Children growing up around Wembley Stadium connected by EE may dream of one day playing on its hallowed turf. Now they can come one step closer as over 130 tonnes of premier soil from the world famous pitch will be dispersed across London playing fields.
The nutrient-rich soil – trodden by professional footballers and international athletes – is removed annually in the off-season to allow for the installation of a pristine playing field ready for the first game of the new season in August.
As part of the focus on stadium sustainability, Veolia and The Football Association will redistribute the topsoil in Brent’s community football fields. This avoids landfilling the soil and allows locals to enjoy improved pitches and play on the same soil as their favourite footballers.
Playing fields in Gladstone Park and Northwick Park, used by teams from all over London, are set to become London’s luckiest pitches. The Wembley soil will enrich the grass and put an inspirational spring in the step of all who play on it.
Wembley’s Head Groundsperson, Karl Standley, will join local groundskeepers to lay out the soil, and offer advice on how to keep the grass in good condition. This activity will be overseen by Veolia, Wembley Stadium’s waste management partner, who also manage Brent’s parks on behalf of the Council. One hundred and thirty tonnes of soil will be distributed across the borough.
Wembley Stadium is the largest sporting facility in the UK. It has a 90,000 seating capacity and hosts up to 75 major events annually. The stadium is a ‘zero to landfill’ venue with around 65% of all waste being recycled, the remainder is sent to a waste to energy facility helping to heat and provide hot water to 48,000 local homes.
Wembley Stadium’s Head Groundsperson, Karl Standley said: “Sustainability is taken into account in everything that we do at Wembley and I’m pleased that we are able to put the stadium’s hallowed turf to good use in this way. The Wembley pitch plays host to a wide range of events each year, including England internationals, NFL and rugby games and the Emirates FA Cup Final. It’s a premium surface and a little piece of history, so I’m delighted that we’re able to reuse and share it with our local community in this way.”
Cllr Krupa Sheth, Lead Member for Environment, said: “This is another brilliant example of how materials can be repurposed and recycled – something we should all be thinking about more. What’s more, people living in and visiting our borough can enjoy soil previously trodden by the likes of David Silva, Paul Pogba and Harry Kane! We are grateful to the FA and Veolia for making this happen.”