Artificial Sports Turf | Kestrel Contractors

Designing and Constructing Artificial Sports Turf

Artifical Sports Turf

Artificial sports turf is being used for a variety of activities because the ground can be used all year round without deterioration in performance. Artificial grass renovation and replacement are also efficient ways to relay an area and be ready for use straight away. No more waiting for the grass to grow.

We are now seeing professional sports clubs throughout the UK and Europe using artificial turf, as it gives them the best performance in all weather conditions. Also, now local authorities and clubs are using artificial grass to increase their revenue, as it can be used all year.

Kestrel supply a variety of artificial sports turf to suit just about any type of sports or activity, from stud wearing sports like Football or Rugby, to hard ground sports like Netball or Basketball; or even sports that need smooth surface like Bowls or Cricket.

 Why choose Artificial Turf

Over the years artificial sports turf has improved from sand-based AstroTurf to 3rd Generation sand and rubber crumb-filled surfaces, which has improved the performance and durability of sporting fields. These substantial improvements have meant the artificial surfaces have low maintenance cost, but still maintain their high performance.

Now artificial turfs can improve revenue as it has a low maintenance cost and can be used all year round. Sporting governing bodies such as FIFA, FA, FIH, IRB and RFU accept artificial turf as an acceptable playing ground.

At Kestrel we offer every activity or sport on any type of high-quality artificial turf that will fit your needs.
Kestrel constructs artificial surfaces suitable for just about every sport;

      • Football
      • Hockey
      • Rugby Union and League
      • American Football
      • Multi Use Games Areas
      • Tennis
      • Cricket
      • Netball
      • Bowls
      • Basketball


Surface types

Artificial grass renovationArtificial Grass

Artificial turf sports surfaces, commonly known as astro turf, have gained a reputation as a poor substitute to natural sports turf, receiving criticism for their inconsistent ball bounce and increased risk of player injuries and abrasions.

However the latest long pile 3rd Generation Rubber Crumb & sand-filled artificial sports turf surfaces have eliminated such limitations & provide top quality surfaces for match play and training.



3rd-Generation surfaces are the latest development in artificial grass technology.
Long pile 3G artificial grasses are generally soft to the touch and designed to replicate the best quality natural turf in aesthetics and playability.

3G surfaces provide the best artificial football and rugby surface and are a viable option as a training area, helping to ease wear on natural pitches, or as a main playing surface, being accepted by the major governing bodies for some competition level matches.


A long pile artificial grass (40 – 65mm) filled with specialist sand and typically topped up with rubber crumb granules.
Applications –

  • Football
  • Rugby
  • American Football
  • Hockey Training (see England Hockey long pile directive)


For more information about 3G and 4G pitches check out our 3G/4G pitch construction page.

Sand Based (Dressed or Filled)

Higher levels of performance increased longevity and reduced maintenance requirements mean that traditional sand based ‘astro turf’ artificial grass systems have developed in many ways over recent years.

Despite the rise in usage of 3G rubber crumb surfaces for football and rugby, sand based surface still provide a viable option for hockey pitches and larger multi use surfaces. As well as accommodating high level hockey usage ‘astroturf’ is also suitable for pitches which must offer a range of sports on one surface such as tennis, football, netball, cricket and general PE.

For many clients such as private sports clubs, schools and local authorities installing sand based artificial turf surfaces provides the ideal solution.


A short pile artificial grass (15 – 30mm) filled with specialist sand either to the tips of the fibres (sand filled) or within the grass system for greater stability (sand dressed).

Sand based surfaces are typically laid onto a shockpad (unless for a primary tennis usage) for improved shock absorption and to improve durability and performance.


  • Hockey
  • Tennis
  • Netball
  • Football training
  • General PE


Fully synthetic

Water based artificial turf surfaces consist of a very dense fibre which due to its makeup does not require sand infill for stability or performance, these non-infill surfaces are often referred to as ‘fully synthetic’.

These systems require regular irrigation, often via a pitch side irrigation system or water cannon to ensure a quick and consistent ball roll, hence the name “water-based”.

Water based surfaces require a shockpad for consistency of performance and safety which can either be in the form of an inbuilt system or a separately installed pad.

Water based surfaces are very hard wearing and player friendly due to the absence of sand infill which can be abrasive if a player falls.


A very dense short pile artificial grass (9 – 18mm) which does need filling or dressing with sand but does require regular irrigation to ensure optimal performance.
Applications –

  • Elite Hockey


Non Infill (4G)

Non infill artificial grass systems, sometimes referred to as 4th-Generation pitches are used exclusively for football training and provide a surface which looks very similar to natural grass.

They are utilised mainly in hot climates where rubber crumb heat retention can cause an issue and also in indoor applications where the dust from some rubber crumb infill can create maintenance and dust problems.

4G surfaces require a shockpad and are often accompanied by irrigation systems to help reduce surface temperature and provide a slick surface which lends itself perfectly to high-level football.


A mid-length pile artificial grass (26 – 35mm) manufactured with a dense construction, often using a supporting yarn, which does need filling or dressing with sand to ensure optimal performance.

NB: It is important to note that non infill or 4th-Generation surfaces do not currently meet FIFA standards due to the newly introduced skin abrasion testing and, therefore, are not suitable for competition standard.

Applications –

  • Football Training
  • Hard Courts



Tarmacadam often known as tarmac and macadam is a bound aggregate layer often used for tennis, netball and basketball courts.
Porous macadam is a popular choice for Multi Use Games Areas as it provides great flexibility and consistency of performance.
Macadam surfaces are laid in black and can be colour coated in a number of ways to provide a striking and professional look.


A bound porous aggregate layer comprising a base course – typically 40mm thick comprising 20mm aggregate – and a surfacing or wearing course – typically 25mm thick comprising 6mm or 10mm aggregate.
Applications –

  • Tennis
  • Netball
  • Basketball
  • General PE



Polymeric surfaces are paved rubber surfaces usually laid on top of macadam layers and provide a hard wearing surface with genuine versatility.

Polymeric rubber surfaces provide a higher quality and safer alternative to macadam and are typically provided in red, green, blue or black.


There are two main polymeric surfaces:-

A 12-15mm single layer with a smooth EPDM rubber crumb and anti-slip finish designed for football and basketball and;
A twin layer 12mm system comprising of a 9mm base course and 3mm anti-slip EPDM texture spray designed for netball and athletics.


  • Athletics
  • Basketball
  • Netball
  • 5 aside
  • Tennis
  • General PE




Insitu pads are paved insitu using specialist machinery and comprise of graded rubber crumb granules bound by a minimum concentration of polyurethane binder, between typically between 8-10%.

Pre formed

Made in rolls or panels, a pre-formed shockpad come from a variety of manufacturers in differing forms (expanded polypropylene, foam, rubber) and provides an alternative to the traditional insitu rubber crumb shockpad.

There are merits and drawbacks to each type of shockpad and it is down the individual application and end user expectations which will determine which is the best solution.

Kestrel offers a wide range of artificial sports turf pitch construction, renovation and replacement, including synthetic sports turf for football, hockey, rugby, tennis to macadam based multi-use games areas.

To find out more about the artificial sports turf construction, installation and renovation services we offer, contact one of our team of specialists on 01256 880488, or complete the contact form on the right.

Our Team of Experts will be delighted to talk to you so give us a call on: 01256 880 488 or drop us a line at: [email protected]

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