Leeds Castle nr. Maidstone is one of the most prestigious locations in the U.K. With 900 years of history and 500 acres of stunning parkland, the role of Grounds Manager falls on the shoulders of James McConkie and his fifteen full-time staff.
This brief also includes an impressive 18 hole golf course which is kept in pristine condition throughout the year. Given the modest number of Groundcare and Greenkeeping staff, the sheer magnitude of this location and its appearance is a great compliment to the entire team.
In advance of the autumn 'fall' James and colleagues visited Saltex in 2010 to assess the options for new Debris Management equipment and machinery. The return of the U.S.A manufactured Little Wonder range at Saltex co -incided with this brief. These Debris and Maintenance products, having been sold in the U.S market for many years, are imported into the UK market by Mantis UK Ltd, part of the Schiller Grounds Care Group that manufactures the Little Wonder products. The current dealer network is being expanded to assist with this development.
Following discussions on their stand, James agreed to purchase a new 22HP Truckloader for immediate delivery. Within the newly re-introduced range for 2010/11 is the new Truckloader range of 3 new models (from 16hp - 27hp) a high performance wheeled vacuum and a range of 5 Little Wonder wheeled blowers. Mantis M.D. David Goose re-iterated that the high quality of personnel they met at Saltex delighted them on their return to the show with this popular range of equipment. An offer was subsequently made by Leeds Castle to Mantis UK and their Kent-based dealer Lister Wilder to invite selected trade press to see the Truckloader in action, during the leafy season. Lister Wilder are an established supplier to Leeds Castle and are one of the launch dealers for the Little Wonder product range.
Richard Jackson of Mantis UK Ltd added that the business relationship with Lister Wilder shows great potential and their reputation in the groundscare market is second to none. The attention to detail shown by all the staff at Lister Wilders has made the partnership a success from day one.
It also provided an opportunity to demonstrate the Little Wonder wheeled vacuum and the new wheeled blower.
On the basis of this working demonstration that James McConkie saw, he has now purchased the wheeled vacuum (HPV) model as a further assist for his team. James is full of praise for the performance of the Truckloader so far, and hasn't been required to use this at 'full throttle' in order to maintain clean and crisp walkways. The extra performance available from the Truckloader will prove more than capable of handling the extra fallen leaves in the autumn. Given the half a million visitors per annum and numerous concerts and events held at Leeds Castle during the year, sterner tests lie ahead but the Little Wonder range is already proving its worth!
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