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Mansfield Sand relied on at Wollaton Park

Mansfield Sand relied on at Wollaton Park: From bunkers to greens, Martin Scothern – Head Greenkeeper at Wollaton Park Golf Club has long relied on a range of products from Mansfield Sand.

Wollaton Park Golf Club in Nottingham is widely regarded as one of the finest parkland courses in the East Midlands. A traditional members’ club, the course is set in 140 acres of the 516-acre Wollaton Park and is overlooked by the magnificent 16th century Wollaton Hall.

Mansfield Sand relied on at Wollaton Park

Mansfield Sand relied on at Wollaton Park

Designed by Tom Williamson and opened in 1927, it has been sensibly upgraded over the years to provide a challenging and enjoyable test for golfers at all levels.

The course has a reputation for play on full greens year-round and this is testament to the work of Head Greenkeeper Martin Scothern, who has been working at Wollaton Park since 1989. After leaving school he went straight into greenkeeping which was no surprise considering he used to work on his local golf course during the school holidays.

Martin’s use of Mansfield Sand stretches back to long before he started working at Wollaton Park, as he explains.

“Mansfield Sand has been used at every club I’ve ever worked at, so I was always aware of the company,” he said.

For the past 32 years Martin has been using Mansfield’s MM35 Golf pure silica sand for top dressing his greens which brings a number of benefits such as improved recovery, firmness, smoothness and an improved rootzone.

“We normally like to topdress every 4-6 weeks just to give the greens a light dusting,” he said. “I like my sand delivered at 6.30am in the morning when we are topdressing and without fail the Mansfield Sand delivery drivers are always on time. They will tip it off, we will apply it to the 20 greens, and it is job done. However, we will always make sure that we have a bit left over for any bunkers that need topping up throughout the season.”

As Martin says, MM35 Golf also makes for a great bunker sand as it has fantastic playing characteristics as well as being aesthetically attractive. In fact, Martin and the team are currently working on a long-term project to reconstruct all the bunkers and MM35 will be used in combination with rubber crumb and astro-turf.  “We have always used Mansfield Sand for the bunkers and will continue to do,” he said.

Bunkers and topdressing aside, Martin used a Fibre Reinforced Rootzone from Mansfield Sand to build a new short game academy green back in 2019. This natural sports turf sand dominated rootzone product is reinforced with polypropylene fibres. This is achieved by mixing the Mansil 40 silica sand, a screened topsoil and polypropylene fibres to create a completely homogeneous blend to be used as the upper rootzone. Consolidated to a typical 100mm depth the fibre reinforced rootzone can then be fertilised and seeded to produce the final grass surface.

With Mansil 40 in mind, Martin revealed that he will be trialling this product on his fairways in the not-too-distant future.

“We are going to start some work on three fairways that get a little bit wet in certain areas,” he said. “We’ve got some old pits underneath the golf course and the subsidence has caused some issues over the years. Therefore, we are looking for a coarser sand such as the Mansil 40 to brush in with some hollow coring and vertidraining. My hope is that by doing this regularly, it will help them to be more playable through winter.”

Martin will be joined by Sharon Morris, Golf and Football Sales Manager for Mansfield Sand, for the fairway trials, and he admitted that he would not be without her.

“I can call her up at 9:30pm and say Sharon, I forgot to call you today, I need some sand in the morning! I know that the sand will be there the very next morning. It is first-class customer service,” he said.

For more information visit www.mansfield-sand.co.uk

You can also follow the company on Twitter – @MansfieldSand and Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MansfieldSandSportSurfaces/

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Verti-Drain helps Rudding Park

Verti-Drain helps Rudding Park: The recent delivery of a Verti-Drain 7416 from Redexim is proving key in the pre-winter preparations at Harrogate’s Rudding Park Golf Course.

According to Head Greenkeeper Richard Hollingworth there has barely been a day since the Verti-Drain arrived in August that it hasn’t been out – the versatility of 1.6m machine making it ideal for work on all areas of the course including greens, fairways and surrounds.

