Cannabis heating lamps seized by police in drugs raids are being recycled to help grow another type of grass – on Notts County’s FOOTBALL PITCH.
The sophisticated lighting will be attached to recycled goal posts to provide artificial light at Britain’s oldest football league club.
Nottinghamshire Police donated the lights after a series of drugs raids over the past year which saw thousands of pounds worth of cannabis seized.
The clubs stadium manager Greg Smith read about the raids and approached the force about the possibility of having the lights.
The four rigs will now help grow areas of the pitch which are shaded by the stands at Meadow Lane once students from Nottingham University have finished making them in time for next season.
Similar set-ups usually cost English football clubs around £80,000 – but Notts County have forked out just under £5,000 for their home-made device.
Mr Smith said: “Hopefully next year we will really see the difference.
“We rented some rigs for Meadow Lane about four years ago and it really helped the surface.
“Normally to buy one rig you are looking at between £10,000 and £15,000.
“We have both sports at the club, football and rugby, and we’ve got a main stand that doesn’t allow the light in during the winter.
“So, we can have them from the start of October through to the end of February, hopefully growing grass for us.
“It’s definitely an interesting community project.
“I thought it would be a hard task to achieve, but in the last couple of weeks it has all come together.”
Mark Meaneer, 21, one of the students working on the project, said: “It should be quite a straightforward task because the hardest part was the design stage and that’s pretty much finished.
“We are not that experienced, but we are thrilled to have the job because not only will it help the club, it will help us in the future too.
“This is a hobby, and we enjoy doing it in our spare time.”
Each individual light can cost up to £60, and batteries were also donated along with wheels from a nearby golf course’s buggies.
Nottinghamshire Police Superintendent Mark Holland headed a raid four months ago that contributed towards the donation.
He said: “It’s good news for everyone involved.
“This property would normally be crushed – so it is important it gets reused and a lot of people are getting the benefit from it.”