Council to trial hybrid grass technology in Piccadilly Gardens

A section of Piccadilly Gardens will be sown with reinforced hybrid turf designed to withstand tough conditions, as part of wider works to maintain the grassed areas in the public square.

The trial will see a small area adjacent to the fountain sown with the hi-tech turf, which is a mixture of natural and synthetic grass that is used across the world on professional sports pitches.

The hybrid technology delivers a natural surface that is far more resistant than standard grasses and will prove more cost-effective over the long term, reducing the amount of maintenance required. 

Should the hybrid grass prove successful, the Council will then consider expanding the trial area to other parts of Piccadilly Gardens that receive high levels of footfall.  

A second trial area will be turned to improve the soil and then re-seeded.  

Fencing will be on site to enable the work to be undertaken safely, until Friday 5 July, after which the two trial areas will remain fenced off for the next few weeks to allow the grass to germinate, then be cut and allowed to establish. 

The majority of the gardens will remain in use and operational, with the trial areas kept to a minimum to minimise impact on the area's use by the public. 

Councillor Pat Karney, Manchester City Council’s city centre spokesperson, said: “Thousands of people pass through Piccadilly Gardens every day and it becomes a natural focal point for the city centre when the sun comes out. 

“For a hard-working public space, we need a hard-wearing grass that can take such massive footfall, especially when the weather does let us down.  

"Over the years, we have tried a number of grass strains to improve its durability and we hope this trial will prove successful, with a view to extending the area across other parts of Piccadilly Gardens. 

“We are also taking this opportunity to re-sow other areas of grass to improve the space as we welcome the summer months in Manchester.”

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