The New Lawn – Forest Green Rovers FC

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Ground number 130

First visit – FGR 3-1 Macclesfield (11-4-15) Vanarama Premier Division

An interesting new ground that has plenty of character and interesting features which set it apart from some of the flat pack stadiums out there. For me, it is nice to see a club that is embracing the opportunities of sustainability and setting an example for other teams and also the local community.

The setting is pretty unlikely for a football club of this size. set in the small village of Nailsworth, at the top of a steep residential road. The ground is a sensible size for the requirements of FGR currently, with a nice mix of standing and seating. It would be good to see the home support develop, but they will need continued progress on the pitch to achieve this.

The facilities for the supporters and good, and ticket prices are reasonable, there is certainly something for many clubs in this league to take note of. The playing surface was in good condition for the stage of the season, with a sophisticated sprinkler system providing a bit of a zip to what could have been a slow pitch.

Green credentials are on display throughout the ground. Firstly the sprinkler system is supplied with water harvested from two large collection tanks. The pitch is also regularly mowed using a robotic solar powered lawnmower, which can operate 24 hours a day. There is also a small fleet of electric cars parked outside which are used by employees of the club. Solar panels on the roof of the main stand provide around 10% of the clubs electricity requirements. The most controversial initiative has been the choice of matchday catering, with all meat banned from the menu. This didn’t seem to affect the travelling faithful too much today though!

For the moment this is a fine stadium for FGR, but It will be interesting to see what chairman Dale Vince plans to do about his aim of relocating the club within the next few years.

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