Cotswold beauty spot opts for fake grass

Bourton on the water fakes grass on riverside

Image credit: bourtoninfo.com

Tourist hot-spot, Bourton on the Water, is replacing natural turf with fake grass to save on maintenance costs.

The picturesque Gloucestershire village is located 4 miles from Stow-on-the-Wold on the banks of the river Windrush.  After a busy summer, areas of the green are left threadbare and the council have to spend £1,000 every autumn patching up the grass.

Bourton is one the most popular tourist spots in the Cotswolds.  It is otherwise known as ‘Little Venice,’ due to flooding and erosion problems on its river verges.

Officials have been trying to address erosion issues since 1995.  The muddy patches on the banks were deemed a safety risk because it’s so easy for visitors to slip and fall into the river.

In 2000, they employed contractors to remove and replace existing soil and re-surface with hard wearing turf.  Areas included the High Street Greens, a patch in front of the Chestnuts and by the Riverside Walks.  The cost was £8400.

After all attempts failed, Council members unanimously voted to fake it.  The 30 square-metre (322 sq ft) trial patch will be laid this month.  Not only will the artificial grass look more attractive, its permeability means drainage will be enhanced.

Unspoiled and quintessentially English, the Cotswolds has up to 38 million visitors per day and is worth £1 billion to the UK economy.  It’s no surprise that the decision has sparked a frenzy of media interest as far afield as Japan.  The BBC even wants to film the grass being laid.

Read the Cotswold Journal report

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