Versatility when managing natural turf areas

Versatility when managing natural turf areas: Managing a property with a huge variety of habitats and landscapes, sports fields, a golf course, formal gardens, lakes, woodlands and heathland areas, is the responsibility of Mark Dodd, the grounds and Gardens Manager at Wellington College in Crowthorne, Berkshiire. He and his team require different management techniques when maintaining the divesre areas on the 410-acre site.

To assist with this complex management puzzle, he has purchased a package of equipment from his local dealer, RT Machinery Ltd, which includes a 4520 all-terrain compact tractor unit, with attachments that includes a 72-inch Finishing deck, a Tough Cut deck and a Stump Grinder.

Versatility when managing natural turf areas

Versatility when managing natural turf areas

“We initially hired-in a machine with a Tough Cut deck to work on the banks clearing scrub on our 9-hole golf course, but quickly appreciated the opportunity the versatility of the machine could provide across the estate,” he said.

“Unfortunately for our Golf team, the machine is used almost exclusively by the Grounds team and that’s simple down to its versatility. The Finishing deck was initially purchased for use on our formal lawns, as it leaves a very pleasing stripe and presentation is very important here at Wellington.

“We used to cut our pitches with a ride-on cylinder mower, but the quality of cut from the Finishing deck is excellent and now we use it extensively on our winter pitches. The light footprint of the machine is another factor and we can continue our maintenance regimes, even in inclement weather.

“We hosted the Women’s Rugby Under-18 Six Nations Festival in April, which included three back-to-back matches over 10 days. It’s a quick turnaround and we cut the main pitch with the Ventrac and finished with our Dennis hand mowers.

“The design of the Ventrac has been well thought through; maintenance is easy and the mounting system allows for a quick and easy exchange of attachments. Add to this the responsive support from our dealer, RT Machinery, and we have a package that we are delighted with.”

Mark Dodd heads a team of 16 across three departments: Grounds, Gardens and Golf. He has been in his current role for the past two years, having joined Wellington in 2015. Prior to this he spent seven years at Benenden School and three years at Epsom College as Head of Grounds & Gardens.

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