T. Harte, J. Foran, A. Hunter
The grassless all sand all weather surface is a totally new concept in all weather training surfaces. It is designed to withstand heavy wear in all weather conditions and is suitable for all sports where training activity is such that grass surfaced areas are unable to withstand the heavy wear imposed especially throughout the winter months. This includes equestrian activities like lunging rings, jumping arenas and indoor training areas where a consistently firm though yielding surface that has perfect drainage is required. It is like a beach where the sand adjacent to the sea is held firmly enough by the capillary action of the water. The system is based on the principle of capillarity where water is drawn up through a sand column. A 250-300 mm layer of sand with round shaped grains measuring 0.125-0.5 mm diameter is spread uniformly on a wet level surface on top of an impermeable membrane on which a grid system of 50 mm diameter perforated land drainage pipes covered by a geotextile membrane are placed. The pipe network is spaced to allow for a constant water supply at the base of the sand column to maintain capillary action within the sand profile, to stabilise it and hold it moist but firm facilitating activities that would not be possible on dry sand. Water is supplied to the system through a series of water tanks equipped with ball cocks which control the water level in the training surface at all times. This design also allows reverse water flows to occur during heavy rainstorms, when the entire construction acts as a joint drain, thus maintaining the integrity of the surface. The surface can easily be re-levelled using an agricultural land leveller, manual or mechanical loots and rakes if there is serious surface disturbance or mixing of the sand due to heavy wear. Subsurface contamination of the sand does not occur since the system is totally enclosed.
Harte, T., Foran, J. and Hunter, A. (2007). THE GRASSLESS ALL SAND ALL WEATHER TRAINING SURFACE. Acta Hortic. 762, 91-98
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2007.762.8
grassless, all weather, capillary action, training surface

Acta Horticulturae