Golf and Turf Equipment, Ransomes Jacobsen's dealer for Yorkshire, has delivered a Jacobsen AR522 five deck rotary mower to maintain the grassed areas at Wentworth Woodhouse, a Grade 1 listed country house close to the village of Wentworth, near Rotherham in South Yorkshire.
The house, which has 240 rooms, the longest façade in Europe at 185 metres and covers an area of over 2.5 acres, is surrounded by a 150 acre park and a 90,000-acre estate, which is now separately owned.
Scott Jamieson has been the Head Gardener at Wentworth Woodhouse for the past five years and is responsible for 80 acres of lawn and grassed areas around the house. A former greenkeeper who worked at Letham Grange in Scotland and at La Rovedine, a nine-hole municipal course on the outskirts of Milan, he is an advocate of the AR522.
"We used to cut the lawns with a tractor and gang mowers," he said, "but it was a very heavy combination and we couldn't get out when it was wet. Cutting along fence lines was also difficult due to poor visibility of the outside gang units. With the AR522 all this is a thing of the past; we can go out in most weathers and achieve an excellent standard of cut. You have a good view from the operator platform, which enables us to get up close to the fence lines and that reduces the amount of remedial strimming we have to do.
"Adjusting the height of cut is simple and can be done quickly and the five cutting decks can be converted from mulching to rear discharge in minutes. Manoeuvrability is good and it will go anywhere. Presentation is all important here and the heavy rollers on the decks give us really good finish. It's highly productive, I can cut 40 acres in a day and a half and that includes around trees and other obstacles. It really is a very good machine; I just wish I'd had one when I was a greenkeeper."
Wentworth Woodhouse was built by Thomas Watson-Wentworth in the 1720s and in the nineteenth century it became the inherited family seat of the Earls Fitzwilliam. The present owner is Clifford Newbold, an architect from Highgate, who purchased the house in 1999.