Granite City shows softer side
By Sue Meeken
Regarded as the jewel in Aberdeen's crown, Hazelhead Park was praised for the quality of its gardens, parklands and playing fields. It also boasts facilities for every generation, including a maze, pet's corner, crazy golf and a safe play area.
The City Council has steadily been upgrading its turf machinery fleet and, during the last three years, has established an extensive line-up of Dennis mowers, all designed to give a precision finish. Aberdeen currently has 10 Dennis units from the company's popular FT and G Series.
The mowers range from the 51cm (20in) FT510 to the heavy-duty G860, an 86cm (34in) machine. All can be fitted with interchangeable cassettes for other essential maintenance tasks such as verticutting and scarifying. This versatility maximises efficiency.
Aberdeen City Council Gardener, Les McIntyre, says that the Dennis mowers give the high quality results that the local authority expects. "The Dennis machines are excellent for their precise cut and ease of manoeuvrability, combined with high output and durability. They have proved to be ideal in achieving the high standards required."
Dennis G680 and G860 mowers are used to cut the grass at three separate memorial gardens at Hazelhead Park, one of which commemorates the Piper Alpha oil rig disaster in 1988, when 167 workers perished. Maintaining a high standard of presentation on the turfed areas here is very important.
The Dennis FT and G ranges are designed to be light in weight and to exert minimal pressure on the turf. Cutting height can be adjusted quickly and independent drive enables the revs to be set high for a fast cut, while the operator controls forward speed. Belt drive is incorporated as a smoother alternative to chain-driven systems.
The cassette attachments available include several cutting cylinders, scarifiers, verticutters, a turf brush, a slitter and a roller. Some models can also be fitted with a trailed seat.
Aberdeen City Council shows as much versatility as the Dennis mowers. At Hazelhead Park, a striking feature are the 59 ornamental rose beds, each featuring a different rose variety.