The New Lawn
(Forest Green Rovers)
Address: Another Way,
Capacity: 5,147 (2,041 Seated)
A decent, little ground in a nice, little village, but really difficult to reach by anything other than a car.
Built between 2005 and 2006, The New Lawn, currently known for sponsorship reasons as The Fully Charged New Lawn, has been the home of Forest Green Rovers Football Club ever since its completion.
The club previously played at their original home called The Lawn Ground for 116 years, hence influencing the name of the currently existing ground.
The club is perhaps best known for its vegan nature, having seen investment from green energy industrialist Dale Vince since 2010.
The New Lawn has seen several eco-friendly innovations, including an organic football pitch, solar panels that power a good percentage of the ground, and most notably a fully vegan menu for players, staff and fans that visit, be they either home or away supporters.
Location and Getting There
The New Lawn is located in the very west corner of Nailsworth, a small Gloucestershire town around four miles south of Stroud and around 13 miles west of Cirencester.
Coming by car is the most effective way of reaching The New Lawn.
Parking is difficult to find around the ground itself though, unless you use the club’s car park or the overflow car park a little further down Nympsfield Road. Both of course cost money to park in.
You should be able to find somewhere within Nailsworth that’s free to park if you look hard enough, but be careful not to block driveways and be wary about some roads being only accessible for residents.
It is also worth noting that Nailsworth itself is on a very steep hill, and the further you go into the town, the more you will have to climb up on your walk to the football ground.
Coming by train to The New Lawn is very difficult.
The nearest train station is Stroud, and it just isn’t possible to walk from here to the football ground.
Forest Green Rovers do recommend you use either the 63 Gold or 65 bus services from the Merrywalks stop a short distance from the station. These run regularly on Saturdays so should be fine here, but do not always run for midweek fixtures, so there is a good chance you could find yourself forced to order an expensive taxi back to the station after an evening match.
Outside the Stadium
The main road leading into The New Lawn is brilliantly called Another Way, and once there, you can walk around the entire vicinity of the ground, although the area around the back of the West Stand is much narrower than the rest and people usually don’t go through there unless that stand is open for use. Additionally, the mezzanine holding the matchday camera hangs over here and poles that hold this mezzanine up will be in your way.
It’s probably best to just leave this path out and walk along Another Way if you are trying to get to the southern side of the football ground.
The outside of the North Stand is very basic, simply a rather bland brick wall.
The turnstiles into this stand are towards the northeast corner, and there is nothing accessible over at the northwest corner apart from the path leading to the West Stand. A small portacabin along one wall of the North Stand sells Forest Green Rovers merchandise inside.
The East Stand is easily the largest of the four stands at The New Lawn.
Its exterior uses brickwork at the lower level and corrugated iron on the outside of the upper level and roof. The central area leading to the Club Reception has a glass pane at the front of it and protrudes further out than the rest of the stand.
Turnstiles leading into the seating area can be found towards the northeast corner. The northeast corner itself is where you can find the Main Ticket Office and Club Bar.
There is a large flag on the upper part of the East Stand, displaying a green, white and black version of the Union Jack, Forest Green Rovers crest and the words WE ARE FGR! In black.
Beyond the Ticket Office are a few charging spaces for electric cars.
The South Stand has a similar exterior design to the adjacent East Stand, with a couple of iron fences between the stand’s two main buildings.
There are just two turnstiles into this stand, and they can be found near the centre.
Forest Green Rovers' changing rooms are in a building in the southwest corner.
Immediately outside of the South Stand are a number of parking spaces, a couple of which are reserved for club staff.
Another Way loops around outside the South Stand, allowing vehicles to go back where they came from without the need for a three-point turn.
Inside the Stadium
The main thing you may notice when you head inside The New Lawn is the amount of available space around the seating and terraces. Expansion to the football ground's capacity is certainly possible here, though new stadium plans elsewhere suggest that this won't ever happen.
