Forest Green Rovers spread manure on football pitch

Cow pat
Image caption Manager Dave Hockaday: "The pitch is looking magnificent"

A football club has begun spreading cow manure at its ground to create what it believes will be the first organic pitch.

The move is part of Blue Square Bet Premier club Forest Green Rovers' ongoing plans to become more eco-friendly.

Club chairman Dale Vince also runs green electricity company Ecotricity.

Manager Dave Hockaday said the smell was "a little bit lively, but the pitch is looking magnificent".

No red meat

Groundsman Stewart Ward said it would take about two years for the ground to be declared organic by the Soil Association.

"On a farm you've got to have a period of three to five years for chemicals to be leached out of the ground," he said. "It's only around two years for a sports ground."

The club will meet the Soil Association on Thursday to discuss exactly what they need to do to become officially organic.

Red meat was taken off the menu at the ground in February, and plans for the club to become more environmentally friendly are in the pipeline.

Mr Vince said: "We've got a solar project planned, we're looking at LEDs for the flood lights, and we're also looking to collect the rain water from the main stadium and collect the drain water from the pitch so that we can recycle the water round and round.

"We're also looking at sinking a bore hole so that we can feed the pitch with spring water."

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