The Australians opt for the natural approach
Ashtead residents look for a more open approach.
Residents concerned about the Ashtead Football Clubs plans to install a fenced off artificial grass pitch on the Ashtead Recreation Ground may wish to add their names to a new petition to Government aimed at banning artificial grass products in the UK.
Meanwhile in Australia, one local council whose community was split by arguments over artificial grass vs natural solutions, turned to science to find a way forward. A video showing how they managed to resolve their playing field problem, while uniting their community, can be found here:
Back in the UK the new online petition calls for the banning of artificial turf. If 10,000 people sign up to the petition, then the Government will be forced to respond to it. If 100,000 people sign up, then the matter will be considered for debate in Parliament.
The move by environmentally concerned individuals calls on Government and Parliament to prioritise public health and environmental protection “by prohibiting the sale, purchase, deployment, and use of artificial grass products with a view to preventing microplastic pollution, reducing carbon emissions and waste, and promoting biodiversity.”
The petition – which aligns with the objectives of Mole Valley District Council’s 2019 climate emergency policy – says that artificial grass products release carbon dioxide, cause flooding, pollute water, generate waste, harm biodiversity, and impact pollinators. It says that a ban on these products would, “promote more sustainable alternatives, reduce harm, and align with climate and sustainability goals. It's time for the government and parliament to take action and ban artificial grass products”.
Those wishing to sign the petition can do so here:- https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/633108.
Ashtead Independent councillor, David Hawksworth said, “Mole Valley’s ruling Liberal Democrats have declared an environmental emergency suggesting that the Council is “uniquely placed” to lead the way to a sustainable future by setting an example in the area. One can assume that they will live up to their own policy by halting the idea of adding to the carpeting over of carbon-fixing grass and adding to microplastic pollution ending up in our foods in order to further what comes down to the commercial interests of a narrow section of the Ashtead Community at the of a broader range of users.”
Concern about the artificial pitch proposal as well as other developments proposed for the QEII recreation ground have prompted some local residents to set up the Ashtead Recreation Ground User Group (ARGUG) – an informal group led by an Ashtead Resident which aims to provide information on and highlight issues relating to the Ground so that the wider community of Ashtead is aware of proposed changes to the use and or physical appearance of the area.
The group is keen to ensure that the community’s views on the usage of the ground are heard while promoting the idea that usage of the ground is “fully shared” by all residents. Their website can be found here:- Ashtead Recreation Ground User Group (argug.org.uk).
Note that Surrey County Council is currently consulting on re-routing the established footpath across the Ground.