Peacehaven - Europe's Largest Turf Roof
Thursday, 19 January 2012 11:23

Southern Water has completed a massive £300 million environmental improvement scheme to clean up Sussex’s seas and meet European wastewater treatment standards. The project included the construction of a new treatment works in Peacehaven, which will serve a population of over 250,000 generating up to 95 million litres of wastewater per day.

Planning Peacehaven

In order to receive planning permission the works had to be sympathetic to their surroundings, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. To achieve this the treatment works was sunk into the landscape and incorporated a green roof to protect the views of the South Downs from key viewpoints.


The green roof spans a total of 16,000sq m – equivalent to nearly three football pitches, Frosts Landscape Construction were contracted to source and install the turf, knowing the turf laid in your back garden wouldn't be suitable for such a bespoke project Frosts contacted us to create a special seed mix that would blend in with the project’s surroundings.

It was a task all of us at Spearhead Turf relished as Tim Cannon explains “[The turf supplied is ideal as] it requires mowing only once a year, produces minimum thatch and has excellent rooting capacity. Considerable care was taken in the mowing of the turf to retain the crested dogstail and quaking grass so that the roof would blend into the natural South Downs environment.” He continues “It’s great to have been involved in a project like this – not least because I’m very interested in conservation myself, it was also satisfying to overcome the challenges of the job, such as working with the construction team to provide the right material and technical spec, and lifting the turf in 40sq m sections by crane."

The Science Bit

Working in conjunction with Barenbrug we selected a unique blend of Barkoel crested hairgrass, crested dogstail and quaking grass to match the natural landscape surrounding the water treatment works, once the seed had been sown it was grown for 10 months at our Cambridgeshire turf farm. Once complete the turf was cut into lengths, rolled for transport and bedded on the roof at Peacehaven, no longer than 24 hours after being lifted.

Although the turf used at Peacehaven would be no good for your lawn at home you can buy from Spearhead Turf knowing we use our knowledge of large scale bespoke turf growing to drive our domestic products ensuring you always have a beautiful lawn to enjoy forever. If you want to do your bit for water conservation look at our SpearDROUGHT turf - perfect for low water situations.


All of us at Spearhead Turf are proud to have contributed to such an important environment project delivering an awesome turf roof - one of the largest in europe - ensuring that the Peacehaven treatment works will soon disappear into the surrounding South Downs landscape.

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