Verti-Drain helps Rudding Park

Verti-Drain helps Rudding Park

As a corporate golf course and part of the Rudding Park resort, not only does the club have a very active membership, the surfaces have to be fit to sustain play 364 days of the year… which equates to somewhere in the region of 40,000 rounds annually! “Because of the volume of rounds, when it comes to aeration it is critical that we’ve got equipment that is not just fit-for-purpose on the greens. We need to be getting some holes into the clay-based fairways to deliver the perfect course on any given day” explains Richard, who heads-up a maintenance team of nine.

“We had the 7416 on demo last year from our local dealer F. G. Adamson & Son and used it on all 18 greens, and throughout that extensive trial period we could tell it was going to suit us and the various requirements of our course. It was light enough to aerate the greens with minimal surface disruption, yet strong enough to be effective on fairways and surrounds.”  The superior build quality of the Verti-Drain 7416 makes it ideal for the full-range of aeration tasks; a range of tine options delivering flexible and accurate aeration down to depths of 350mm.

“To date, we’ve aerated all of the greens surrounds and multiple weak fairways with ¾” tines, as we tackle compaction and dry patches ahead of the arrival of winter. We’ve also purchased ½” tines for the deep, pre-winter work on the greens and needle tines for the summer.” Richard adds, “Spanning double the acreage of most regular courses, getting the job done well and quickly is so important. In my view, the Verti-Drain still leads the market in terms of ease-of use and performance, all backed-up with excellent support and service from Redexim and their dealer network.”

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S500 Plus performs at Victoria Park

S500 Plus performs at Victoria Park: Mike Finch of idverde has praised the performance of the Dennis S500 Plus seeder which he uses on the five greens at Victoria Park in Royal Leamington Spa.

idverde was appointed by Warwick District Council in 2012 to undertake grounds maintenance and horticultural services within the district and has been doing so ever since.

S500 Plus performs at Victoria Park

S500 Plus performs at Victoria Park

Under their remit, idverde maintains a staggering 43 football pitches, 20 tennis courts, various hard surfaces and running tracks. All these sports facilities are overseen by the vastly experienced Mike Finch, who spent 24 years as head groundsman at Coventry City FC.

Whatever the nature of the sports surface Mike has the knowledge to maintain it, but he admits that the bowling greens at Leamington Spa’s Victoria Park are particularly precious to him.

“My main interest is the bowling club,” he said. “Bowling greens are very precise animals – they need a lot of attention. Greenkeeping isn’t about time – it is about dedication and precision. I take it seriously every single day and I don’t allow myself to play second best. My drive is passion and excellence and I always try and exceed expectations.”

This is certainly evident at the prestigious Victoria Park – the home of English Bowls. Always striving for perfection, Mike was pleased when he was recently offered the chance to purchase some new equipment and it is a process which he does not take lightly.

“Using the wrong equipment or using it at the wrong time can do a lot of damage and that is why I do a lot of research,” said Mike. “I make a point of listening to what other users have said and see what their experiences are; I will never rush into a decision. I’ve been doing this for 37 years and I like to think I know which equipment works best for the sites I am looking after.”

Mike chose the Dennis S500 Plus seeder. Ideal for bowls, cricket, golf and other fine turf and ornamental lawn areas, this dual-purpose machine has a 510mm (20″) operating width complete with interchangeable spiker and slotter reels. The spiker reel punches through the ‘surface pan’ allowing air, water and fertiliser to penetrate the root zone, while the slotter reel creates ideal seed germination pockets thus reducing seed wastage. Using the optional seed box attachment will ensure grass seed is dropped onto the ground at the prescribed rate and brushed into the pockets.

“I was on the lookout for a good pedestrian seeder and I came across the S500 Plus. We looked at various machines, which included second-hand ones and hiring them, but it was the S500 which stood out.

“Jason Briggs (area sales manager for Dennis and SISIS) brought it to us for a demonstration and it imprinted really well – we purchased it straight away.

“I like the way the seed is dragged in with the brush which is also attached to the S500. It drops the seed into all the slots, which makes the perfect seedbed, therefore allowing the seed to get top dressed and filled in.

“For general overseeding on established greens, it works very well and I’m incredibly pleased with how it performs.”

For further information or a no-obligation demonstration, please contact Dennis 01332 824 777 or visit www.dennisuk.com.

