Dubbed the 'year of the staycation', the last 12 months have seen families embrace the delights of camping and caravanning with many becoming hooked by the simple pleasures of alfresco holidays. And that means campsites have never been more in demand.
The Camping and Caravanning Club is expecting similar levels of demand next year and its Kingsbury Water Park campsite, near Tamworth in the West Midlands is one that has remained busy even into winter.
Earlier this year, the club invested in a new Kubota ZD1211 for the site to help keep the 162 pitches pristine.
"We've used mower collectors in the past, but were keen to try a mulching mower to avoid the costs of disposing of clippings," explains site manager Rob Lawler, one of a team of six charged with taking care of the site and its visitors."
"I was also impressed with the output of the mower when I tried it. We have a range of duties here on site, so we can't spend all day cutting. Using the ZD1211 with its 1.52m (60in) deck I can get the mowing done and move on to something else; we can also easily keep on top of the growth by cutting regularly as it's so productive."
With the site set in leafy glades, it offers a verdant oasis for holidaymakers, so cut quality is important to give that lawn-like appearance, Rob points out.
"We do need a high standard of presentation, so I set the deck at the lowest cut height and it gives an excellent finish. The mulching kit chops the clippings so finely there is hardly any residue, and what there is goes back into the turf to encourage healthy growth. A colleague who uses a collector mower came to look at ours and couldn't believe how clean the result is!"
He adds that the enclosed 140mm deep deck also contains any stones or debris that may be in the grass, avoiding risk of damage to nearby vehicles.
With its twin HST levers, the ZD1211 turns neatly within its own length, negotiating obstacles such as electric pillars and working round hard standings with ease.
"The levers do take a bit of getting used to," Rob admits. "It's a bit like being a pilot! But it's a very comfortable machine to drive with a great suspension seat and you feel very stable and secure."
He also praises the deck lift system which gives easy access for maintenance and cleaning, and says that the mower has proved very reliable.
"We get excellent back-up from dealer Hughie Willett, but know from experience how well built these machines are. Our old G21 which has been on the site for more than 15 years is still going strong and comes in handy for clearing leaves or tackling long growth."