The future is here as you walk up Another Way.
As you turn the corner into Another Way you arrive at Forest Green Rovers Stadium and into another way of doing things with practices that will become main stream very soon.
Formed in 1889 Forest Green have been at the forefront of Gloucestershire Non League foot until 2017 when they gained promotion to the English Football League for the first time and survived at that level in their first season.
But they are known worldwide for something completely different :
‘FIFA recently described us as the greenest football club in the world. We’re the first and only vegan football club in the world. And we’re the only club on the planet to have Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) accreditation, the gold standard of environmental management. This allows us to measure our impact on the environment and target the reduction of our carbon emissions.’ Extract taken from Forest Green Rovers Web site https://www.fgr.co.uk/
Forest Green Rovers were the first Vegan football club in the world, vegan food is served to all players, officials and fans at the club. They also play on an organic pitch where no pesticides or herbicides are used and the weeding is all done by hand. The pitch is cut by a solar powered lawn mower that is nicknamed Mowbot and is watered by rainwater to ensure no mains water is used. As you walk along Another Way to ‘The Lawns’ ground you pass the electric vehicle charging points.
The club is supplied by 100% green energy, some from their own solar panels at the stadium and the rest from Ecotricity . Ecotricity was founded by Dale Vince who is also the Chairman of the football club. It is his drive and vision that has put them where they are, but it may not stop there as they have lodged planning permission to build a 5000 seat stadium all made from wood.
The whole experience was different, the Q Pie, Q for Quorn, was good, the atmosphere was friendly, family, happy and everywhere was spotlessly clean. The vegan credentials add to the experience, organic beer and milk for your tea or coffee was soya or oat milk. Never a fan of soya milk I was surprised to find oat milk a real tasty alternative to cows milk.
The beer mug was eco too and had printed on it’s side: ‘I am not a plastic cup. 100% compostable. 100% biodegradable. This tumbler is made from plant starch and can be turned into compost to help grow more crops.’ http://www.biopac.co.uk
The 52 page program is very colourful, informative and worth the £3, if there was any criticism it was that the details of the opponents players was very limited.
Sitting in the main stand had a good view of the pitch and there was no wall or fencing lining the pitch.
Forest Green Rovers 0 Stevenage 0
Of the football I have to say it was the most boring match that I have seen for years and the 0-0 draw seemed to suit Stevenage who defended well but rarely looked like scoring. My man of the match was the Forest Green number 2 Liam Shephard whose speed on and off the ball was good and he was unlucky not to hit the net after some surging runs. The crowd was only 1800, very disappointing considering the effort that is being made by the club.
The score for the chip league was a disappointing 56. They came in a paper tray but with a plastic fork. The chips were tasty but only warm and a bit soggy. Sorry Forest Green you are an outstanding, progressive club with amazing ideas that we will all have to look to in the future let down by the chips and fork.