were then added using Envirostick Glue and tape which was then sanded, pile was lifted and then graded down to match the pile height of the existing grass to ensure safe play. An intensive decompaction filtered the current infill, disposing of the most contaminated. The whole surface was then topped up with 6 tonnes of Murfitts recycled premium granulated rubber to the manufacturers specification.

The result

The large community are now able to safely enjoy and play on the surface. The surface was worn out through the whole communities’ love of sport, especially football.

 

Sand dressed pitches are commonly used in schools and facilities and can be known as 2nd generation surfaces.

Unlike SAND FILLED where the sand goes all the way to the top of the pile and can appear as though you are playing on sand, SAND DRESSED has a more complex pile architecture where the sand only goes between 60-80% of the pile height.

The problem

This particular pitch is shaded on two sides with the far side having an embankment by the fence which leads to the run back sitting wet and getting very little sun. Due to this there is a large amount of moss across this side which creeps onto the pitch. Moss within a surface leads to contamination with the infill which prevents adequate drainage as surface holes are blocked. Pitches become dirty and slippery which is dangerous for play.

The process

Intensive decompaction is the first part of the process carried out using stiff nylon-pile rotary brushes which are tractor driven for ultimate mechanical decompaciton. The brushes reach deep within the pile loosening contaminate. This is then collected and removed from the surface. The infill is then filtered and only clean infill is dropped back onto the pitch. Additional sand infill, Garside 2EW, is then spread and worked into the pitch to replace the contaminated sand. A final brush allows all the infill to drop into the surface and then a chemical treatment of AlgoClear Pro is applied to protect the surface from moss, mould and algae for a further 4-6 months.

The result

The pitch feel and playability is back to normal and no sign of contamination.

The club were very pleased with the results and no more green socks for the players!

The sand filled pitch at Ely Outdoor Sports Association is 18 years old and desperately needs replacing. The club are currently working incredibly hard to fund a new pitch but in the meantime need it to last another season.

The pitch already has 30 repairs on it; seams were failing as well as seams around original patches. Artificial Grass Cambridge were called in as a matter of urgency due to the dangerous nature of open seams around the nearside D and the possibility that such undulations would cause injury and club closure.

The challenge

The pitch had many different patches already in place. The challenge was to first try and match existing grass and to work on the worst areas first. One of the challenges of patching a sand filled pitch is getting the new patch to be the same height as the often-worn pile of the existing surface. The job also needed to be fitted in the schedule as quickly as possible and completed within two days.

The process

By using a combination of patches and carpet stretching, Artificial Grass Cambridge were able to re-join the worst damaged areas using new seaming tape and Envirostick all weather glue. All seams and patches need to be weighted to ensure they held when dry. All new grass put in had to be carefully graded with animal shears to even out the pile height. Any difference in pile height can cause ball deflection and possible injury.

After the patches were set and graded, Garside 2EW silica sand is then added to fill the pile. A final grading is then needed to again ensure a smooth as possible ball roll.

The result

A total of 60 repairs was undertaken within a two day time frame. As Julia Gilbert of Ely Outdoor Sports Association commented: ‘Rob and his team at Artificial Grass repaired the astro pitch at Ely Outdoor Sports Association at very short notice during what was a very busy time of year for them. They did a fantastic job, ensuring that the repairs and patches were not only done properly but as cost effectively as possible. We wouldn’t hesitate to use them again.’

The water based at Harleston Magpies Hockey club in Diss, Norfolk is a Charles Lawrence Grass Hopper surface that is approximately 17 years old. Used continually for the first teams at the club, Harleston Magpies are one of the premier hockey clubs in the East Premier A league.

The challenge

The pitch is in excellent condition, however 2 seams on the near side D are failing. The first team didn’t want any patches putting in – a near impossible brief. As Artificial Grass Cambridge have a long-standing relationship with Harleston Magpies they were the only maintenance contractors asked to do the repairs.

The process

“The surface is fastened in a channel system around the edges. Where the seam had failed the surface had frayed, we were able to release the surface from its channel allowing a little movement. The grass was then stretched over the existing freyed area which was then cut out and the area re-taped and glued and weighted.” – Rob Norton, Artificial Grass Cambridge Ltd.

The result

The seam is now as good as new allowing for continual safe match play with Bob Skinner from the club commenting “We are thrilled and knew Rob and his team would rise to the challenge and get the job done. An excellent job as always”

Cricket wickets are a tensioned surface, therefore repairs are done as a last resort to get it through one last season before it is replaced. Heavy wear areas, generally on the batting end of an artificial wicket, can become damaged. At Kings School, Ely this had happened mid-season so as a regular contractor and experts in cricket wickets we were asked to undertake the repairs.

The process

The damaged surface was carefully cut and removed. A perfect match to the existing grass was found.

With cricket grass being very thin and ‘open woven’ the amount of glue used to patch-in new grass has to be very carefully controlled. Once it the glue is spread thinly on tape the entire seam is weighted. Once the glue is cured the weights can be removed, edges of the seams checked then the whole wicket can be re-tensioned.

The result

This is a very cost-effective option rather than replacement if a wicket needs to last another season! The school was delighted with the result and were happy with how the repairs held out and have commissioned Artificial Grass Cambridge to install a new wicket in 2018.