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Artificial grass supply and installation has grown to become a key part of our business over the last few years, as such, we decided to create this website to feature the lawns and play areas we create. In addition you will find information on the excellent Namgrass artificial turf we use as members of their Approved dealer network.

We also urge to visit our main website at www.acerpaving.co.uk as well to read more about our family run business and the comprehensive paving and landscaping services we provide throughout Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Worcestershire.

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Is Artificial Grass Coming To Your Garden Soon ?

With the Chelsea Flower Show recently over, were you shocked by the appearance of artificial lawns in the designer show gardens? In fact, the bright green alternative to turf has made an appearance at the show since 2010 where it caused a bit of controversy with the traditionalists.

Artificial Grass at Chelsea Flower Show

Namgrass artificial grass was the first to feature in a Chelsea Show garden.

Is it any different from the so-called fake, man-made paving created to imitate the ‘real thing’? We have become accustomed to seeing exceptionally true to life sandstone, limestone, and even imitation timber railways sleepers and think nothing of it. Walls made from fibreglass with the texture and colour of stone are frequently used where a heavier, more expensive product is impractical.

It was interesting to read two sides of the argument for and against the artificial lawn in this month’s issue of Gardeners’ World Magazine, where Helen Yemm and James Alexander-Sinclair sparred with one another on the various merits of the new product. Their views were not completely diametrically opposed – sensible of the benefits and yet against any trend which would turn a garden into a no-maintenance environment devoid of planting.

In its favour James said: ‘An artificial lawn means that children can be levered away from their screens to go out and play at any time of the year.’ Whilst Helen, amused by various friends who aren’t averse to popping in a few artificial flowers into, what would otherwise be a dull bed, was pretty much against the idea apart from in the tiniest of gardens.

The quality and choice of artificial turf of today is a far cry from the skin-ripping AstroTurf of the original sports pitches or the wayward greengrocer’s decorative matting. The superb Namgrass range, as used by Acer is testament to that, with super-realistic grasses available for a range of lawn uses.

Artificial grass lawnartificial grass gloucestershireartificial grass play area

For me, the main benefits are for families with very young children who want a safe, clean outdoor place for them to crawl around and play in and for the elderly, who love to be outdoors and garden, but for whom the lawn has become one chore too many. After all, I expect that for most gardeners, the lawn is more time consuming to care for than any flower bed and far less interesting.

 

Guest blog by Amanda Brown from Gardening Tips Online

Artificial Grass Play Areas For Schools, Nurseries and Childminders

The Problems Sometimes Associated With Grass And Play Bark

Artificial grass is becoming ever more popular for play areas. Often the existing areas were formed with grass or play bark, (both of which can have their problems). If the soil conditions are right, the grass receives enough light and not too much traffic, it can make an excellent play area. Often though, the opposite is true, a combination of clay soils, poor drainage, overhanging trees, shading from buildings or fencing and heavy foot traffic, can leave the areas unusable at certain times of the year. There’s often mud, worn out grass and the danger of slipping. Grass surfaces are also not suitable around play equipment with fall heights of more than 1 metre, so often these areas need to be surrounded with another medium.

School play areaSchool play area School play area play bark

Some schools we visit have resorted to play bark at one point or another, this can end up just as messy, blows everywhere, needs constant renewal and can hide dangers like bottles and cans. Often these scenarios result in the search for a better, cleaner, safer and easier to clean play surface… 

Artificial Grass Play Areas

Increasingly we’re finding that artificial grass can provide the ideal replacement. It’s hard wearing, safe, clean and attractive to the eye. The realism of modern artificial grasses also makes them hard to distinguish from the real thing, unless you’re actually standing on it ! Even then, the look and feel of the grass is very convincing, often the giveaway is that it can look too perfect !

The grass – The play areas featured in this article were all created using Namgrass artificial grass. Namgrass is the residential arm of a company who have been producing quality grass products for over 30 years. They integrate high quality polyethylene (long fibres) with polypropylene yarns (curled thatch), to produce the artificial grass products we use. All the products are manufactured to the highest standards, benefiting from heavy duty latex backing, their unique Tuftlock system and grass fibres (yarns) of only the highest quality. The grass is perforated at approximately 100mm centres to aid drainage.