For more news, reviews and insightful views, you can follow Dennis on Twitter or Instagram @DennisMowers and like the company’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/DennisMowersUK You can also view the latest Dennis videos by visiting www.youtube.com/DennisMowers

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SISIS Autoslit victorious at Victoria Park

SISIS Autoslit victorious at Victoria Park: A SISIS Autoslit is currently playing its part in helping to prepare ‘world class’ greens at Victoria Park.

Victoria Park is the home of English Bowls and hosts the annual Bowls England National Championships held in August. The five greens at Victoria Park are also used for County competitions, National events and for International matches and competitions.

SISIS Autoslit victorious at Victoria Park

SISIS Autoslit victorious at Victoria Park

The widely respected greens are thanks to an expert greenkeeping regime led by head greenkeeper Mike Finch of idverde – one of the UK & Europe’s leading provider of grounds maintenance.

“The greens at Victoria Park have always been of a very high standard, but we are now working towards making them world-class,” said Mike. “With this in mind, I was asked what new equipment I needed which could help me make them world-class. The first thing I said was that I needed a pedestrian slitter.

“I chose the SISIS Autoslit purely through the research I have been doing on different golf courses and other fine turf surfaces – I felt that it would be the best product for this particular site.”

The SISIS Autoslit is a purpose-built pedestrian deep slitter which is suitable for use on fine or outfield turf helping to reduce compaction and assist the percolation of surface water. The deep clean slitting action cuts through the turf and the root zone leaving a thin slit on the surface and minimal surface disturbance.

These slits encourage strong, healthy root growth of the grass plants, improving tolerance to drought conditions and promoting more rapid recovery after damage in play. Easy to use, the SISIS Autoslit incorporates a rear smoothing roller and uses a cantilever system to lift the machine out of operation.

“It is very easy to use and I’m very impressed with what it can do,” said Mike. “We’ll use it monthly from December through to the end of March before the surface starts to dry again.

“It is like a knife with a serrated edge, and it basically slices into the turf, but it doesn’t do any damage because there is a rear roller on it as well. You get a nice linear, aeration cut through your greens.

“Not only does it help to keep the surface going, allowing the moisture to drain, but it is also good for root extension,” he continued. “In the colder months when the roots aren’t active, the SISIS Autoslit allows oxygen to reach those roots, and all the time you are doing this it will benefit the green when it comes to spring. What you find is that when the weather starts to warm, the roots will start pushing down into all the nice linear folds you have been creating with the Autoslit.

“Ultimately, it helps you to keep the surface firm and dry but slightly moist lower down where the moisture is needed. It is a great piece of equipment.”

For further information or a no-obligation demonstration, please contact SISIS on 01332 824 777 or visit www.sisis.com.

For more news, reviews and insightful views, you can follow SISIS on Twitter or Instagram @SISISMachinery and like the company’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/SISISMachinery You can also view the latest SISIS videos by visiting www.youtube.com/SISISMachinery

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Fourth fleet for Haydock Park

Fourth fleet for Haydock Park: It was the fourth time last Christmas when Cheshire Turf Machinery in Stockport provided another Toro fleet on a five-year operating lease to Haydock Park Golf Club in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside – an agreement that began in January 2006.

Terry Wharton, head greenkeeper, who has worked at Haydock Park for 41 years, overseeing a team of six full-time greenkeepers and one part-time, has remained loyal to the Toro brand, crediting excellent build quality, longevity, performance, better ergonomics, user feel, seating, controls and operation as the reasons for constant renewal of their five-year plan with Cheshire Turf Machinery.

Fourth fleet for Haydock Park

Fourth fleet for Haydock Park

Some of the machines included in the order are two Greensmaster TriFlex Hybrid 3420 mowers, a Reelmaster 3100-D cylinder mower, one Reelmaster 3575-D, a Groundsmaster 4000-D, one GreensPro 1260 greens roller, one Workman HDX utility vehicle, an Agrimetal B35 Blower and one TYM393 tractor with loader.

