Natural turf for sport

Natural turf for sport will help you develop safe and sustainable pitches that are fit for sporting purpose

It will also provide practical advice on building and maintaining playing fields and sports pitches, including:

  • Design guidance
  • Standard pitch layouts
  • Construction specifications
  • Costs.

Download our Natural Turf for Sport Design Guide

This guide, published in 2000, was developed in consultation with national governing bodies, sports turf specialists, and contractor associations.

Layouts or plans of natural turf pitches to support diagrams in the Natural Turf for Sport Guide (October 2013) are also available to download below. There is a different document for each sport.

We have been working closely with the Football Association, England and Wales Cricket Board and Institute of Groundsmanship to develop a document (February 2014) that identifies the key issues and to show, through a series of useful tips and case studies, how football and cricket can enjoy a long future of working together.

Comparative sizes of sports pitches and courts

This updated guidance (2015) – now with separate documents for indoor and outdoor sports – is intended to give an overview comparison of space requirements for an extended range of sports and reflect the most up-to-date national governing body (NGB) facility requirements.

These documents have been fully endorsed by the NGBs at the time of publication.

Our Equivalent Quality Assessment of Playing Fields briefing note provides technical guidance on how, when proposals for replacement playing fields are reviewed, the quality of pitches should be assessed to meet Exception E4 of our Playing Fields Policy.

It describes a robust assessment process to determine whether proposals will in practice provide the 'equivalent quality' replacement playing fields that are required to meet this exception.

Groundsmanship for Sports Clubs

Our Groundsmanship for Sports Clubs website also provides valuable support for volunteers, coaches, club officials and the 'hands-on' groundskeeper.

With easy to follow advice, images and videos aimed at all club members, this site encourages a collaborative team approach to looking after sports grounds and creating great pitches. 

The groundsman role can be as important as a top coach or a star player

Check out the knowledge base that shows how club members can learn from experts and help carry out basic maintenance tasks to improve the quality of pitches – and save money.

Site feasibility reports

Within this section, there are generic Feasibility Reports (2013) that identify the key issues for bringing recreational space into formal sporting use and issues on a regularly waterlogged pitch requiring improvements.

Our FAQs cover the most frequently asked questions relating to planning, design, construction, and maintenance of natural turf pitches.

For enquiries regarding specific sports, we also recommend contacting the appropriate national governing body of the sport.