Green Meadow artificial turfArtificial grass stitchingNamgrass artificial turf

 

 

Preparation – It’s no secret that preparation is the key to most jobs and artificial grass play areas are no different. The first process is to remove the existing turf, (or play bark) and any other vegetation / loose material. The area often has to be excavated to allow for the make up of the play area, (around 100mm), but if the levels can be lifted slightly, this may not have to be done. Excavation, (and especially the disposal of the material), represents a significant cost, so if this can be avoided, we do so.

Excavating for artificial grass

artificial grass preparing forartificial grass preparation

In most circumstances, (and certainly on clay soils), a stone base is required. Our normal construction is to use a 50mm deep base of wash graded gravel. The “wash graded” description refers to the fact that this material has been washed to remove the clay content often found in gravels and graded to give the right aggregate sizes, (and quantity of fines), to achieve a quality material suitable for concrete mixing. These very properties results in an aggregate that compacts well as a base, yet remains free draining. Type 1 limestone can be used as a base, (a superb material for paving projects), but in our experience it can form an almost impermeable layer that doesn’t aid drainage. 

Artificial grass preparation of base

Artificial grass sub baseArtificial grass base

Next we install a bedding layer to enable us to form the accurate and smooth levels that can make or break an artificial grass installation. Our preference is to use a limestone grit. The material we use is a 4-2mm grit, (because it’s readily available), but a 6-2mm is equally as good. The grit layer has no fines at all, (the smallest aggregate size being 2mm), this makes it extremely free draining and a superb material for this use. Sharp sand can be used but our extensive experience with this material in our block paving installations has taught us it’s anything but free draining. In fact, it will hold water for days and turn to a “mush” if it gets too sodden. This isn’t a factor in block paving because the sand layer is kept dry by the blocks. Artificial grass is designed to let all the water through, so it’s horses for courses as far as we’re concerned.

Artificial grass limestone grit

Artificial grass preparation

Artificial grass underlay

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, we lay a weed barrier material. This helps prevent weed growth and aids in the positioning of the grass, (without it the underside of the grass would snag on the bedding layer). Our preference is to use Terram 1000, it’s an extremely strong geotextile used extensively in the construction industry. An added bonus is that it increases the point load capacity because of its resistance to deformation when weighted down over an area.

Artificial grass weed barrier

Artificial grass preparation

Artificial grass base

In circumstances where play equipment is present, foam shock pads may be required. The type and thickness of the pads is dependent on the critical fall height of the equipment. Each installation is unique and advice should be sought in this area to make sure your play area is safe for the children.

In circumstances where the play area is being formed over an existing hard surface, (such as paving, concrete or tarmac), the base construction shown above is not required. We use a Namgrass product called Floweb, Floweb underlay, (pictured on the right below), keeps the backing of the artificial grass clear of the surface, allowing rainwater to flow freely to necessary drainage outlets. In our experience, laying the grass directly on to a hard surface without this kind of underlay will cause future problems because the water can’t flow freely.

Artificial grass shock pads

Artificial grass critical fall height

Artificial grass drainage

Laying the grass – Most artificial grass rolls are available in 4m and 2m widths, 25m long. The grass is rolled out across the prepared base, cut to size and around play equipment with the use of a strong craft knife. If the area is wider than 4m, (or longer than 25m), the grass is joined using a jointing tape in conjunction with a specialist adhesive. We always prefer to use Namgrass’s own products here, because they’re tried and tested and of superior quality. The grass is secured around the perimeter using a variety of means. In some cases we use a pressure treated timber installed when doing the base, the grass is then screwed down to this at regular intervals. In other circumstances, (like heavily trafficked edges or where children are likely to pull at the grass edges), we install a concrete plinth around the perimeter and glue the grass down.

Cutting artificial grass

Cutting artificial grass

Artificial grass joints

A Sample Of Our Installations

The following examples show artificial grass play areas we’ve installed around play equipment and outdoor gym equipment. The higher equipment will have shock pads underneath.

Artificial turf play areaFake grass play area

Synthetic grass play area

plastic grass play area

school fake grass

Artificial grass for schools


Astroturf play area

 

 

Artificial grass play areaArtificial grass school play area

 

 

 

 

 

Installing the artificial grass around shrubs and trees presents no problem. The roots don’t need to be disturbed when preparing the base and they receive water as efficiently as they did previously.

