Manchester Airport is a significant landowner and the 3rd busiest airport in the UK. Hugh Bunting goes back 34 years with the site and is the Landscaping & Habitat Manager, looking after 350 acres of landscaping and green space on the non-operational external areas.
His remit covers ornamental plantings around the terminal; ornamental lawns; native structure tree plantings and woodland on the periphery; agricultural grass; field hedges; wetlands; sites of scientific interest and conservation areas.
"Several years ago," says Hugh, "all the Landscaping etc., was carried out by an in-house team. So when the work went out to an external contractor in 2008, all of the equipment went as well!
However, when it was decided in August 2013 to bring it back in-house we had to buy all new kit for the new internal Landscaping team. Looking at what was on offer for chippers and shredders the GreenMech Arborist 150 suited our needs the best."
Hugh's team don't have climbing licences so they still use an external ARB team for certain work. The company has both the wheeled and tracked versions of the GreenMech Arborist 150 and told Hugh they were very impressed.
"I hadn't had a Demo of the machine," recalled Hugh, "but speaking to my ARB Colleagues really swung it for me and I told Kevin Pickering at Turner Groundcare we were very interested in the Arborist 150. It's brilliant - it's just what we wanted.
We took delivery of it in September last year and the first thing I noticed was how very quiet it was compared to the old chipper we had, and that's important because some of the areas we're using it in are close to passengers and members of the public."
Hugh chose the 34hp model because it more suited the range of work on the site. They perform a constant thinning out maintenance programme within woodland and structure planting - any idea of burning would be a 'no go' due to the use of the site.
They use the Arborist 150 for a whole range of material like medium size trees and smaller softer shrubbery. The resultant chippings are stored and used on site for the shrubland areas.
Upon delivery Turner Groundcare, in conjunction with GreenMech, carried out an Operator Familiarisation Programme consisting of an hour talking through operation and safe use.
As Hugh's background is in Amenity Horticulture he also advises with the airside based team on fertiliser application and PH levels of the 645 acres of airfield grass.