A NEW artificial grass surface is allowing kids to play outdoors at Dalgety Bay Bowling Club for the first time.

Usually, kids under nine are not allowed on to the playing green but have nowhere to practise the sport.

But now that a bespoke surface has been installed through community fundraising, the next generation can take part in the sport.

The club's committee has been fundraising for the initiative in recent years and looked to Dunfermline business Bold as Grass to help them instal the surface – believed to be the first of its kind on an outdoor green allowing kids to play in this way.

The surface is now the envy of the world with enquiries from bowling clubs as far as Australia and Hong Kong!

Linda Pearson, club secretary of Dalgety Bay Bowling Club, said: "It was suggestion made a few years ago by a member who had small children.

"Children usually don't go on the green until they are about eight because we obviously have a responsibility to look after the green and it could get damaged.

"We had a piece of ground which was just left hollow and we thought, why don't let young children have a go?

"The money for it has been raised by a group of committee members and we also got £2,000 of funding from Tesco's Bags of Help, which enabled us to go for it.

"We've had messages from around the world and it's the first initiative of its kind!

"It's been a lot of hard work but quite amazing!"

Jamie Paxton and Scott Niven, from Bold as Grass, created the first spec of artificial green which is now wanted over the world. The West Fifers just started their company in November.

"We didn't charge for labour because we wanted to support the ethos behind the project, " Scott said.

"It's seemed to gain a lot of interest from bowling clubs across the world now!

"It's unique. No-one else has an artificial bowling green for children.

"We first started installing artificial grass for friends and family and there seemed to be a massive interest.

"We then decided to take the plunge and we've not stopped since!"

Dunfermline and West Fife MP Douglas Chapman visited the green recently and said: "It is fantastic to see a company in Dunfermline providing an avenue for young people to get involved in bowls and try something they may never have thought of taking up.

"The work carried out by Jamie and Scott is of the highest quality and has great attention to detail. Given the high quality of artificial grass used by Bold as Grass, I am sure this bowling facility will be enjoyed by many generations to come.

"Bowls is often seen as a sport for the elderly and retired but some of these clubs also provide a social hub for communities so initiatives like this one taken by the Dalgety Bay Club really is groundbreaking and ensures there are always new members coming through the doors."