Blickling Hall gets its stripes

Sue Meekenin Industry News



Situated near the market town of Aylsham and owned by The National Trust, Blickling Hall is the former home of Anne Boleyn, the second of Henry VIII's six wives. Today, however, literally thousands of people visit the house and gardens (including, possibly, Anne Boleyn herself as her ghost is said to haunt the property). The 4,777-acre estate offers many fine walks, and staff work hard to keep the lawned areas looking at their best.

Earlier this year, Blickling Hall's Property Manager, Paul Underwood, decided he needed to create a more sharply defined striped finish on the lawns in front of the Hall, something that the ride-on mower in the machinery fleet could not provide. He consulted with Stuart Edge, Area Manager with the local equipment dealership Ben Burgess Ltd, who recommended a G860 pedestrian cylinder mower from Dennis, together with a 6-bladed cutting reel.

The G860 is an 86cm (34in) wide, heavy-duty unit derived from Dennis' FT range, which can accept interchangeable 'cassette' modules, allowing a machine to undertake other tasks like scarifying, verti-cutting and brushing. Driven by a 6.5hp Honda petrol engine, the G860 weighs only 166kg so that ground pressure is minimised and full manoeuvrability is maintained.

It incorporates a steel-geared differential in an oil bath for easy turns without scuffing turf, and a cast, 3-section aluminium, ribbed roller gives positive traction in all conditions. Height of cut is adjustable between 0-56mm and the handlebars are designed for low levels of hand/arm vibration - an increasingly important safety issue.

Blickling Hall bought their Dennis G860 in April and it has been in regular use since. Rob Wiskin, one of the grounds staff caring for the estate, reports that the machine is easy to use and gives the desired result: a beautifully striped finish on the lawn in front of the stately home.

News of the results has spread quickly. Oxburgh Hall, another National Trust property in Norfolk and which is situated near Swaffham, has also bought a Dennis G860.

"All our equipment is designed and manufactured in Britain to the highest standards, which includes traditional values of quality and performance," says Ian Howard, Managing Director of Dennis. "We are delighted that the G860 is helping to maintain similarly high standards at two of the country's finest National Trust properties."

For further information contact Fiona Gebbett, Pan Publicity on 01493 440047 or Ian Howard, Dennis 01332 82477.

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