Artificial grass around plants

Artificial grass around trees

Artificial grass around shrubs

 

 

 

 

 

Not all of our installations are so tricky, many involve turning an existing muddy grass play area into an area that can be enjoyed by the children all year around. Our installations are requested by Primary, Secondary and special needs schools as well as nurseries and Childminders. They all face the same problems of how best to deal with an existing, awkward area. Installing artificial grass makes the area more usable, more attractive and requires far less maintenance. A win win all around !

Artificial grass under fives school

Fake grass play area

Artificial grass schools

artificial grass

Artificial grass lawn childminder

Artificial grass

 

 

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About Acer Paving & Landscaping

 

www.acerpaving.co.uk

gary@acerpaving.co.uk

01793 729200 / 07802 752576

Swindon Artificial Grass

Swindon artificial grass

If you’re looking for artificial grass in Swindon, you’ve found the right place. Acer Paving & Landscaping have completed numerous artificial grass lawns and play areas for homeowners, businesses, schools and childminders in Swindon over the last few years.

We were pleased to be awarded the contract to provide and lay an artificial grass play surface for The Sun Inn at Coate in Swindon a couple of years ago. Shock pads were used under the play equipment for safety, (in case of a fall), and the whole area was made easy to maintain and safe for children to play on.

Swindon artificial grass

We visited The Chalet School in Liden, Swindon twice in 2012. The first time to provide artificial turf for an existing play area in the school grounds, secondly to lay artificial grass for the new outdoor gym they had installed for the children. In both cases we used the excellent Namgrass Green Meadow artificial grass, (a grass that we find equally popular for our artificial lawns).

Swindon school artificial grass

Swindon fake grass

Artificial grass has been equally popular with Swindon Childminders. The problems they face are similar to the school and pub play areas – areas of grass that are muddy, messy and slippery at certain times of the year, making them unsuitable for play activities.

Our Swindon clay makes maintaining a nice, clean lawn a real challenge. Artificial grass eliminates the drainage problems, (if laid correctly – watch out for those that shortcut this vital element) and provides a clean play surface all year around.

swindon artificial grass

Swindon fake grass lawn

We can imagine that having a safe and clean outdoor play area for the children under a Childminder’s control is a real bonus. We’re also sure it will impress any parents viewing the facilities available when choosing their Childminder. Having a play surface equal in quality and installation to those at local schools, must be a real selling point.

Our Swindon lawns aren’t easy to maintain as we’re sure, many of you have discovered already. It’s often a combination of heavy clay soil, poor drainage, shade from adjoining houses and fences that make keeping a nice lawn a challenge. Some of our Swindon customers just want an attractive and easy to maintain lawn, with no mess and no more mowing !

Swindon artificial grass installers

Swindon artificial lawns

Others have children and want a nice lawn that they can play on in all weathers, (almost!). Similarly homeowners with grand children want a safe play area in the garden for when they visit. Installing artificial grass can provide the solution for these scenarios, the days of treading in mud and mess will be over!

Swindon artificial grass lawns

Swindon plastic grass

Swindon homeowners with pets often call on us to provide a clean environment for their dogs to play and exercise on. Artificial grass doesn’t stain, can easily be washed clean if necessary and if the lawn is really small or there are several dogs, special deodorants are available. We’ve found in most circumstances this isn’t necessary and the homeowner can look forward to an easy maintain lawn that their pets won’t get covered in mud on every time they venture out.

Swindon artificial grass for dogs

Acer Paving & Landscaping are Approved Installers of Namgrass artificial grass. Namgrass is one of the top brands in the UK artificial grass market, its products are made to very high standards in the EU and come with a 10 year manufacturers guarantee.

Namgrass Artificial Grass

We are happy to provide a free survey and quotation for your Swindon artificial grass lawn or play area. We always carry sample of our grass with us, but if you’d prefer to order some samples for yourself, please contact Namgrass UK, who will promptly send some out –

Swindon artificial grass

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About Acer 

 

www.acerpaving.co.uk

gary@acerpaving.co.uk

01793 729200 / 07802 752576