Robot lawn mower used by Forest Green Rovers football club

Stuart Ward and the robotic lawn mower
Image caption Groundsman Stuart Ward said there was "no more dirty fuel or noise"

A football club has begun mowing its pitch with a solar powered robotic lawn mower.

Blue Square Bet Premier club Forest Green Rovers claims the Etesia robot mower - known as a "mow-bot" - is a first in the UK.

It uses GPS technology to automatically guide it round the pitch without the need for human intervention.

The club said the same technology is used by German Bundesliga side Bayern Munich.

Forest Green Rovers' chairman Dale Vince also runs green electricity company Ecotricity and has introduced a number of green initiatives at the club, including the installation of solar panels on the stadium roof.

The electric "mow-bot" gets its power from these panels.

Forest Green groundsman Stuart Ward said the robot "saves me time and there's no more dirty fuel or noise to deal with either".

"The time I used to spend mowing can now be utilised tending to the pitch in other ways to make it the best possible surface for the players," he added.

The device has been used to prepare the pitch for Forest Green Rovers' final home game of the season against Darlington, which will take place at their ground, The New Lawn, later.

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