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Appalling Damage To Grass Pitches


lottie

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In common with a number of other people who had obviously been making the most of the recent good weather, we left a Caravan Club site today to return home. I was appalled by the state of some of the grass pitches I saw vacated today. Some users of awnings had clearly made no attempt whatsover to lift their awning carpets and left behind them unsightly rectangles of bare soil and dead grass. Nor was it the first time I have experienced this.

 

No wonder Caravan Club sites seem to be moving over to more hard standings. Those who complain this makes them more like car parks can thank those CC members who render grass pitches unserviceable with their awnings.

 

A CC site I was on in August had had to close half a dozen pitches for 2 weeks because of the damage caused by awning ground covers. The site was full so the club lost 80 odd potential bookings and other members were denied 80 odd nights they might otherwise have been able to use the site.

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Groundsheets should be banned. There is no reason for having one on grass unless you are camping and sleeping in a tent.

We only ever put ours down on hard standing.

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This is an ongoing problem with no real solution other than hard standings. The good thing is that grass will always grow back. Myself i prefer hard standings rain or shine. As i say its not an easy one too call.

 

 

peter.

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They should insist on breathable ones. Lots of CLs do.

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If there is a choice we will always go for a hardstanding. If you think its bad in the UK using groundsheets you should see what they do in Europe. First it is the poly sheet and then the groundsheet on top!!!!

 

David

David - Milton Keynes

Bailey Alliance 66-2 Motorhome for holidays and a Kia Venga for home.

 

Caravan Travels

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I have seen on a number of occasions people put breathable ground sheets down but put a tarpalin or sheet of plastic down first to make sure they kill the grass . i dont think people care about whos using the pitch next and especially if the next residents have not got an awning and end up with a dirt patch outside their caravan to sit on .

 

 

 

Dave

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I don't know about banning them. If I could be guaranteed warm sunny weather for two weeks, then I'd agree, but traipsing through mud to get into the van doesn't much appeal, nor does sitting in a muddy awning.

That said, ground sheets should be checked to ensure they are breatheable.

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I don't know about banning them. If I could be guaranteed warm sunny weather for two weeks, then I'd agree, but traipsing through mud to get into the van doesn't much appeal, nor does sitting in a muddy awning.

That said, ground sheets should be checked to ensure they are breatheable.

 

 

We don't even own a ground sheet or awning carpet and when pitched on grass the grass stays dry under the awning and never ever gets muddy even if it rains for a fortnight. The only mud we have to contend with is when we are forced to pitch where someone else has already killed off the grass with their groundsheet.

 

Grass is the perfect breathable awning carpet and I can't see why you need any other.

 

We do carry a small tarpaulin to put on the ground for half an hour so we have a clean surface to fold up the awning on.

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We stayed at a site over the summer where it turned out we were pretty much at the bottom of a gentle slop and over three days it rained a fair bit and the grass went from a nice covering to fairly squelchy between the awning and car, and the grass inside the awming was just as wet and would have got very muddy very quickly. Without a breathable groundsheet we'd have still been cleaning the mud out of the carpet inside the caravan from muddy dog paws to this day whereas with a breathable groundsheet we had somewhere we could clean off their feet without them getting muddy again.

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We were on a site in Somerset in the summer and on arrival the pitch was really bad . .. just brown dead grass and soil where and awning/grounsheet had been. We pitched and put our awning up but we don't have a groundsheet so just put up with it all week.

 

When we packed up and took the awning down two fellas who had stopped for a chat on the way to/from the toilet block had a discussion with frowning faces both looking at the ground tutting and shaking their heads.

 

I didn't bother to say anything as it was obvious that the result of the summary trial was that I was guilty. I didn't hear the full conversation but managed to hear the words 'inconsiderate' and 'not fair'.

 

It just amused me to be honest

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We use a Swedish breathable groundsheet, to keep the inside of the awning clean and dry, as we tend to live in the awning as much as in the caravan. Even a breathable groundsheet will kill the grass, but it takes much longer. If we on a grassy pitch for more than three or four days we make a point of lifting the awning edges and pulling the groundsheet right out to air the plot at least once a week. We have often left flattened and slightly yellowed grass, but never dead.

 

One advantage of European sites, they are usually sand or bare earth, so the site is not usually spattered with big brown dead patches, its all dead!!

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We stayed at Rookesbury CC site in Fareham last weekend for a few nights and I was really shocked by the condition of the grass.

 

I had to level the van side to side and as the mover was raising the van up the ramp the more the ramp was sinking into the ground! The area by the door was just dried mud. ..... I decided to use the awning and so laid down our breathable groundsheet so we could at least prevent the mud from getting in the van. At the end of 4 days I was horrified to lift the groundsheet. Obviously the mud had become damp in the overnight rain and the bottom of the groundsheet was just caked with mud. I folded it up into the bag and will now give it a wash off when I have a spare minute but if we had not had the groundsheet in place I can't imagine what the van would be like. I have previously been on a site for 3-4 weeks with a breathable groundsheet and the grass has a slight taint of yellow but certainly not mud.

 

Ian

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We never use a ground sheet. .. Dont see the point for us. .. the awning is used in winter of we are away for a long weekend as somewhere to leave our boots and clean the dog off. . Just a shelter that is dry and we have a small mat of awning carpet just to stand on and leave our boots. In summer it is a sun shade and we dont live in our awning much. I guess it is from spending too much time in them at the track and when we get back from a day out it is usually just before we eat dinner. So we stop out to eat then go in to relax as it is usually late enough to not want to sit out much longer. But we much prefer the natural green carpet than rolling one up and slowly killing it off for others. ..

