The Story of Synthetic Pitches

by | Oct 27, 2022 | Uncategorized

Artificial Grass Pitches (commonly called Astroturfs) have become a mainstay at most schools and academies in the United Kingdom as when the weather turns usually real grass pitches can’t handle the drainage & intensity of use needed through a typical British winter. Let’s explore this topic further… 

Artificial Grass Pitches are incredibly good at emulating that real grass feel, however, how does that happen? Firstly, there are different kinds of synthetic or artificial grass pitches varying by sport. Sports such as football and Rugby can benefit from advanced artificial grass technology (fibres, infills & yarns) in combination with the underlying base systems developed for 3G pitches which provide a great authentic experience for those popular sports.  Conversely, sports like hockey or cricket benefit from various shorter & denser artificial grass pile options which different underfoot to provide compliance for those particular sports.

Moving onto the topic of 3G pitches, how many times have you got home and thought, what are all these little black pieces and why are they stuck to my socks? Well, those little black bits of rubber crumb that are there to help the bounce and feel for the benefit of the sport. Yet, more and more recently the so-called ‘benefit’ is being called into question as these rubber crumbs are set to be axed completely due to environmental concerns.

Yes, under the terms of a forthcoming European wide ban on microplastics, those small black rubber granules are going to be effectively banned in the next 4-6 months once the European Commission formally vote on the proposed legislation. 

Whilst it doesn’t mean you will have to rip out your existing pitch (there will be a likely 6 year transition period) it is critical that existing pitch owners such as yourselves understand and appreciate the impact for any upcoming or planned resurface or new build artificial grass pitch project.

This is where a company called Notts Sport comes in. 

Notts Sport is a leading specialist in the design and supply of synthetic surfacing systems for sport, play and leisure.

Notts Sport have been a leading company in the artificial grass sector since 1984 and in that time has become the trusted partner to Schools, Clubs, Academies and Trusts around the UK.   They work in and on projects of all sizes from massive world renowned stadia such as Lords Cricket Ground, home to the England National Cricket Teams; are Official Facility Partners to England Hockey and focus on supporting customers like you in the educational sector. 

Edu-Lettings is partnering up with Notts Sport to help tackle the issue of phasing out 3G rubber infills with materials and surfacing that is more sustainable in the short, medium and longer term for everyone involved. 

We here at Edu-lettings want schools and academies to be as unaffected as possible, we want to make awareness about these imminent and significant changes so you understand the impact coming in the next year or two.

In addition, through a great service offered by Notts Sport, you can use their ‘Fast Track Funding’ model in partnership with the great service we at Edu-Lettings provide to help the education sector raise money by hiring out their facilities when they’re available.   This creates a bespoke funding and business model for your site and that can likely reduce your exposure to risk and change whilst retaining high quality sports facilities for your staff, students and wider communities.

Fast Track Funding is designed to be a simple, quick, and easy solution for any customer in any sector. Unique to Notts Sport, Fast Track Funding is a proven method for all Schools, Academies, Independent Schools & Colleges as well as Universities and Local Authorities to achieve their vision and strategy for external sport, cricket & play facilities without any upfront capital costs necessary.

With Fast Track Funding there is zero upfront capital required to refurbish a pitch i and more information can be found out about it here:

Now onto how Edu-lettings can help schools and academies in transition, we are a fully managed venue lettings provider, we provide the local community with extra spaces to utilise and enjoy whilst ensuring world-class flexibility, dedication, and partnership with zero up-front fees and costs.

So with school budgets being tight and a necessary transition needed, we are here to support you in any way we can. 

As one Academy Business Manager recently put it “aside from external, floodlit sports facilities, there isn’t another strategic investment we can make that will generate additional income in excess of £40,000 per annum”.  

More details about letting your venues can be found here: 

There is going to be a webinar hosted which will outline information on this but in more detail and with a question-and-answer section to attempt to put to bed any worries there are on this subject. Below is an itinerary for the webinar, it will also be free to join and everyone and anyone looking for knowledge in this area is recommended to come along. 

  • Overview of Artificial Grass Pitches (AGPs) and Hockey Pitch (HTPs / STPs)
  • Imminent and upcoming changes to AGPs and HTPs
  • Implications on customers with existing pitches and those looking to build new pitches
  • Likely cost impact on resurfacing and new build projects
  • Funding Options
  • Ways to use Lettings to offset or underwrite AGP costs
  • Creating a Sustainable Pitch with a Sustainable Business Case
  • Summary