The West Stand is made up mostly of uncovered standing terrace, but there is an green elevated section of seating that has a roof over the top and can be reached by a staircase round the back of it.
The mezzanine which holds the matchday camera is up behind the back wall in the centre of the stand, so it doesn’t block the view of any fans in front of it.
An electronic scoreboard is positioned on the front of this and can be seen by everyone except for those stood or sat in the West Stand.
Unless you find yourself in the elevated seating section, there is no protection overhead or from the sides. It's fair to say that this can prove to be the worst place to be during cold or wet matchdays. Being at a ground located on top of an exposed hill doesn't help either!
The North Stand is single-tiered and made up entirely of covered standing terrace.
Space on the side towards the northeast corner makes up the concourse and towards the northwest corner is a path that gives access to the West Stand.
There are no supporting pillars coming down from the roof and so your view is perfectly clear from inside. With no windshields at either end, protection is limited to just above and you can feel any present wind if you are positioned at either end of the stand.
The East Stand is the only one of the four made up entirely of seating.
Single-tiered with a row of executive seats behind the very back row, the letters FGR are spelt out in white across the blocks of black seating. Entrances from the concourse bring you out at the very front of the stand and as a result the front row is a fair way from the pitch itself, more than it is for any other stand in the stadium.
The dugouts and benches are located in the centre of the East Stand, meaning that substitutes and staff have to walk across the pitch to get from the changing rooms to their seats for the game.
Your view is perfectly clear from anywhere inside, but there are no windshields in place at either end.
Like the North Stand opposite, the South Stand consists of a single-tier of covered terrace that has no supporting pillars coming down to block your view, but no windshields on either side. This South Stand is in turn split into two sections by two columns of green fencing. The stand was formerly used by away supporters, but now is a home-only stand and so the segregation fences aren't really necessary anymore.
In the southeast corner is a load of equipment used by the groundsmen, and also the area where the practice goals are placed after the warm-up.
Over by the southwest corner is the building that holds the club’s changing rooms and tunnel, if you can call it that.
Where away fans are placed depends on the allocation provided to them.
They are typically given the whole of the West Stand when the expected travelling numbers are good, but for smaller attendances, they are given the North Stand terracing, useful during the winter months when there is a chance of the weather coming down on anyone stood in the West Stand.
The West Stand is not only the most open and exposed part of The New Lawn, it is also the most difficult to access, with a narrow path out the back allowed fans to reach it's entrances.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include*:
-The Britannia (cossack square, New Market Road, GL6 0DG) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located in more central Nailsworth and a long, steep walk away from The New Lawn)
-The George Inn (New Market Road, GL6 0RF) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)
-The Green Man (Another Way, GL6 0FG) (Typically Home Supporters Only) (Located within the East Stand at The New Lawn itself)
-The Lord John (17 Russell Street, GL5 3AA) (A JD Wetherspoon Pub, Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located very close to Stroud Station)
-The Queen Vic Stroud (5 Gloucester Street, GL5 1QG) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located in Central Stroud near Stroud Station)
-The Star Inn (Star Green, Main Road, GL6 6AE) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located in Whiteshill, northern Stroud)
-The Village Inn (Bath Road, GL6 0HH) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located in more central Nailsworth)
*The location of The New Lawn limits the amount of pubs within close range of it. You will likely either need to find a drink in Nailsworth or even Stroud before making your way to the football ground.
If you’re a football fan who prefers larger stadiums, The New Lawn isn’t going to be one of your favourites. (This is especially going to be the case if you don't have a car to get to here with).
It is however a fairly practical football ground that gives you a clear view of the pitch from any of its four stands, albeit you're limited to just overhead protection inside the North, East and South Stands and no protection at all if based in the open West Stand.
Forest Green Rovers have drawn up plans for a newer, unique stadium that could be on its way in the future, but until then they have a ground that while not the biggest, is a nice addition to the Football League’s list of stadia, and a very green one as well.