Town replacing lawn patch with fake grass

Sept. 14, 2012 at 11:44 AM

BOURTON-ON-THE-WATER, England, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Officials in a British town said a patch of grass in a picturesque piece of council-owned land will be replaced with artificial turf.

The parish councilors in Bourton-on-the-Water, England, said they will install false grass on the 36-square-yard piece of land in an attempt to save on costs from having to patch the grass each year after it is destroyed by tourists, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

Councilor Richard Johnes said it costs about $1,600 to repair the lawn each fall.

"If this is successful, we are not intending to returf the whole green with artificial turf," he said. "We're just throwing about 1,000 pounds ($1,621) on some of these patches. This is a material that's used quite widely. You'll find it at Wimbledon. It's accepted as an alternative to grass that wears out quickly."

However, environmental activists said the fake grass isn't an acceptable alternative for insects.

"A village green full of wildflowers can be a fantastic place for beetles and bees to thrive and it would a real shame if this lovely village in the heart of one of the most important and environmentally sensitive areas in England put down a fake green," said Matthew Shardlow, chief executive of Buglife, a group devoted to the conservation of invertebrates.

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