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Turfing York Minster

Putting grass into places where people least expect it always produces the WOW reaction. On Wednesday our team of 10 people covered the entire Nave of York Minster with Wow!Grass! – our soil-less grass growing in a felt mat specially produced for events. The effect has been electrifying as this huge expanse of this magnificent building has been transformed from ranks of chairs and kneelers to an oasis of green stretching from the West Door to the North South Transepts. As the protective plastic went down and the huge rolls of Wow!Grass! started coming through the door, visiting tourists stood wondering whatever was happening.

The Minster is in the middle of a huge programme of renovation and repair to the East face taking many years and costing millions of pounds, and I had suggested some time ago to the Chamberlain and chief fund raiser, Dr Richard Shephard, that Lindum would be prepared to turf the Nave as our contribution to the appeal if they could come up with a good event to raise a large sum of money. The White Rose Dinner on Friday is the result and my offer was called in!

BBC News crew filming Stephen Fell on the grass

As the day progressed and the line of green marched down the Nave, the press and television arrived to record this historic and memorable event – something that surely has never happened before in this familiar and historic setting. The reaction from Minster staff and clergy, and all the visiting public has been quite simply – WOW!

Let’s hope that the guests enjoy dining in this unique setting as they contribute to ensuring that this iconic York landmark is still standing in another thousand years.