“It’s what we had in the past so we know how reliable they are,” says Terry. “This combination has always done a perfect job for us. With the TriFlex 3420, we have the 11-blade units for both machines but also the eight blades so we can swap over and that gives us options with the versatility of changing the units. We had the 3250s and we’ve upgraded to the new versions. The quality of the cut is really noticeable.”

Other factors weighing in on the team’s decision to acquire a brand-new fleet are having eco-friendly machines that reduce carbon emissions and consumption. Terry comments on the Greensmaster TriFlex Hybrid 3420: “We’ve seen an enormous saving on fuel. We feel that it’s going the right way as far as the energy laws are concerned. It’s good for everyone – the environment and other users – so yes, the Triflexs, especially, are very energy-smart. Fuel consumption has been significantly reduced.”

Terry and the team have maintained a solid partnership with Cheshire Turf Machinery for over 25 years, a dealer they know very well and who has never let them down.

Steve Halley, managing director at Cheshire Turf Machinery, comments: “We are thrilled that Haydock Park Golf Club has chosen to further extend its long-term relationship with Toro and Cheshire Turf Machinery. On each occasion, the club has embraced the opportunity to bring in new technology to help the continued development of the course.”

To talk to someone about Toro technology and how the Toro range would suit your course, call 01480 226800.

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Terrain’s deep aeration in Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Terrain’s deep aeration in Yorkshire Sculpture Park: Situated near Wakefield, West Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park is an open-air gallery that showcases work by world-class British and international artists, including Yorkshire-born Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Damien Hirst.

The park has one of the largest open-air collection of Moore’s bronzes in Europe. Spread over 500-acres of 18th century designed landscape of Bretton Hall, YSP opened in 1977 and was the first UK sculpture park based on temporary open-air exhibitions that were organized in London parks from the 1940s to 1970 by the Arts Council and London County Council.

Terrain’s deep aeration in Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Terrain’s deep aeration in Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Today, the ‘gallery without walls’ has an ever-changing exhibition programme and preparing to reopen after lockdown presented an opportunity for remedial work to be done. Following a site visit by hydrology consultants inspecting a waterlogged area, they brought in Terrain Aeration with their deep aeration treatment system. The area in question was an important part of the Lower Park and a popular area for visitors and curators. It suffers from compaction due to footfall and the weight of sculptures, resulting in the build-up of standing water.

“It is unusual for the area to be cleared,” says Mark Chesman, Head of Estates and Parks at YSP, “but the sculptures in that area were removed for conservation work, and we seized the opportunity as part of a wider project. In all, it took two-and-a-half days and they treated 4,000 square metres of land.”

Terrain Aeration’s Terralift hammers a hollow probe one metre into the soil using a JCB road breaker gun. At depth, the ground is usually so compacted it needs the hammer to break through. Compressed air is then released to a maximum of 20Bar (280psi) to fracture and fissure the soil and the process is repeated in two-metre spacings, to ensure the fissures interlink. On the end of the air blast, dried seaweed is injected which sticks to the fissure walls, expanding and contracting with moisture content in the soil and keeping the area ‘breathing.’ The 1.5-inch probe holes created by the Terralift machine are backfilled with aggregate to provide a semi-permanent aeration/ventilation shaft, helping to keep the whole aeration process working. The park’s groundkeepers then overseeded the area to finish.

We tend to take trees for granted, in our parks, public spaces and estates but they are often subjected to stress as a result of several factors, such as nutrient shortage, surface compaction due to foot traffic, and waterlogging where water drains off hard surfaces. Yorkshire Sculpture Park features lime trees, beech and Atlas cedar amongst others and these were given Terrain Aeration treatment as well. Breaking up the soil around the roots, and beyond, means excess water will drain away from the roots to help stop anaerobic conditions and rotting of the root system. “We’re confident with what’s been done,” says Mark, “and will be looking at further areas to be treated, probably in the autumn.”

Terrain Aeration 01449 673783 www.terrainaeration.co.uk

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New Stiga park front mower

New Stiga park front mower: The new sixth generation of Park front mowers from STIGA are the most innovative, powerful, practical and consumer friendly ever introduced and have evolved from the 45-year history of the brand.

They are designed for maintaining large areas, from private houses with extensive lawns, through to professional or commercial use.  The accessories that are available ensure the machines are all-rounders, fit for a range of jobs.

