July 14, 2021
Will a marquee damage my lawn? Whilst there’s no simple yes/no answer, the good news is that, in general, a marquee will not cause any permanent damage to a lawn.
In reality, the answer is always specific to the setting and will be dependent on a number of different factors; the time of year, the quality of the lawn, the weather conditions, the type of flooring used, the type of marquee structure and more…
Don’t worry, here’s a breakdown of some of the most common marquee build scenarios and what you can expect to see when the marquee comes down:
Will a marquee damage my lawn? The structures:
Frame tents are the most commonly used variety of marquee. They use an aluminium internal framework beneath a PVC cover. The marquee ‘legs’ sit on wide metal footplates that are in contact with the ground. These legs are secured in place using metal pins driven through the footplates.
When the marquee is removed, you are likely to notice some marks where the legs meet the lawn. However, this is most likely to present as a yellowing of the grass beneath each footplate. Any other ‘damage’ will be minimal as the footplates are designed to disperse the weight.
Traditional pole marquees
‘Trads’ or ‘pole marquees’ are fixed to the ground using large metal pins and guy ropes around the perimeter of the marquee and are given their height by tall central wooden poles. A series of small wooden props also run around the outer sides of the marquee, as seen in the adjacent image.
The metal pins, wooden props and central poles all come into contact with the lawn and will, therefore, leave some small marks. However, the effect on the ground is minimal and is unlikely to do any permanent damage.
Will a marquee damage my lawn? Flooring choices
Coconut matting is probably the most commonly selected flooring option. Inside Outside use lengths of tightly woven mat placed on top of a protective plastic underlay. The matting is held in place using evenly spaced six inch nails placed at regular intervals.
The six inch nails leave no marks once removed, and great care is taken to ensure that all are cleared from the marquee site after the structure has been taken down. The grass beneath the matting is likely to have faded to a pale green/yellow, however the lawn will recover its usual colour in a very short space of time once the marquee has been removed.
Boarded flooring is made up of a series of interlocking wooden boards that sit directly onto the lawn. The boards follow the contours of the ground beneath them, so occasionally a packing material might be used to assist in nullifying the effect of large potholes and such like.
Much like coconut matting, the only noticeable post event effect is likely to be a yellowing of the lawn that will disappear very quickly once the flooring is taken away.
Raised boarded flooring
The premium option. Almost only ever used where the ground has a significant slope, is very uneven, is prone to flooding/dampness, for building over pools and ponds or when a client wants the floor to be as flat as possible.
Raised flooring consists of a steel framework, supported on wooden packing blocks that are used to nullify height differences across the terrain.
Because the flooring is raised on its steel subframe, it is not in direct contact with the lawn. Airflow is possible and yellowing of the areas beneath the marquee – although present – is minimised. Yellowing will however be seen where each set of wooden packing had been placed.
The packing blocks are wide and are dispersed evenly beneath the subframe; this means that weight of the structure is evenly spread and any pressure marks are likely to be minimal if there at all.
Will a marquee damage my lawn? The weather and the type of lawn
When it comes to lawn damage, this is a big one… Regardless of the time of year that you hold your event, the weather is going to have a big impact. As will the type of lawn upon which the marquee is to be built.
The more rain that we see, the softer the ground is likely to be. Well drained lawns are likely to be less susceptible to damage than those that retain water. Clay based lawns are likely to see pooling of water and therefore a far softer, more damage prone surface.
If the ground is particularly wet, then any marks left behind once the marquee is removed are likely to be magnified.
Weather conditions will impact upon the marquee build and de-rig (removal) phases too. See below:
Will a marquee damage my lawn? Building and removal of the structure
Whenever we build a marquee we take the utmost care to minimise any damage to the build site and the access points to the build site. Our policy is to always leave marquee build sites as we found them – weather permitting, of course.
Prior to the build we conduct a comprehensive site survey to ensure that we know the best way to get our materials to and from the desired location. If the weather looks unfavourable then it is possible to take damage mitigating steps; using track boards to minimise the effect of both vehicle and foot traffic for example.
The use of track boards and some other solutions could mean additional cost, so will always be discussed with clients before implementation.
Of course, the weather is not something that any of us can control. Please take a look at our 10 point service guarantee, or contact us for more information on our wet weather policies.
Will a marquee damage my lawn? Other factors to consider
Third Party Suppliers
The marquee provides the venue for your event, but you’ll need other elements too. Don’t forget that, if you are having them, luxury toilets will need to be trailered into place. Caterers will need to move refrigerated trucks onto the site. Heaters and generators too.
Any third party suppliers, bar, dance floor or furniture suppliers for example, will all need access to the site. There could be a lot of traffic, or footfall across your lawns, so be prepared and take precautions if required. If you are working with us, then we can supply and lay down coconut matting walkways for use during the build and de-rig phases.
Don’t forget that you are going to have an unusually large amount of people coming, going and spending time in the marquee and it’s surrounding space.
Expect to see some wear and tear from guest foot traffic, especially on the route to and from the marquee as well as to and from the toilets!
If desired, we can create coconut matting pathways for your guests to use to get to and from the marquee. This will help ensure that the lawn isn’t trampled by repetitive footfall as people come and go.
Will a marquee damage my lawn? In summary
Be prepared for some signs that an event has taken place. The majority of marquee events result in nothing more than a yellowing of the lawn; even when only minimal precautions are taken in order to mitigate damage.
Remember, all of the factors mentioned above, in particular the weather conditions and type of land upon which the marque will be built will have an impact. Talk to your marquee supplier. A comprehensive site survey and some careful pre-build planning will ensure that any damage is kept to an absolute minimum.
Would you like to discuss your next event?
We’re only a phone call or email away so why not get in touch? We have been designing and supplying marquees for over forty years; so we have a great understanding of what makes an event marquee work.
We have solutions for all types of ground, weather condition and location and would love to talk to you about your event. We offer free and impartial advice, estimates, quotes and site surveys. 01372 459 485 or email email@example.com