These articles are published in the Slough Town FC programme. The Rebels play in the Southern Premier - just seven leagues below the Premier League. I’ve been supporting Slough since the beginning of time despite now living in Brighton. After nearly 14 nomadic years we finally have a brand spanking new home in Slough.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

COME ON YOU GREENS

Published in the Southern League South and West match v Windsor and Eton Easter Monday 24th March 2008. We lost 1-0 in front of 260.



I know that it’s a long way off but if we do get a new ground let’s make sure it will be as green as the grass we play on. The
Arbour Vale site gives us the perfect opportunity to make the club greener than Kermit’s bum, with plenty of grants available to help make it happen. The fact that it is next to a school, a field and some houses that are part of the redevelopment plans, there should no complaints about noisy wind turbines or festering compost bins – unless the noise and smell wake the dead at Slough Crematorium. Not only would some bold energy conservation measures tick lots of planning boxes (Slough Borough Council tell us they are “committed to making the town a cleaner, safer and greener environment for its residents”), it would in the long term cut costs, and with ever rising fuel bills this is something that should be given serious consideration.

Dartford’s new home was the world’s first custom-built eco-friendly football stadium. I know some Slough councilors have visited and it really is something to aspire too. Features include a living green roof which keeps in the heat and provides a natural air filtration system. Solar Panels providing electricity for the community changing and public toilets hot water storage cylinders. Reclaimed rainwater collected in two vast ponds and used for the loos and the pitch. The place is also heavily insulated, there’s under floor heating (be nice to have some under the terraces!) and low energy lightings.

Other examples include Manchester City’s stadium which has the world’s first football wind turbine powering not only the stadium but also up to 1,250 local homes. They serve up local food and encourage fans to use public transport. Germany’s SC Freiburg roofs are packed with solar panels generating electricity equivalent to the annual power consumption of 800 homes. Infact in Germany every public bin - including at football stadiums - is divided into four sections: paper, cans, plastic and general waste. And anyone who collects bottles and cans for recycling earns cashback.

So what could Slough do to lessen the environmental impact at the proposed new ground? The main drawback to Beaconsfield is the fact that it is so far away from Slough that driving is the only options unless you want to chance the crap bus service. The proposed new ground will be near the City Centre and many fans will be able to walk. Maybe there could be a link up with the local bus service to take people to the ground near kick off time with reduced rates for those producing a bus ticket. Or maybe for those of us planning a walking pub crawl to the ground, we could get a free beer in the clubhouse for drinking and not driving? How about some decent local sourced food being served up, washed down with some local real ale. It would also be nice to ditch all the plastic cups, plates etc that seem to blight every football stadium. Some decent recycling areas wouldn’t go a miss and what about composting bins? The Northwich Victoria’s groundsman apparently uses old dried tea bags to repair pitch damage!

If we do end up at Arbour Vale, I hope we get a stadium that is a bit more than another identikit soulless mechano set. As one Dartford fan wrote about their new ground “It's not often that a whole community can be proud of one, specific local initiative but in Princes Park we have something that is, not only truly exceptional, but a local development we can honestly be immensely proud of.” Now that’s got to be something to aim for at Slough.

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