S&C Slatter are experts in the design, construction and maintenance of artificial turf football pitches. We have built over 150 synthetic football pitches for clients including Everton FC, Queen Ethelburga's Collegiate and Elmbridge Xcel Sports Hub.
We are the leading constructor of non-league artificial pitches and, through our exclusive partnership with world-leading artificial sports turf manufacturer FieldTurf, are approved suppliers to the Football Foundation AGP Framework, run in partnership with The FA, Premier League and Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Read on to learn more about our outstanding all weather football pitches or contact us to discuss your project.
Whether it be a full-sized 3G stadium pitch to FIFA Quality Pro and FA National Ground Grading standard, a 3G 5-a-side complex, or a compact sand-dressed multi-use games area (MUGA) for 5-a-side football and other sports, we work with you based on your needs, limitations and requirements.
S&C Slatter, partnered with FieldTurf, are one of a few select suppliers to the Football Foundation Framework, run in partnership with The FA, Premier League and Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Through our exclusive partnership with FieldTurf, one of the world’s leading artificial sports turf manufacturers who are a FIFA Preferred Producer, we have constructed numerous FIFA Quality Pro and FIFA Quality artificial grass pitches, for the likes of Queen’s Park Rangers, Sutton United and Swindon Town FC.
With 30 years’ experience in artificial football pitch construction, we are always keen to discuss new projects and happy to offer a free initial consultation.
There are nine key stages in the construction of an artificial football pitch – it’s not just about the playing surface (often referred to as ‘carpet’!). Football pitch construction stages include:
1. Design and planning
Designing the facility, obtaining planning permission, creating technical drawings and specifications ready for construction.
2. Environmental considerations
This can include management of water run-off and drainage, mitigating the impact of the new facility and considering overspill from floodlighting.
3. Health and safety
Creating a safe and thoroughly planned construction site that employs best practice and meets all legislative requirements.
Properly prepared foundations are crucial to the performance of any football pitch.
Appropriate drainage systems ensure that whatever the weather, the artificial football pitch doesn’t become waterlogged.
6. Sub-base and base
Carefully chosen materials support the chosen artificial turf system and free drainage of the pitch.
Depending on your artificial turf system, a shockpad may be employed to meet safety requirements and enhance performance standards.
8. Artificial turf system
This is the part of the pitch you actually see – the artificial grass itself, often referred to as the ‘carpet’ on a football pitch, combined with sand and performance infill.
9. Ancillary equipment
This includes additional requirements for an approved football pitch, such as appropriate fencing, floodlighting and goalposts – as well as project specific requirements such as team shelters, pavilions and car parks.
More detailed information can be found on our main Artificial Turf Pitches page.
Artificial turf football pitches are football pitches made without the use of natural turf. Commonly referred to as astro turf and synthetic turf, these pitches are constructed from technologically advanced synthetic fibres.
These synthetic fibres (resembling blades of grass) are tufted in a similar method to that used in making carpets, which is why synthetic playing surfaces are often referred to as ‘carpet’.
Artificial pitches use sand and SBR (rubber) or other performance infill to replicate the bounce and performance of natural grass pitches while protecting the artificial grass fibres.
Whether you’ve heard the phrase 3G, 4G, synthetic or astro turf, they all refer to the same thing: artificial turf.
The base and infill on pitches may vary, and the pile (grass) length is usually between 40-60mm depending on the sporting application.
Get in touch with our team to discuss your football pitch construction project.
As with any construction project, the longest part of the process will often be taking the project through the design and planning stage.
Once planning is granted and the construction programme agreed, the typical length of time on-site to construct a new artificial football pitch is generally 12-14 weeks, with football pitch resurfacing in the region of 6-8 weeks.
Whilst designed to look like top quality natural grass, artificial turf provides greater durability than natural turf. This makes them ideal for use across the sporting, education and leisure sectors, to ensure safe and consistent play – unhampered by weather or limited playing hours.
The key benefits over natural turf are usability, safety and performance.
The typical hours of usage for a natural turf pitch vary between 2-6 hours of adult use per week, depending on the maintenance, management and drainage of the pitch.
By comparison, an artificial grass pitch be used between 60-80 hours of adult use per week, so if you’re looking to hire your facilities out, it’s clear to see which pitch type will generate more revenue.
It’s also worth noting that for natural turf pitches, the estimated hourly usage may be impacted by the weather. Artificial turf pitches can be constructed indoors or outdoors – they don’t require that elusive sunshine for maintenance or playability.
Those of us who have played or watched football know all too well that British weather can be unforgiving. During a spell of heavy rainfall or freezing weather, natural turf pitches can become unfit for play, leading to matches being called off.
Artificial turf pitches are designed to be free draining to prevent waterlogging – this is why artificial pitches are often referred to as all-weather football pitches!
It’s not only about the weather though. Laser-guided base and shock pad installation provides consistency of surface across the field, ensuring that wherever a tumble, tackle or foul takes place, players are appropriately protected.
This same consistency of surface provides a reliable and long-lasting performance standard. Where lumps, bumps and holes can quickly occur after heavy use on poorly maintained natural grass pitches, artificial grass football pitches retain performance standards with hundreds of hours of use.
An artificial turf football pitch generally has a lifespan of around 10 years, though this will vary based on how well the pitch has been constructed, the weekly hours of usage and how well the pitch has been maintained.
3G Football Pitch Maintenance is crucial for maximising the lifespan of the pitch, whilst ensuring optimum playability and safety.
Although artificial grass doesn’t need cutting or watering like natural turf pitches, regular maintenance is still required, based on factors like hours of use.
Maintenance can include regular brushing, decompaction, managing infill levels and moss/weed removal. Improper pitch maintenance can lead to issues with drainage and safety, as well as void any manufacturer warranty you may have.
Only third generation (3G) artificial grass pitches are currently accepted by The FA and FIFA.
Once your 3G Pitch is complete, it will require testing to earn FIFA Quality Pro or FIFA Quality certifications, or to be added to the FA's 3G Pitch Register.
We provide clients with a choice of independent third-party testing organisations who are able to carry out these tests and can incorporate this into the cost of the pitch.
The cost of testing is usually between £2000 – £2500.
Sometimes referred to as ‘plastic pitches’ it’s easy to see why concerns have been raised about the use of artificial turf.
It’s useful however to consider a multitude of factors when it comes to artificial pitches, for example they improve access to sport for those living in areas with poor weather, improving health and wellbeing. The amount of usage artificial pitches can achieve also helps organisations to generate revenue through pitch hire, far more than can be achieved with the limitations of natural turf.
Artificial pitches even have some positive impacts on the environment, for for example they don’t require the large amounts of water that natural turf pitches take to maintain. US research showed that each full-sized artificial football field saves between 1.8 – 3.7 million litres of water each year compared to a natural turf field of the same size.
We’re consistently championing environmental innovation and mitigation methods for the artificial turf industry. We offer environmental mitigation methods to clients in line with the recommendations made by environmental charity Fidra.