New Stiga park front mower

New Stiga park front mower

Machines in the range are largely petrol powered, with one battery option, and many have been modernised and upgraded for 2021.  Whilst some models are powered by Honda or Briggs & Stratton, the majority are powered by the very latest STIGA engines and marketed as ‘Powered by STIGA’.

“This new range is a distillation of all those years of experience and establishes completely new high standards for front mowers.  We have incorporated the latest technical innovations allied to a very strong emphasis on delivering a smoother and safer ride for the user” says Gary Tully, Sales and Marketing Director of STIGA UK Limited.

New innovations for 2021 include:

  • A greatly improved driving experience with a strong emphasis on comfort and safety.  This includes ergonomically designed seating, a new more comfortable drive pedal and a reconfigured steering column;
  • Power steering and electric PTO are standard on all models and electric height of cut adjustment on machines with electric cutter decks;
  • A total aesthetic redesign ensures a modern style for the new Park range which reflects user demands and achieves improved technical performance, including enhanced air flow that reduces oil temperature by up to 10%;
  • Greater traction on uphill cutting with a 35% improvement in transmission performance on the 4 x 4 models;
  • Drive belts are made from Aramid, a chloroprene compound providing increased durability and strength;
  • Blue Tooth connectivity, via a dedicated App, that can link directly to dealers to organise servicing on selected models, as well as a digital display showing running time, next service due date etc;
  • Park models are compatible with STIGA’s patented QuickFlip deck technology;
  • Improved LED headlights on many models;
  • A hard steel rear bumper;
  • An external, easily accessible fuel cap so no more having to lift the bonnet to refill.
  • In total there are nine redesigned Park machines in the range.
  • Retail prices range from £3938 (including VAT) for the Park 320P & 95cm cutting deck to £14,128 (including VAT) for the Park PRO 740 IOX & 110cm cutting deck.

The Park 640 PWX reflects all of the key new features of the redesigned range.  It has a new high-back seat with arm rests available as an optional extra.  An ergonomic side dashboard keeps everything to hand: electromagnetic PTO and electric height of cut adjustment makes operations easier and more comfortable.

With unmatched 50:50 articulation, this machine allows the operator to turn around obstacles or run alongside walls and fences without looking back, as the rear part of the machine always directly follows the path of the front.

Powered by the Stiga ST 600 Twin engine that provides almost 20hp (gross), with Tuff Torq all-wheel drive, the Park 640 PWX has the power to accomplish any task.  It has a three-year standard warranty.   It is fitted with high-beam headlights making it easier to use in low light conditions.

The Park 345 PWX, the Park PRO 540 1X and the Park PRO 740 IOX are powered by Honda.  Three further machines in the range use Briggs & Stratton engines.  The e-Park 220 is powered by a 48V Lithium-ion battery.

With a wide range of accessories available these machines are adaptable for all four seasons.  From a combi-cart, an edge cutter that trims edges and paths, a fertiliser spreader, flail mower, sweeper and even a snow plough, there is so much more to these mowers than just perfecting grass cutting.  Visit Stiga.com/UK to see the large range of accessories available.

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Jacobsen helps Hamilton Park race ahead

Jacobsen helps Hamilton Park race ahead: Track Manager, Darren Bissett, says Hamilton Park’s turf will be more than ready for the start of their flat racing season scheduled to begin in May.

“Course maintenance wise, we are on schedule with the first cut of both the track and the lawns due within the next week, assuming conditions prevail,” said Darren.

Jacobsen helps Hamilton Park race ahead

Jacobsen helps Hamilton Park race ahead

Darren joined the team at Hamilton Park from Ayr Racecourse exactly 12 months ago, and his first year in the job could hardly have been more unexpected.
In June 2020, a delayed and shortened fixture list got underway, with eleven race meetings successfully staged behind closed doors by the time the season concluded at the end of September.

One huge positive for 2020 was that local grounds care dealer, Fairways GM, delivered two new Jacobsen mowers – the HR500 Rotary Mower for the track and the TR320 for Hamilton Park’s extensive fine turf areas.

