Fourth-time lucky Allett Creative Lawn Stripes winner

Tony Hawkinsin General Interest

The quintessentially British striped lawn is idolised across the world and in celebration of this Allett Mowers opened up their annual Allett Creative Lawn Stripes competition internationally. This year's stiff competition attracted a truly global set of entries in what has been a tough year for everyone going through the coronavirus pandemic. It has meant, however, homeowners around the world have been able to get into their gardens and work on their competition entries. Spending time in the garden can be great for mental health and there is surely no better way of relaxing than mowing the lawn.

Andrew Wain's entry

This year everyone has been forever grateful for the NHS and the competition's winning entry is a fitting tribute to them. Andrew Wain, Head Gardener of Euridge Manor, has placed high in the stripes competition for the past three years and this time takes the top prize. Euridge Manor is a private estate in Chippenham, UK. The estate regularly holds weddings and has 40 booked in for next year. Andrew has faced the battles of having the wear and tear of weddings and marquees on the lawn

"I first entered the competition four years ago to have some fun." Says Andrew. "Straight lines can get a little boring sometimes and that year I came second so I decided to stick with it. It's exciting to win at last, for both me and my employer. As a wedding venue, the lawn has become a real talking point among guests. This year, with Covid and the NHS being so fantastic I felt that this was my opportunity of saying thank you to all those in all departments of the NHS that have put themselves in harm's way to look after us. It is also my way of saying thank you to all those in the NHS who have cared for relatives of mine who in the last few years and indeed weeks lost their battles with cancer. So that is where I came up with the idea of the butterfly, to carry the thank you message with an NHS rainbow on each side. The Allett creative stripes competition has encouraged me to turn the lawn at Euridge Manor into a piece of art. I encourage anyone to have a go, as it is great fun and adds a whole new dimension of creativity to the garden. I'm over the moon with winning such a fantastic prize and thank Allett for running the competition."

This year's judging was done by Edgbaston Cricket Ground's very own Head Groundsman Gary Barwell. Allett are proud partners with Edgbaston and felt Gary's expertise was perfect for the role of this year's judge. An internal vote was done at Allett with the top 6 entries being forwarded to Gary to pick his overall winner. Gary comments: ''The standard was truly outstanding and the time and work that was put into these was on another level it was so difficult to decide but the winner showed craft, flair, knowledge and relevance''

Edward Aitken's entry came 2nd, with William Axmacher 3rd

Creativity is the key to this competition as well as using current themes to design patterns around. The top 6 show just how creative they really are. Andrew, who is a brand ambassador for Stihl, used a Stihl rotary mower and hand trimmer to create his pattern.

Striped lawns used to be the preserve of the British garden, but now keen gardeners from around the globe compete each year for what is now a coveted green award. This year's competition saw entries come in from USA, Wales, England, Denmark, Australia, Belgium, France, Sweden, Netherlands, Scotland and Ireland. Andrew wins an Allett Liberty 43 battery powered cylinder mower alongside the Allett Complete Lawn Care System of six interchangeable cartridges consisting of an aerator, a scarifier, a lawn brush, a dethatcher, a verticutter and a 10-blade cartridge together with two cartridge stands. He will also get 'a day in the life of a groundsman' at Edgbaston alongside Gary and his team.

''The rise in international competitors in this competition is in line with the rise in demand our company has seen for our mowers from overseas lawn-fanatics" says Austin Jarrett, Managing Director at Allett Ltd. Allett recently won the Queen's Award for Enterprise - International trade because of the increase in overseas demand and consequently export sales. Allett Mowers is a leading manufacturer of cylinder, walk-behind mowers - the ultimate tool for creating perfect stripes. The first Allett mower was launched in 1965 and the brand has since firmly established itself as being synonymous with creating stripes on lawns and sports grounds around the world.

The winning entries in the competition with Gary Barwell's comments:

1st Andrew Wain, Chippenham,UK - ''The standard was truly outstanding and the time and work that was put into these was on another level it was so difficult to decide but the winner showed craft flair knowledge and relevance''

2nd Edward Aitken, Cheltenham, UK - Truly outstanding work time and effort needed is amazing

3rd William Axmacher, USA - 'To craft something that totally works from the air is great time and effort

4th Cooper Thomson, Australia (Design in USA) - Batavia Muckdogs Baseball, New York, USA ''Brilliant despite it being created by a skilled professional grounds team''

5th Niklas Andersson, Sweden - 'This design looks stunning, hard to create and inspired

6th Dennis West, USA - 'The waves looks stunning and original'

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