Grasscrete/mats for turnout area?

diddy

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Joined
10 March 2011
Messages
277
Afternoon everyone!

We're looking at building a turnout area for the ponies & have spoken to the local council about planning. They told us they are not very keen on hardstanding but would look favourably on a turnout area done with grasscrete.

I've not come across this before. From the grasscrete website, they look like heavy duty mats, installed on a hardcore base. The pics on there have lorries & all sorts driving over them so assume they're pretty rugged.

Was just wondering if anyone has any experience of using them for horses? I guess the council's issue is that they don't want to see a big expanse of concrete or wood chip. But if the grass grows through the mats then surely the horses will just eat it, so not sure how much better they will actually look anyway?! And I'm also thinking it might be horribly expensive. So before I freak out, thought I'd ask around on here first :)

Any help much appreciated!

D. x
 

Honey08

Waffled a lot!
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7 June 2010
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north west
Are they like regular grass mats? Mats with holes in that allows grass to grow through? We have some in gateways and they still allow a lot of mud through and sink. I agree, the grass would get eaten, so they would still be visible. We have road planings and they grow grass on them when the horses aren't on them (hayseeds and droppings from winter make it grow really well), the horses pull it all up in winter!
 

diddy

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Joined
10 March 2011
Messages
277
Hi Honey08 - thanks for that.

According to the manufacturer, grasscrete is a "cast on site cellular reinforced concrete system" - whatever that is! Yes, they look kind of like regular mats with grass growing through. But I think they are more rugged & are laid on hardcore to stop the mud coming back up.

There's a link here if anyone is interested: http://www.grasscrete.com/docs/paving/grasscrete.html

Like I say, they do look quite heavy-duty & I'm hoping that the hardcore underneath would stop them sinking without trace. But the website has no horse-related pics on it so would be really interested to hear what you all think! I'm also thinking it looks like a lot of money/faff if there's a cheaper alternative that might keep the planners happy :)
 

Nugget La Poneh

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28 May 2012
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2,477
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Cheshire
I am sure that the old airfield up the road where I used to live had this stuff (or similar) on the grass taxiways. For me personally I would worry about horses forgetting the surface they are on and bogging off and over on it. But then I over think things! But having said that, if the council have suggested it, then it could work.

Something like this with pea gravel over the top? http://www.hoofgrid.com/
 

Honey08

Waffled a lot!
Joined
7 June 2010
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18,986
Location
north west
It does look very heavy duty (and expensive!!).

Shame I haven't got any photos of ours with grass growing over the top of the road planings, could have helped your cause.

Would they be up for a hardstanding area if you covered it with a few inches of soil and allowed the grass to grow on that? We have a previously hardcore paddock that has, over twenty years, got earth and grass cover it. Its still quite useful for the horses, it does get muddy, but only to hoof level. We used it for winter turnout for a couple of winters. It wasn't as good as the road planings winter turnout, but was ok for a few hours turnout. We just roll it and rest it over summer and it comes back great.
 
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