By Chris Wright
We’re plumping for something a little bit different for this week’s Around the Grounds, with a visit to Blue Square Bet Premier side Dartford FC and their 4,100-capacity Princes Park ground – one of the “most ecologically sound stadiums ever built” if you believe the blurb, and why would you not?
Opened in 2006, the £7million build is made largely from treated timber, with the energy for its undersoil heating, floodlighting and hot water provided by solar panels on the roof.
Speaking of the roof, the lid on Princes Park is made from grass – a “living roof” if you will – to absorb rain water (which is also collected in a couple of ponds outside and recycled accordingly) and provide extra insulation. The stadium’s full eco spec is available here.
It’s one big, self-sustainable, beautiful thingummy jig made all the more impressive in that it was masterminded by a small club from the non-leagues…
Fun fact: Princes Park’s actual postcode is DA1 1RT, the closest the club could get to a personalised “DART” postcode.
More in Pies’ Around The Grounds series…
The New Maracana, Rio De Janeiro
Griffin Park, Brentford
De Kuip, Feyenoord
Upton Park, West Ham
San Mames, Athletic Bilbao
FC Gspon’s Ottmar Hitzfeld Stadium, The Highest Pitch In Europe
Valley Parade, Bradford City
Prenton Park, Tranmere
Wankdorf, Young Boys
Estadio Municipal, SC Braga
Home Park, Plymouth Argyle
Victoria Park, Hartlepool United
Bloomfield Road, Blackpool
Ninian Park, Cardiff City
Wankdorf Stadium, Young Boys
Portman Road, Ipswich Town
Recreation Ground, Aldershot
Saltergate, Former Home Of Chesterfield