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EXCLUSIVE: College Green to be relaid with artificial grass

By martin booth, Wednesday Apr 1, 2020

It is one of Bristol’s most famous outdoor spaces. And under new plans, it could stay permanently green.

Planning documents seen by Bristol24/7 reveal that the grass of College Green could soon be relaid with artificial turf.

The measures are being put in place in order to prevent a repeat of the mudbath caused by thousands of people attending the recent climate strike rally attended by Greta Thunberg.

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All of the grass on College Green would be replaced by AstroTurf in order to provide the best and longest-lasting surface.

Permanent markings for full-size football and rugby pitches would also be painted on the artificial surface in a bid to attract more visiting sports teams to stay in the Royal Marriott Hotel.

In 2015, Japan held a training session on College Green before their first game in the Rugby World Cup.

The Japan rugby team training on College Green in 2015 – photo by Martin Booth

With the city council looking to cut costs wherever they can, another benefit of AstroTurf on College Green would be that its grass would no longer need to be cut.

College Green is owned by Bristol Cathedral but managed by Bristol City Council.

A source who has worked closely on the plans told Bristol24/7 that there have been fierce arguments over the shade of green to choose for the artificial turf.

She said: “The thickness, grass weight and softness are crucial to get right at this stage. But the sub-committee responsible for choosing the colour have gone round in circles.

“At this late stage I still just don’t know whether we will be getting Barcelona green or Madrid green. Probably not even with a stripe, which is a shame.”

She added: “We don’t need real grass on College Green in 2020. But we do need the right shade of green to remember why it is called what it is, and that’s what is important now.”

The grass on College Green is slowly recovering after Greta Thunberg’s rally in February – photo by Martin Booth

Main photo by Martin Booth

Read more: Highlights of Greta Thunberg’s speech on College Green

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