A rollable load bearing mat for protecting turf areas from damage caused by weight bearing loads, such as vehicle or pedestrian traffic, configured from a plurality of interconnected mat units having a plurality of spaced apart cell rows comprising a plurality of generally upstanding tubular cell members. The cell members comprise a series of first cell members and adjoining second cell members that, in the preferred embodiment, share a common sidewall and are axially offset. The cell rows are interconnected by a plurality of flexible strap members configured to allow the mat unit to be rolled for ease of handling and installation. The cell member sidewalls and the flexible strap members are configured to provide a substantially open cell member to facilitate plant growth through the mat unit. Connecting mechanisms at the periphery of the mat unit connect with adjacent mat units to form a unitary load bearing mat.