“The machines were ordered by my predecessor after several very positive recommendations. They’ve worked fantastically, and I’m genuinely very impressed at how effective they are. The HR500 has great width at 3.5 metres which allows us to cut the whole track with just five circuits in around 2.5 hours. It makes quick work and leaves a very clean cut. The room that you get in the cab is exceptional; really spacious, so it’s great for the operator. Also, once you are finished, it’s incredibly easy to maintain.

“In March, we will probably only cut the track once a week until it gets a bit warmer and soil temperatures rise, however, come May we’ll have increased that to at least twice a week. Over the summer months cutting increases to three or four times a week as the fertilisation programme takes effect.

“During the racing season, we like to cut the day before a fixture and then again 48 hours afterwards. Height of the cut is set at 6cm for the next month or so, and when racing starts, we’ll allow it to grow a bit longer before cutting it to around 9cm. Changing the height of cut on the decks takes around half an hour, and it’s a case of moving just ten pins, so it’s very straightforward.

“Away from the track, our lawns are a great backdrop for weddings and events as well as racedays, and hopefully, this summer they will see a lot more visitors. Because it’s been a bit milder these past few weeks, the lawns are starting to grow. The TR320 delivers an exceptionally fine, effective cut, and it is so good at striping the lawns and leaving a professional finish – everything is really level. We cut the track and the lawns on the same day, so there will be times when we are cutting lawns four times a week throughout the summer.

“Last year, sadly, we were unable to welcome racegoers and event guests alike, and so we’re working hard to ensure the grounds will be at their spectacular best for when we can open our gates to the public once more.”

Rob Hogarth, Fairways GM’s Area Sales Manager, said: “The HR500 can cut all day long. Robust and smooth, it has built in consistency delivered via a feature called Automated Assist Drive, so no matter the conditions, the finish remains clean and sharp. The big cab that Darren likes gives the operator a superior view of what’s going on out-front; controls are positioned exactly where they are required, so you can also be extremely precise. The TR320 is good in tight spaces and challenging terrain. It’s a wizard at stripes, so it is great at keeping locations pristine and interesting, a nice touch for important wedding photography.”

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Lypiatt Park credits Husqvarna Automower

Lypiatt Park credits Husqvarna Automower: Based in Gloucestershire near Stroud, Lypiatt Park is a stately home which boasts historic buildings dating back to the 14th century. Surrounded by ten acres of formal gardens, the private estate is maintained by Husqvarna Automower® robotic lawnmowers.

Homeowner of Lypiatt Park and internationally renowned artist, Daniel Chadwick, credits his four Husqvarna 550 Automower® for keeping the estate’s lawns in immaculate condition all year round.

Lypiatt Park credits Husqvarna Automower

Lypiatt Park credits Husqvarna Automower

Daniel first invested in Automower® using Husqvarna dealer, Tallis Amos Group, after finding the cost of maintaining his ten acres of greenspace with manual lawnmowers to be expensive, costing hundreds of pounds per week. With Automower®, the groundsmen of Lypiatt Park have saved hours of time and have been freed up to focus on more important and beneficial tasks around the grounds of the estate.

Daniel discussed the benefits: “There have been many advantages of Automower®, some that I wasn’t even expecting. I have sensitive hearing and can find the sound of regular lawnmowers extremely intrusive, especially here on the estate where they were often used twice a day.

“The differences we’ve experienced between our previous lawnmowers and our four Automower® 550 models are astounding. Automower® works on the grounds extremely quietly, quickly and efficiently, without the need for human interference which is brilliant.”

The lawns of Lypiatt Park feature a variety of complex shapes, but thanks to the GPS tracked Husqvarna Automower® 550 models, the robotic lawnmowers are able to manoeuvre accurately and efficiently around the entire formal garden area with ease, navigating narrow passages, obstacles and handling slopes of up to 45%. Furthermore, as a result of the mower’s lightweight features, no visible track marks are left, ensuring a carpet-like appearance.

Featuring GPS theft tracking via a PC/Tablet, as well as a high-pitch alarm which starts when moved and can only be deactivated with the mower’s unique pin code, extra security is provided with the Automower® models.

