A Kent country club's decision to be self-sufficient and environmentally friendly in heating, plus the theft of its 30-year old Ford tractor, has prompted it to buy a new tractor and attachments specifically for forestry work with the help of a government grant.
Rumshott Estates which runs the St Julians Club near Sevenoaks bought the latest Ferrari tractor, the Cobram 65RS, from Kent-based UK distributor Lamberhurst Engineering.
The 56hp vehicle has a customised configuration, with Bonatti front-loader fitted at Ferrari's Italian factory and Maxwald cable winch for PTO attachment, which was also supplied by Lamberhurst Engineering. The tractor is particularly suitable for forestry work because of its reversible-drive facility, which enables the driver to keep a close watch on winch work.
The club installed a woodchip boiler earlier this year, initially to heat its swimming pool, but this will eventually provide central heating for the whole complex, including residential and business accommodation there. The tractor and its attachments will be used year round to build up stocks of woodchip by general tree care work, notably coppicing and logging on the100-acre site.
Managing Director of Rumshott Estates Tom Morgan commented: "A lot of time was taken choosing the right tractor for the work. Much of the site and especially the woodland are situated on a steep terrain so power and low centre of gravity were essential. The Cobram fitted the bill and is already performing admirably, helping to swell St Julian's woodchip stock.
St Julians is getting financial support for its forestry enterprise and heating aims - and therefore its purchase of the tractor and attachments - by means of a Kent Leader Grant. This source of funding is available to rural businesses trying to establish sustainability under the government's Rural Development Programme, and specifically as is the case at St Julians to help small wood lot owners manage woodland.
Tom Morgan says the new tractor set-up, being small yet powerful, means woodland work can now be an on-going part of the estate's management programme.
St Julians has a lot of 'right of way' tracks and walkways, many of them through dense wooded areas, which will now become more accessible and contribute substantially to the estate's sustainability programme. Removing sizeable tree debris is a task that the 65RS and its attachments have already begun, and coppicing a hitherto inaccessible hectare of woodland will shortly be underway.
The new range of Ferrari Cobrams is on sale in the UK exclusively from Lamberhurst Engineering. For more information, please contact 01892 890 364 or visit the website on www.lameng.com