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We don't have a gorundsheet but the only time I've ever wanted one was on hardstanding as I hate walking on gravel. As others have said, grass is a lovely natural surface for walking on.

 

I wonder whether part of the problem might be the obsession on British sites (especially CC) with mowing the grass at all opportunities. If it was a bit longer it might survive better as well as keeping the place a bit quieter. .... Many French municipals seem to have a very tough grass variety that seems to survive better.

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We stayed at a site over the summer where it turned out we were pretty much at the bottom of a gentle slop and over three days it rained a fair bit and the grass went from a nice covering to fairly squelchy between the awning and car, and the grass inside the awming was just as wet and would have got very muddy very quickly. Without a breathable groundsheet we'd have still been cleaning the mud out of the carpet inside the caravan from muddy dog paws to this day whereas with a breathable groundsheet we had somewhere we could clean off their feet without them getting muddy again.

 

Yep, to say a ground sheet isn't necessary isn't always true. I've had 8" of water in our awning on one site, so yes, the grass inside the awning can get wet.

But, that doesn't excuse inconsiderate behaviour!

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We stayed at a site over the summer where it turned out we were pretty much at the bottom of a gentle slop and over three days it rained a fair bit and the grass went from a nice covering to fairly squelchy between the awning and car, and the grass inside the awming was just as wet and would have got very muddy very quickly. Without a breathable groundsheet we'd have still been cleaning the mud out of the carpet inside the caravan from muddy dog paws to this day whereas with a breathable groundsheet we had somewhere we could clean off their feet without them getting muddy again.

This is the reason we have a mat that is big enough to stand the dog on and clean him off and keep our muddy boots on if it is muddy. But still for us we dont need a full ground sheet and have never had a problem with mud inside the van. So I do see a use for a ground sheet. .. I like most agree it is bad to strangle the grass or create grassless areas because of the over use of ground sheet. . I dont see the point if people go away and know the forcast is a good one why they need to put the sheet down automatically. . A bit of rain or a shower in summer and it is still dry inside the awning. .. if it is going to be heavy to the point of making the whole field muddy then fine. . I just think some over use the sheet when there is no real need to use it. ...

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We, as many other do, use a breathable ground sheet, but we also have end bedrooms up, so these areas will not got any light etc from the time we pitch to the time we leave. We've never knowingly killed off any patch of grass, apart from at a site in derbyshire a couple of years ago when it just rained every day for the week we were there, so we had everything covered in blue plastic sheeting.

had to jet wash the ground sheet, awning & inner tents after that holiday as everything was caked in mud.

I refer you to the Rt Hon Member for the 19th Century.....................pictured just to the left of your screen..................

 

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People really seem to be confusing "using a groundsheet, breathable or otherwise" with "being a selfish inconsiderate person who spends two weeks killing off the site for everyone else".

 

Using a groundsheet for a ling weekend will do nothing whatsoever to the grass therefore getting all high-principled and saying "ban them", "never need to use them", "people who do use them must die", "only Satan himself would use a groundsheet" does seem a little OTT. .. As in so much, (e. g. other threads on dogs, noise, speeding on site, etc. etc.) just a little more consideration for other users of the site will solve the problem. Groundsheets aren't the problem in the slightest, idiotic self-centred numpties who only think of themselves are.

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Groundsheets aren't the problem in the slightest, idiotic self-centred numpties who only think of themselves are.

 

. .and also the CC who insist on stupid regimented layouts so you have to use the same bad patch. Watched a warden this summer who religiously moved the 'pitch marker post' as soon as the pitch was vacated so the next occupant couldn't pitch awning in same place. It meant that he slightly reduced the overall number of pitches but the general condition of the site was much much better than most CC sites. Why can't they all do that?

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Guest Benzowner

It is a problem and one which could be avoided. When a van leaves a site and the warden goes to cut the grass, if the grass is dead because of a ground sheet, they know who was on the pitch and their membership number. They could then ban them from using an awning on any club site for say two visits.

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We only use a small piece of breathable mat right by the caravan step, which gives a nice piece of dry area to take off shoes, etc. For the rest of the awning space, we don't use anything - I like grass!

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I have never used or felt the need to use a groundsheet on grass or hardstanding, its only ever the soles of my shoes that make contact with the ground within the awning, so why would i need to put a covering down, but hey. .. each to their own.

Anton

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We use a ground sheet, the green type I assume is breathable cos on a wet day you get the worms popping through!!

 

Luckily the site we're on is quite easy going because it's mainly all seasonal pitches (until the work's done then they'll have overnighters) so their attitude is "Well if you use an unbreathable sheet it's your pitch your making muddy should the awning come down anytime" although lately there's room to move pitches if you like.

 

When we were up at the old bit it was great as it was hard standing as were most other site's we've been on so we didn't use a groundsheet but on this one we were getting demented that if we weren't up one weekend the next one the grass would be knee high :blink: so now we just roll the ground sheet to one side as we don't keep stuff in the awning and it's fine, plus with it being dry inside the grass doesn't grow much now.

 

The awning will be due to come down at the end of October but we can still use the caravan in the winter so won't have to worry about trailing mud into the caravan as we'll still have grass :D

Compass Shadow 1988

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