Lypiatt Park credits Husqvarna Automower

Lypiatt Park credits Husqvarna Automower

Daniel commented on his move to Automower®: “After an initial consultation, Tallis Amos Group installed our first mower, and provided technical support throughout and after. The set-up process ran very smoothly, and within just a few weeks our lawns looked better than ever. After seeing the results of our first Automower®, we were confident in investing in three more to cover all lawns surrounding Lypiatt Park.

“Each robotic mower has its own specific zone to cover, and they are able to work night and day if we wished. Even though there’s a wide mix of obstacles on our lawns, they don’t seem to bother Automower® at all. Thanks to their on-board sensors which detect potential objects, Automower® steers itself to avoid collision.”

As an artist, Daniel has a passion for design and applauds Automower®, stating: “As a designer inventor and artist, I really appreciate the design of the Automower®, it’s perfectly optimised. It’s the right weight, it does precisely what they say it will do, it is totally reliable, easy to maintain and is very well made. Every couple of months I might have to change or rotate the blades – which is a very simple operation, but apart from that, we just let them get on with their job and rarely have to do anything with them. The machines really are fantastic.”

For more information on Husqvarna Automower®, visit: https://www.husqvarna.com/uk/products/robotic-lawn-mowers/

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Yorkshire Wildlife Park invest in Ventrac

Yorkshire Wildlife Park invest in Ventrac: The Yorkshire Wildlife Park, situated in the village of Branton, close to the A1 near Doncaster, is the latest organisation to purchase a Ventrac 4500 compact tractor to help maintain its 150-acre walkthrough safari experience.

Delivered by the Rotherham depot of local dealer, Russells Groundscare, the package includes the tractor unit in its 8-wheel configuration and two mowing units: a Tough Cut deck and MU rotary deck.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park invest in Ventrac

Yorkshire Wildlife Park invest in Ventrac

Commenting on the purchase, Director Neville Williams said,
“Lockdown has been a torrid time for us; we’ve suffered a multi-million-pound loss, so we weren’t really contemplating any significant capital expenditure. However, we had issues with our mowing equipment and our mechanic suggested we contact Russells to see what was available.

“Glen Sawyer from Russells came over with a Ventrac demo machine and it performed extremely well, but we didn’t think we could justify the cost. However, Glen was able to organise a flexible lease-purchase arrangement together with a mutual partnership agreement, and that facilitated the purchase. They also loaned us a Power Rake, which was superb at reinstating the pathways and we will be looking to purchase the Trencher attachment in the future.

“As you would expect, we have huge areas of grass to maintain and much of it is on sloping ground around the car parks, picnic areas and in the animal enclosures. We previously had to employ a contractor for these sloped areas, but with the Ventrac we can now do this in-house. The cost effectiveness of this new machine was certainly a factor in our purchasing decision. For example, in the lion enclosure it used to take four men, three days to complete, but now with the Ventrac it is two men in half a day. That’s a very impressive saving in man-days; 12 days reduced down to a single day!

“This year we will be opening an expansion which will double the size of the park and this will include the creation of lakes, reserves and diverse habitats, so the Park can become home to more animals and springboard our efforts to help at-risk species. The Ventrac will play an important part in maintaining this extension to our facilities.”

About Yorkshire Wildlife Park

The Yorkshire Wildlife Park (YWP) was opened in 2009 and currently occupies about 150 acres (60 ha) of the site. The Park is home to number of endangered species including Amur tigers, Amur leopards, Red panda, Giant otters and England’s only Polar bears. The expansive reserves and space for visitors creates a walkthrough safari experience.

In 2021 a further 150-acre expansion will open with more ground-breaking animal reserves and new species for the Park, as well as enhanced visitor facilities. Lakes, reserves and diverse habitats will be introduced in the expansion, so the Park can become home to more animals and springboard efforts to help at-risk species. Landscaped walkways and dynamic viewing areas will provide visitors with an amazing experience.

YWP work with the studbook keepers of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria who coordinate the breeding programmes and animal moves throughout Europe. This will decide which new species will be introduced, allowing the Park to continue their conservation efforts and protect a range of endangered animals.

The park’s popularity has grown over the years, starting in 2009 with only 66,000 visitors; it now hosts in excess of 750,000 visitors a year.

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