The New Lawn

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The New Lawn
LawnFGR2006STS20062007.jpg
Forest Green Rovers' new stadium
Full name The New Lawn Stadium
Location Nailsworth, Gloucestershire
Capacity 5,147
Record attendance 4,836 (Forest Green Rovers vs Derby County, 3 January 2009)[1]
Surface Grass
Construction
Built 2005-2006
Opened 2006
Tenants

Forest Green Rovers 2006-present

Gloucester City 2007-2008

The New Lawn is a football stadium and home to Forest Green Rovers F.C., a professional football club based in the town of Nailsworth in Gloucestershire. They play their football in the Conference National and previously played their home matches at The Lawn Ground. Rovers have played at the stadium since the start of the 2006-07 season.

Stadium[edit]

The stadium was due to cost the club £3 million and was approved in October 2003 by local council members, despite much local opposition due to the controversial siting of the development on school playing fields.[2] Work started on the stadium on the 3 May 2005.

The new ground has facilities to house 230 car parking places, 3 coach parking places, a capacity of 5,147 and two seated stands - the main stand and another seated stand. The stadium also has a leisure club, gym, sauna, conference and meeting facilities as well as a pub and many other facilities. The stadium is used seven days a week for different events.

The stadium was first used in a pre season friendly against Swindon Town in July 2006 and was officially opened in September 2006 when the England C team played a friendly fixture against Forest Green. The largest attendance so far at The New Lawn was in a FA Cup third round game against Derby County in January 2009 when 4836 watched Forest Green narrowly lose 3-4.

For the 2007-08 season Gloucester City shared the ground due to serious flooding at their home ground but have since moved to Cheltenham Town, via a spell at Cirencester Town.

In April 2009, The New Lawn hosted the Conference League Cup final between Forest Green and AFC Telford United in which Telford won the game 0-3 on penalty kicks following the 90 minutes finishing goalless. The match was shown live on Setanta Sports. In December 2009 the ground was selected as part of the city of Bristol's 2018 FIFA World Cup bid to act as a training ground facility.

In June 2011, work began on the pitch at the stadium to make it the first organic football pitch in the world.[3]

This was then followed in December 2011 by the installation of 180 solar panels to the EESI stand to help the club generate its own electricity.[4]

In April 2012, the club introduced the first solar powered robotic lawn mower to be used on a football pitch in British football. The Etesia robot mower - known as a 'mow bot' - uses GPS technology to automatically guide it round the pitch without the need for human intervention.[5]

In August 2012, a Manchester United XI played a pre-season friendly at the ground in aid of the Sustainability in Sport foundation which was created by Forest Green chairman Dale Vince and Gary Neville.[6]

On 25 August 2014, a BT Sport televised Conference National derby game with Bristol Rovers saw 3,781 in attendance, the highest ever recorded league attendance at the stadium.[7]

The stadium hosted what is believed to be the world's first ever vegan football match on 1 November 2014 in a Conference National game against Lincoln City.[8] The match received support from Paul McCartney and Stella McCartney.[9]

Environmental features[edit]

Following the investment of new chairman and eco-tycoon Dale Vince, and his company Ecotricity, The New Lawn employs a number of eco friendly features designed to help make the stadium one of the most environmentally football stadiums in the world. The playing surface features as the world's first organic football pitch,[10] meanwhile solar panels on the roof of the stadium as well as outside will eventually provide enough electricity to power 25 per cent of the stadium.[11]

The pitch also collects rainwater to be recycled around the stadium and all waste cooking oil at the club is recycled into biofuel. The club introduced a solar powered 'MowBot' in April 2012 which cuts the grass on the pitch and uses GPS technology to automatically guide it round the pitch without the need for human intervention.[12] It is the first solar powered robotic lawn mower to be used on a football pitch in British football.

Local farmers use the grass cuttings from the stadium to condition their soil plus the stadium is the first meat-free football stadium in the country after the club changed to an environmentally sustainable menu in February 2011.[13] The area outside the stadium has also been developed into a habitat for wildlife through the planting of wild flowers and native trees.[14]

In December 2012, the club beat 200 other nominees to first prize in the Institute of Groundsmanship awards in the sustainability and environmental category for its organic pitch and the environmental aspects at The New Lawn.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Forest Green 3-4 Derby County". BBC Sport. 3 January 2009. 
  2. ^ Stroud News & Journal (26 Feb 2003). Sale of land robs children. Press Release.
  3. ^ "Forest Green Rovers spread manure on football pitch". BBC News. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  4. ^ "Forest Green Rovers football club installs solar panels". BBC News. 4 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "Robot lawn mower used by Forest Green Rovers football club". BBC News. 21 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "Gary Neville goes from red to green in Nailsworth appearance". thisisgloucestershire. 7 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "Forest Green 1-1 Bristol Rovers". BBC Sport. 25 August 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  8. ^ "Vegan: The New Status Quo?". Huffington Post UK. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "Paul and Stella McCartney back Forest Green's vegan ethos". Stroud News & Journal. 2 November 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014. 
  10. ^ "Forest Green Rovers spread manure on football pitch". BBC News. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  11. ^ "Forest Green Rovers football club installs solar panels". BBC News. 4 December 2011. 
  12. ^ "Robot lawn mower used by Forest Green Rovers football club". BBC News. 21 April 2012. 
  13. ^ "Burger ban begins at Forest Green Rovers football club". BBC News. 10 February 2011. 
  14. ^ "New Lawn hot spots are blooming lovely". Gloucestershire Gazette. 8 August 2012. 
  15. ^ "Forest Green Rovers FC wins award for 'organic' pitch". BBC News. 7 December 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°41′54.24″N 2°13′59.64″W / 51.6984000°N 2.2332333°W / 51.6984000; -2.2332333